(To a young Sister named Mary Magdalen, for her Pro­fession day.)

On this glad day, dear Magdalene,

We come to sing with praises due

The wonderful, strong, gentle chain

That binds your heavenly Spouse and you.

Oh, hear us tell the charming story

Of how a shepherdess once heard

A Monarch bid her share His glory,

And how she answered to his word.

The shepherdess sing,

Whom the Heavenly King

With glory crowned head

Doth here, this day, at Carmel, wed!

This shepherdess, so small, so poor,

  While spinning, kept her flocks with care.

She loved the flowers beside her door,

The birds that fluttered here and there;

She knew what tongue the river spake,

The verdant woods, the skies above;

She loved them for her Master's sake,

As tokens of His boundless love.

But oh! she loved most tenderly

Jesus and Mary. All her heart

She gave, and they loved Melanie,

And came to speak with her apart.

"Will you," to her the sweet Queen said,

"Near me, on Carmel, come to dwell?

Will you be Magdalene, instead

Of Melanie, and serve God well?

"Child, quit your flock, seek God alone,

Nor mourn the lambs you ne'er shall see!

Upon this mountain all my own,

Jesus your only Lamb shall be."

"Oh, come! thy soul has charmed My sight,"

Spake Jesus, "Come, be thou My bride!

Who gave to God all earth's delight!

Come, reign forever at My side!"

Gladly the humble shepherdess

Responded to that gentle call;

And following Mary, swift to bless,

She came to Carmel's lofty wall.

'Tis you, O little Magdalene!

We feast with, on this joyous day!

The shepherdess is now a Queen,

Near Christ, her Spouse and King alway.

O! cherished Sister, you know well

To serve our God, it is to reign!

Our Jesus did not cease to tell

This lesson through His life of pain;

"Among the great, on heaven's height,

Who would stand first eternally

Must choose on earth the lowest place,

To hide from sight the least to be."

Happy are you, O Magdalene!

     In your fixed lot in Carmel's home,

Can there, for you, be any pain

Who here so close to heaven come?

Both Martha's, Mary's is your part

To pray, to wait upon the Lord

To love Him here with all your heart,

And have Him for your great reward.

Yet if, sometimes, sharp suffering

Shall come to flood your soul with night,

From out your pain will gladness spring

For God you suffer. What delight!

His tenderness, divine and sweet,

Shall make you very soon forget

The thorns that lie beneath your feet,

The tears with which your eyes were wet.

The angels envy you today!

They fain would taste your joy, Marie!

Your ecstasy, divinely gay

The spouse of Jesus Christ to be.

Soon, soon among the angel bands,

Among the Virtues, Thrones and Powers,

Your Spouse and King in heaven's bright lands

You, too, shall praise through endless hours.

This shepherdess soon,

So poor 'neath the moon,

In heaven a queen,

Beside her King shall yet be seen.

                                                              November 20,1894



July 29, 1894.

Remember thou how once upon this earth

Thy joy was found in caring for us all!

Hear now the prayer of those who owe their birth

To thee, dear father; bless us when we call!

A little while ago, in Heaven, our home above,

Thou to our mother's side hast come with saintly love.

Together now ye reign, in Heaven made one again.

     O'er us keep guard!

Remember thy first born, thy bright Marie,

She who was dearest ever in thy sight;

Remember how her charm, her gaiety,

Her love, her goodness, filled thee with delight,

That daily source of joy thou didst renounce for God;

And thou didst bless the band, that made thee feel His rod.

    Thy "diamond" bright and fair,

  Thy rarest of the rare,

Remember thou!

* SISTER TERESA was the youngest of nine children, four of whom died in infancy, four became Carmelite nuns, and one a Visitation nun. These are the "nine lilies bright," referred to in the poem here as forming their saintly father's coronet in Heaven. He used to call Teresa his "little queen," Marie his "diamond," Pauline his "pearl." He died of paralysis, after months of helplessness, tended by Celine.  These remarks serve to explain the poem. . . .

Remember thou thy beautiful "pure pearl,"

The timid lamb once to thy tendence given!

Trusting in God, behold thy lovely girl

Guide Carmel's flock along the road to Heaven.

Of thy beloved ones, "Mother" is she today:

Then come to guide even now thy darling on her way!

This Carmel of Thine own

Remember at Heaven's throne,

Remember thou!

Remember now thy strong and ardent prayer

Made here for thy third child, thy Leonie!

God heard thee; for to her this earth so fair

But banishment and exile seems to be.

She, too, from this gay world, to God would turn aside;

She loves Him only, and becomes His bride.

Her ardent, burning sighs,

Her Heaven sent ecstasies,

Remember thou!

Remember thou thy faithful child, Celine,

Who was to thee like angel from the skies,

When close to thine the Face of Christ was seen,

Testing thy virtue by great sacrifice!

In Heaven thou reignest now; her task is past and gone;

Now unto Jesus Christ she gives her life alone.

Protect her future days,

Who very often says:

Remember thou!

