My God, Thy work complete!

At last I seek Thy grace.

Here at Thy holy feet,

Today I choose my place.

From earth I sought in vain

For ease, or joy, or rest;

Sorrow and weary pain

Alone have filled my breast.


Yes, Magdalene, rest here,

With contrite, humble heart.

Men's scorn no longer fear!

Choose thou the better part.

Hereafter live in peace,

Holy and pure, for Me;

And I shall never cease

To suffer, child, for thee.


It is too much! My sore

And burdened heart will break.

Could I be born once more,

Or die, for Thy sweet sake!

But I have caused Thy grief,

For me Thou art to die.

How shall I find relief

For all this misery?


Yes, many, many tears

Mine eyes have shed for thee

Yet speedily thy fears

Shall change to love for Me.

Thy soul, made pure again,

By one calm word of Mine,

In heaven, free from pain

Shall live a life divine.


Holy and stainless One!

How dare I seek Thy face?

What have I ever done

To win from Thee such grace?

I spurned in other years

Thy patient love for me;

Now, naught have I but tears

To offer Lord, to Thee.


Those pure, repentant tears

Shine brighter in My sight

Than any star appears

In radiant glow at night.

Than precious pearls more dear

Thy contrite heart today.

O sorrowing soul, draw near!

Thy guilt is washed away.


Thou Lord of heaven and earth,

What marvelous mystery!

Hath nothing, then, the worth

To win Thy heart from me?

Behold, how full of charms

The hill, and sea, and sky,

The lambs that seek Thine arms

The rivers flowing by!


I see the lilies bloom,

Unsullied, fair, and white;

Yet My large heart hath room

For thy heart's rose tonight.

That rose at last has won

My choice 'mid flowerets rare

From all beneath the sun

I choose its blossoms fair.


The bird's pure, warbling voice

Chants sweetest song to Thee;

The rippling brooks rejoice,

And praise Thee merrily;

The lily of the vale

Its perfumes hastes to bring

And petals, starlike, pale,

Before Thy feet to fling.


On ivoried, regal throne,

In glorious array,

The great King Solomon

Is less than these today;

The daisies in the field

Surpass his princely state;

And yet to thee they yield,

On thee they gladly wait!


A virginal train above,

With robes more white than snow,

Give thee their constant love,

And go where Thou dost go.

I, of a blighted life,

Offer the end to Thee,

From its frail morning rife

With bitter misery.


I love the fires of dawn,

So bright, so pure, so fair;

But ah!  I also love

The radiant evening air.

The soul, if it repent,

Shall find at last its home,

There where the sinless tent,

'Neath heaven's o'erspreading dome.


The angels there delight

To show their love for Thee.

Upon their phalanx white

Thy blessing ever be!

A sinful soul am I,

Who naught have merited.

Must Thou not pass me by?

Is mine the children's bread?


Higher than angels mount,

Shalt thou ascend one day!

Close, close to Love's own fount,

Shalt thou abide alway!

But first, on earth a while

In prayer live silently,

And thus gain souls from guile

To give their hearts to Me.


Oh! with what ardent zeal

My heart at last doth burn!

What deep desire I feel

To give Thy love return!

Yet souls to win for Thee,

Too weak, too blind, am I.

Lend Thou Thy heart to me;

None then shall pass me by.


Lord, one word I ask! Behold my sister there!

Now bid her, dearest Lord, to help me serve Thy meal.

She thinks not of my tasks; for me she hath no care;

She ought to wait on Thee; for me some pity feel!


Dear Martha, hostess kind and good!

Why should you thus your sister blame?

True, naught she thinks about My food,

Yet waits she on Me all the same.


Ah, Lord divine and dear! 'tis this surprises me.

Ought she not, then, awhile, to cease to dream and pray ?

Should she not choose what gift shall be her gift to Thee,

Who lavishly dost give to her and me each day?


Nav, Martha! listen to My Word!

Your faithful, generous love I know;

Yet doth your sister to her Lord

As faithful love and homage show,


Deep myst'ries are these words that greet mine ears today.

I can not help but think, oh! let me tell my thought!

Better to work good works than many prayers to say;

The love I feel for Thee must into deeds be wrought.


True, Martha! works are needful here;

I came, Myself, to work with care;

Yet I would have this truth stand clear;

One must transfigure work with prayer.


