Catholic Poetry

Murillo’s Immaculate Conception

By David Gray

Whence is the spell—O fair and free from guile,

Thou with the young moon shod!—That binds my brain?

Is thine that orb of fable which did wane,

Darkening o’er sad Ortygia’s templed isle—

Beautiful Artemis, hid from earth awhile,

And on the pale monk’s vigil risen again,

A wonder in the starry sky of Spain?

Comes the Myth back, Madonna, in thy smile?

Yea! Thou dost teach that the Divine may be

The same, to passing creeds and ages given;

And how the Greek hath dreamed, or Churchman striven,

What reck we, who with eyes tear-blinded see

Thee standing loveliest in the open heaven?

Ave Maria! Only heaven and thee!

J.N. Larned, ed., Letters, Poems and Selected Prose Writings of David Gray (Buffalo: The Courier
Company, 1888), 235-236.

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