And, oh! remember thou thy "little queen,"

   The tender love with which her heart o'erflowed;

Remember where at first her steps have been,

And whose hand guided her along her road.

  Papa, remember now, that in her infancy

Her innocence was given into God's care by thee.

Even her curling hair

To thee was dear and fair!

Remember thou!

Remember thou that on the terrace green

Her place was often on thy saintly knees;

And murmuring a prayer for her, "thy queen,"

Thou didst sing softly on the Sunday breeze,

And she, upon thy heart, saw in thy holy face

A shining of Heaven's light, a strange unearthly grace.

      The beauty, sung by thee,

Was of eternity!

Remember thou!

Remember now that Sunday ever blest,

When thou a pure white flower to her didst give,

And to thy child, dose to thy bosom pressed,

Didst grant the grace on Carmel's hill to live.

Oh, father dear, recall that in her trial hour

Sincerest proofs were given of all thy loving power,

At Bayeux and at Rome

Showing her Heaven as home!

Remember thou!

Remember that the Holy Father's hand

Within the Vatican was laid on thee.

The mystery, then, thou couldst not understand,

The mystic sign of suffering to be.

But now thy children here to thee uplift their prayer;

They bless thy bitter cross, that won thy coronet rare.

Upon thy brow, fair sight!

There shine, in Heaven's own light, Nine lilies brightly

                                                                   August, 1894





"I have in my Beloved the mountains, the solitary and wooded valleys, the foreign islands, the resounding rivers, the murmur of the amorus zephyrs, the peaceful night, so like the dawn of day, the harmonious solitude, all that charms and that augments love."

St. John of the Cross.

    Oh, how I love your memory,

My childhood days, so glad and free!

To keep my innocence, dear Lord, for Thee,

Thy love came to me night and day,


So, when a little child was I,

To Thee I gave me utterly

Making with joy to Thee my promise high,

To wed a King beyond my view,


I loved the Mother loved by Thee;

    Saint Joseph, too, was friend to me.

How near Thy promised heaven seemed to be,

   When shone, reflected in mine eyes,

The skies!

I loved the fields of wheat, the plain

Of emerald grass, the gentle rain.

Joy grew so great in me, 'twas almost pain!

   How dear my sisters' presence there;

How fair!

                I loved to cull the grass, the flowers,

Forget me nots in leafy bowers;

I found the violets' perfume, all the hours,

With crocus growing neath my feet,

Most sweet.

I loved the daisies fair and white;

Our Sunday walks, oh, what delight!

The azure skies so gloriously bright;

The birds that sang upon the tree

For me!

I loved my little shoe to grace,

Each Christmas in the chimney place;

To find it there at morn, how swift I'd race!

The feast of heaven, I hailed it well;


I loved my mother's gentle smile,

    Her thoughtful glance that said, the while:

"Eternity doth me from you beguile.

I go to heaven, my God, to be

With Thee!

"I go to find, in realms above,

My angel band in Mary's love. h, prove,

The children whom I leave below, ah, prove,

Jesu! to them their guide and stay,


Oh, how I loved my heavenly Lord,

In His blest Sacrament adored!

He bound me to Him by His given word

That He my Spouse from infancy

Would be!

I loved, upon the terrace fair,

My father's reveries to share;

To feel his gentle kisses on my hair.

I loved that father who shall tell

How well!

  Teresa, seated on his knee,

Listened with me there, tenderly,

To those melodious songs he sang for me.

Those accents sweet I can not yet


O Memory, what joys you bring!

You wake the thought of many a thing

That flew from me, long since, like birds awing.

Faces I see, voices I hear

  How dear!

At sunset's hour I loved to be,

Teresa, heart to heart with thee;

Thy soul was as my very own to me.

My sister friend, my love, wert thou

As now.

Hand clasped in hand our hymns we sang.

Above earth's noisy clash and clang,

Our voices through the holy twilight rang.

Our dreams were then to Carmel given,

And heaven.

In Switzerland and Italy

The fairest scenes were shown to me;

But fairer yet I deemed the sight to be

Of him, Father of Christendom,

At Rome!

The Coliseum's hallowed ground,

With rapturous joy, my footsteps found;

The Catacombs re-echoed to the sound

Of hymns I sang to Thee, th' Adored,

My Lord !

What sorrows followed then, amain;

What fears have filled my heart with pain!

But Jesus came to help me, and sustain,

And His dear cross has been my stay


I fled the world, I turned my face,

And. in a quiet resting place,

I sought in silent prayer for constant grace

My load to bear, and for my grief


I loved to hear, from distant towers,

The sweet church bells ring out the hours;

I loved to cull, through burning tears, the flowers

And hear, at eve, among the trees,

  The breeze.

I loved the swallows' graceful flight,

The turtledoves' low chant at night,

The pleasant sound of insects gay and bright,

The grassy vale where doth belong

Their song.

I loved the delicate morning dew,

On Bengal rose of charming hue;

I loved to see the virginal bee accrue

Its store of honey from the flower,

Its dower.

