Sunday, August 23


Our Lady, Swashbuckler

While we all know about Our Lady's role in the Vatican Space Program's moon landing (cf. Reveation ) as leaked by Shrine friend Zmirak, apparently he wasn't the first person to put the Virgin in moon-boots, as another friend pointed out recently to me via Facebook. Check out this wonderful bit of verse (translated) from Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the great poetess-nun of Baroque New Spain and much-lauded "Phoenix of Mexico." (Let us not forget at the same time the closest thing the English colonies had to poetry were a few scraping hymns.

The one downside is I suspect the word "adventuress" is not translated properly from the Spanish as the word always suggests to me more Irene Adler and less Amelia Earhart. Ick.

Villancico VI for the Feast of the Assumption, 1676 (excerpt)

Clear the way for the entrance
of the bold adventuress
who undoes injustice,
who smashes insults.

The sun's rays are her
resplendent armor
the stars her helmet,
the moon her boots.

On her shining shield
with which she dazzles hell,
a mountain is emblazoned
and golden letters: Tota Pulchra.

Celebrated for her beauty,
feared for her ferocity
she is jaunty and valiant,
and angelic is her beauty...

She dispelled the charms
of the ancient serpent
whose conspiracy
sets us under slavery's yoke.

She avenges wrongs
and annuls unjust laws,
gives refuge to orphans
and shelter to widows.

She liberated prisoners
from that prison where,
were it not for her daring spirit,
still they'd await their release.

All hell trembles at the mere
mention of her name.
And they say its very kings
fast on her vigil...

She is the one, whose tread
no demon can endure.
When he sees her feet,
he takes to his heels.

Crowned with glory and honor,
the deeds that brought her fame,
since they cannot be contained on earth,
send her riding out of this world.

As knight errant of the spheres
on a new adventure,
she finds hidden treasure
sought by so many.

--Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695)

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