This is a setting of a poem by The Reverend Doctor Malcolm Guite, Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge,
with his permission.
The poem is a response to the 8th “O Antiphon” for Advent
The recording was performed by the Johannebergs Vokalensemble
(O Virgo virginum, quomodo fiet istud?
Quia nec primam similem visa es nec habere sequentem.
Filiae Jerusalem, quid me admiramini?
Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.)
O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be?
For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after.
Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel ye at me?
The thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.
Who are the daughters of Jerusalem,
Who glimpse you still as you transform their seeing?
Whom have you called to this mysterium,
And bathed in the blithe fountain of your being?
Daughters of sorrow, daughters of despair,
The cast-aside, the overlooked, the spurned
The broken girls who scarcely breathe a prayer
The ones whose love has never been returned.
O Maid amongst the maidens, turn your face,
For when we glimpse you we are not alone,
O look us out of grief and into grace,
Lift us in love made stronger than our own,
Summon the spring in our worst wilderness,
And make us fruitful in your fruitfulness.
(c) Malcolm Guite