I loved to gather autumn leaves;

And, where the moss a carpet weaves,

How oft, from 'mongst the vines, my hand receives

A butterfly, so light of wing,

Fair thing!

I loved the glow worm on the sod;

The countless stars, so near to God!

But most I loved the beauteous moon, endowed

With shining disk of silver bright,

At night.

To my dear father, worn and old,

I gave myself with love untold.

He was all to me.  Joy, and home, and gold,

Were mine in him; for him my kiss,

My bliss.

We loved the sweet sound of the sea,

The storm, the calm, all things that be,

At eve, the nightingale sang from the tree.

Oh, seemed to us like seraphim

Its hymn!

But came one day when his sweet eyes

Sought Jesus' cross with glad surprise...

And then my precious, loving father dies!

His last dear glance to me was given;

     Then  heaven!

Jesus, with hand benign and blest,

Took Celine's treasure to his rest,

Where endless joys are evermore possessed;

Placing him near his throne of love,


Now, Lord, I am Thy prisoner here;

Gone are the joys once held so dear.

I have found out, none last, all seek their bier.

I have seen all my joys pass by,

And die.

The grass is withered in its bed;

The flowers within my hands are dead.

Would that my weary feet, Jesu! might tread

Thy heavenly fields, and I might be

With Thee!

   E'en as the thirsting hart doth crave

Its lips in some cool stream to lave,

I seek from Thee, Jesu! the healing wave.

   I need, to calm my ardors and my fears,

     Thy tears.

Thy love, naught else, attracts my soul;

Heaven is my only aim, my goal;

Love, Love divine, has me in Its control.

I seek the Lamb upon His throne,


Jesu! Thou art that Lamb divine;

Naught else I crave, if I am Thine.

In Thee all things in heaven and earth are mine!

Thou art the lovely Flower of spring,

  My King!

    Thou art the Lily, pure and fair;

Thy perfume sweet embalms the air.

O Bunch of sacred Myrrh, divinely rare,

Upon my heart, I beg Thee, stay


Thy love goes with me where I go!

In Thee have I the sparkling snow,

The rains, the lofty hills, the valleys low,

The babbling brooks, the leafy trees,

The breeze!

       All these I  have in Thee, dear Lord:

The yellow wheat, the harvest horde,

The Rose of Sharon, type of Thee, Adored!

Round me what flowers of charming dyes


I have the dear melodious lyre,

The solitude of my desire,

My waves, and mighty rocks, and brilliant fire,

  My birds that sing, my murmuring stream,

Fair dream!

My rainbow in my rain washed skies,

Horizon where my suns arise,

Island in far off seas, pearl I most prize,

Springtime and butterflies, I see

  In Thee!

Thy love is like the flowers of May,

The palm trees where the breezes play,

The nights almost as bright and light as day.

In Thee I find what shall not cease,

Sweet peace!

Delicious grapes in Thee are mine,­

The purple burden of the vine;

The virgin forest and the stately pine,

The fair haired children, Lord, I see

With Thee!

In Thee I have the springs, the rills,

The mignonette, the daffodils,

The eglantine, the harebell on the hills,

The trembling poplar, sighing low

And slow.

In Thee I have the waving wheat,

The winds that murmur low and sweet.

All Mary's flowers, once blooming at my feet,

The glowing plain, the tender grass, I see

In Thee.

Beneath my habit's plain, coarse fold

Thou givest me rare gems and gold.

Within my clasp what brilliant rings I hold,

  Pearls, sapphires, rubies, diamonds bright,


The lovely lake, the valley fair

And lonely, in the lambent air,

The ocean touched with silver everywhere,

In Thee their treasures, all combined,

I find.

I have the barque on mighty seas,

Its shining track, the shore, the breeze,

The sun that sinks behind the leafy trees,

Lighting the clouds, ere it expire,

With fire.

In Thee, the glorious stars are mine;

And often at the day's decline

I see, as through some veil silken and fine,

Beckoning from heaven, our fatherland,

Thy hand!

O Thou Who governest all the earth,

Who giv'st the mighty forests birth,

And at one glance mak'st all their life of worth!

On me Thou gazest, from above,

With love.

I have Thy Face, I have Thy Heart!

Lo! I am wounded with thy dart;

Thou dost Thy sacred kiss to me impart.

I love Thee! Thee alone I view,


I go, to chant, with angel throngs,

The homage that to Thee belongs.

Soon let me fly away, to join their songs!

Oh, let me die of love, I pray,

One day!

Drawn by the light, the insect flies

To meet the flame wherein it dies.

So, to Thy light, my longing soul would rise;

So would I gladly in that tire,


I hear, e'en I, Thy last and least,

The music from Thy heavenly feast;

There, there, receive me as Thy loving guest!

There, to my harp, oh, bid me sing,

My King!

Mary I go to see, and there

The saints, and those once treasured here.

Life is all past, and dried at last each tear.

To me my home again is given,

In heaven!

                                             April 28, 1895

Next Page