I knew that I was right; for, did I idly rest,

No charm should I possess in Thy benignant eyes;

So I made haste, to serve for Thee, my holy Guest,

Some pleasant food, to win Thy praise;  'tis all I prize.


Generous your ardent soul, and good!

Martha, your works show forth your worth;

Yet would you know the only food

That I desire to have on earth?

One single work is needful here!

Your sister, biding near My heart,

In love's own prayer, divinely dear,

Hath chosen thus the better part.

Yes, this the part that is the best!

So I declare, and Truth am I.

Now, Martha, come and share her rest,

Her blessed rest, for Love am I!


At last I understand! O Jesus, Love supreme,

Thy glance hath pierced my soul, Thy meaning now I see.

My gifts are all too small, my services a dream;

My heart the priceless gift that Thou wouldst have from me.


Yes, 'tis thy loving heart I crave;

For this I came from heaven above.

The glories 'tis My right to have,

I left, to seek your love, your love!


Why, then, O Saviour dear, if I may ask Thee this,

Why, within Simon's house, didst greatly praise Marie?

For surely in her life she gave Thee pain, I wis;

And stormy days, in her, Thy sorrowing eyes must see


Martha! I understand her heart,

By pain and sin and sorrow rent;

For souls love much if pardoned much,

And sorely, sorely they repent.


Amazed am I the more by Thy great love and power,

For naught know I, dear Lord, of sin's wild strength and shame.

What do I owe Thee, then Who, from my earliest hour,

Hast shielded me in peace, and kept me free from blame?


A soul kept pure through all its days,

Chief masterpiece of Love Divine,

Should give Me rapturous, endless praise,

And wholly and alone be Mine.

Yes, Martha, you have charmed My sight,

By lifelong, stainless purity;

Yet, while your soul is spotless white,

Your sister hath humility


To win Thy love, dear Lord! through all my life to be,

Earth's honors I will scorn, and all its pomps despise,

And Mary's part will choose, while working still for Thee;

Thy love alone shall be of value in mine eyes.


Many the souls you thus shall claim

From sin's dark haunts to seek My Face;

And you shall bear afar the flame

Of faith, and love's immortal grace.


Thy voice, O Jesus Christ! is sweetest melody,

That wins our love to Thee, and sets our hearts on fire.

Abide Thou here alway, our Life on earth to be:

Abide Thou here alway, our hearts' supreme Desire!


True joy have I at Bethany,

Where find I oft a welcome true;

And in my Father's home shall be

A wondrous blessing granted you.

Yes, you the mystery comprehend

That makes drear earth My precious prize;

For souls of prayer are dear to Me,

A vast reward for sacrifice.

Beyond heaven's joys I prize such souls!

Heaven's glories, one day, yours shall be;

My goods your loving prayer controls,

Your Spouse am I eternally.

Here, faithful friends, ye gave Me meat;

But, in the feast at heaven's board,

Ye shall sit down to food more sweet,

While on you waits your God and Lord.

                                                                     July 29, 1895


For us, poor exiles from our birth,

God made the pretty little birds;

Among the hills and dales of earth

They sing His praises without words;

But sometimes playful childish hands,

Choosing the ones they like the best,

Keep them in cages, where the bands

Are gilded bars for these oppressed.

O Jesus, little Brother dear!

For us from Heaven didst Thou flee;

Thou knowest well Thy birdcage here

   Is Carmel, and Thy birds are we.

Our cage is gilded not at all,

Yet oh! how precious 'tis to me!

To hill or plain from its high wail

Not one of us would wish to flee.

Let not the outer world intrude!

No joy to us it now could bring.

Child Jesus! in our solitude

For Thee, for Thee alone, we sing.

Thy tiny hand has us beguiled;

Thy infant charms no words can tell;

Thy smile, most sweet and Holy Child!

  Has won Thy birds to love Thee well.

Here finds the simple, candid soul

The only object of its love;

Here is the vulture's fierce control

No longer dreaded by the dove.

Upon the wings of burning prayer

The ardent heart ascends on high,

As swift the lark doth cleave the air,

With sweet, enraptured, joyful cry.

Here, in Thy praises to engage,

The nightingale and veery came.

O Little Jesus! in Thy cage

Thy birds are carolling Thy Name.

The little bird it always sings,

  Nor fear for its small meal doth know;

A grain of wheat contentment brings;

It sows not, spins not, here below.

Within this cage where we have fled,

Is all provided through Thy care;

The one thing needful, Thou hast said,

Is just to love Thee, Child most fair!

