O Mary Dearest Mother

This Northern-hemisphere May hymn about Mary was written by Irish Jesuit priest and poet Fr Matthew Russell (1834-1912). It was first published in his book Madonna (1880).

Hymn-books which it has been published in include:
  • Catholic Church Hymnal with Music (1905) - where it is set to an un-named tune by Dom A P Urquhart OSB



O Mary, dearest Mother!
Thy month has come again,
Of all the months most welcome
To angels and to men.
The month of birds and blossoms
And flowers, sunny May,
When earth and sky, dear Mother!
To thee fond tribute pay.

And so, dearest Mother!
Before the simple shrine
Which we have decked with flowers
Because we call it thine,
We kneel to scatter incense
And prayer and song for thee:
Look down, O dearest Mother!
Look down to hear and see.

Look down on us thy children
O Mother dear, look down.
The Mother's face beams kindly
When other faces frown.
When though, thou art Queen of Heaven
Thou reign'st in joy above.
Yet still, oh dearest Mother,
Look down on us in Love.

Ah ! we have forced thee often,
All loving as thou art,
To turn in sadness from us,
Thine eyes —but not thy heart !
In grief but not in anger,
Though we have tried thee sore :
Yet smile again, dear Mother !
We'll vex thy heart no more.

By Him who calls thee Mother,
And bids us do the same —
By Him, thy Son, who gives us
A brother's tender name —
By all the love that yearneth
Within thine own pure heart,
Mother! be a mother.
And act a mother's part. 

In heaven’s eternal May-time
Whose sunlight is the Lamb,
In the gladness and the glory,
The rapture and the calm —
We’ll praise thee and we’ll bless thee,
With happy saints above,
If now, O mighty Mother,
Thou look on us with love.

1 comment:

  1. The love of the Irish in song to our beautiful Mother...