So, through the hours, we sing Thy praise,

With glad, pure spirits ever blest.

We know the angels, all the days,

Love Carmel's birds within their nest.

Jesu! Thy bitter tears to dry,

That sinful men have wrung from Thee,

Thy birds to win back souls will try,

By their sweet songs of ecstasy.

One day, when earth and time are o'er,

And Thy clear call to us is given,

Then angel hands shall open the door;

Thy birds shall take their flight to Heaven;

And there, with charming, songful hosts

Of little cherubs glad and gay,

Thy happy birds from Carmel's coasts

                                                                       December 25, 1896


A Fragment


Rise, Joseph! heed my cry!

All swiftly, silently,

To Egypt take your flight!

Depart, this very night!

Herod his fury now,

Is even to madness heaping;

He longs to slay the Lamb

In Mary's tendance sleeping,

Take Mother and Child, and go

From an impending woe.


Wonders on wonders piled!

   Jesus, of Heaven the Lord,

Now upon earth exiled,

      Flee, from a mortal's sword.

So, unto God in flight,

Oh, let us give our love;

Let our white wings tonight

Protect Him from above!

Now bring the flowers most fair

To strew before His way!

A lullaby prepare,

Of songs most sweet and gay!

Console His Mother's heart

By singing of His charms.

How fair, how sweet, Thou art,

Reposing in her arms

Oh, let us speed afar,

For here dire perils are!

Fly, on this very night,

From dangers and from fright!

The Virgin bears our Star,

Beneath her veil afar,

The Star of the elect,

Whom longing hearts expect.

Behold! Heaven's Lord

Flees from a mortal's sword!


I come, I come, to sing your charms divine,

Blest Family who lure me to this place.

In this drear desert, lo! to-night doth shine

A Star more fair than heaven in all its grace.

But who shall comprehend this mystery:

He came unto His own they bade Him go!

A wanderer on the earth He made is He,

And none discern His beauty here below.

But if the great Thine empire now despise,

Thou King of Heaven, Thou mystic promised Star!

Long for Thy reign have looked. the tear dimmed eyes,

And long the unhappy sought Thee from afar.

O Word Eternal! Wisdom true and deep!

Thy gifts are here, but they are for the meek:

The childlike soul, the tried, and them who weep,

It is to them, one day, Thy voice shall speak.

For Thou Thy wisdom often dost impart

To ignorant men, if they but humble be;

And Thou dost call the sinful to Thy Heart,

Because in them Thine image Thou dost see.

A day shall come, when, in the selfsame fold,

The lamb beside the lion safe shall feed;

And in Thy refuge here, this desert old,

Thy Name shall call forth many a holy deed.

O hidden God!  what virginal souls, one day,

Catching from Thy vast fire of love the flame,

Shall hither haste, where Thou hast led the wav;

And all these wastes for their possession claim.

Their ardent souls, their love like seraphs blest,

Shall fill the angels with supreme delight;

And hell shall tremble at their hymns, addrest

Unto God's greater glory, day and night

Then Satan shall, in frantic jealousy,

Seek to deplete these houses of our Lord;

But knows he not the power and majesty

Of this frail Child, humble, unknown, ignored.

He dreams not that a lowly virgin heart

Forever dwells in safety and in peace;

He dreams not of the strength, beyond his art,

She has from God, whose wonders never cease.

It may be that, one day, Thy spouses dear

Must share Thy exile, O Thou Holy Child!

But none shall quench their love, that burns most clear

Despite their exile and men's fury wild.

Nor shall the vile world's sacrilegious spite

Turn from their goal the virgins of the Lord;

Nor ever soil their robes of spotless white,

Nor mar their likeness to their King adored.

Ungrateful world! thy reign is well nigh done

Dost thou not see how this most holy Child

Culls joyously these roses like the sun,

These martyrs' palms, these lilies undefiled?

Dost thou not see His faithful virgin band,

Holding their burning lamps with love alight

Dost thou not see heaven's portals open stand

The saints to welcome in, to glory bright?

O happy moment! joy that knows no shade!

When the elect in gladness enter there;

And for their love, the great reward is paid,

To see God's face, that promised Vision fair!

Life's exile o'er, gone are all pain and woe;

E'en faith itself, and hope itself, shall cease;

But everlasting rest those souls shall know.

The ecstasy of love and endless peace.

                                                              January 21, 1896

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