An ABC

ALMIGHTY, all-merciful Queen, to whom all this
world flees for aid, to have release from sin, sorrow
and trouble, glorious Virgin, flower of all flowers, to
you I flee, confounded in error! You mighty, gracious
lady, help and relieve me, pity my perilous malady!
My cruel adversary has vanquished me.

BOUNTY has so fixed his tent in your heart that well
I know you will be my aid; you can not reject him
who with pious mind asks your aid. Your heart is
ever so bounteous, you are the generous giver of full
felicity, haven of refuge, of quiet and rest. Lo, how
the seven thieves pursue me! Help, bright lady,
before my ship goes to pieces!

COMFORT is there none, except in you, dear lady,
for, lo, my sin and confusion, which ought not to
come into your presence, have brought against me a
grievous suit, founded on strict justice and my
despair. And in justice they might well maintain that
I were worthy of condemnation, were it not for your
mercy, blessed queen of heaven.

DOUBT is there none that you, queen of mercy, are
source of grace and mercy on earth. Through you
God promised to be reconciled with us. For surely,
dear, blessed mother of Christ, were the bow of
justice and wrath bent now in such a way as it was at
first, the righteous God would hear of no mercy; but
through you we have favor, as we desire.

EVER has my hope of refuge been in you, for in
various ways you have received me into mercy
heretofore so often. But grant me the favor, lady, at
the Great Court Session1, when we shall come before
the high Judge! So little fruit shall be found in me
then that, unless you well chasten me before that day,
by strict justice my work will destroy me.

FLEEING I come to your tent for aid, to hide me
from the tempest full of terror, beseeching you,
though I be wicked, that you withdraw you not. Ah,
help me yet in this need! Though I have been a beast
in will and in act, yet, lady, clothe me with your
grace. Take heed, lady, your enemy and mine is in
point to pursue me unto my death.

GLORIOUS maid and mother, who never in earth or
heaven was bitter, but ever full of sweetness and
mercy, help, that my Father be not angry with me.
Speak please, for I dare not behold Him! Alas the
time! I have so done on earth that surely, unless you
will be my relief, He will exile my spirit to eternal
stench.

HE promised, tell Him, to become a man, to have
kinship with us, as was His will; and with His
precious blood He drew up the document upon the
cross as general release for every penitent that
believes on Him. And therefore, bright lady, pray for
us! Then you shall both still all His displeasure, and
snatch his prey from our foe.

I KNOW it well, you will truly be our comfort, you
are so full of bounty. For when a soul falls into sin,
your pity goes and hails him back again. Then you
make his peace with his Lord and bring him out of
the crooked path. Whosoever loves you shall find he
loves not in vain, as he leaves this life.

KALENDARS and illuminated texts are those in this
world who are lighted with your name; and
whosoever takes to you by the straight path need not
fear to be maimed in soul. Now, queen of comfort,
since you are she from whom I seek my medicine, let
my foe no more re-open my wound; I commit my
health all into your hand.

LADY, I cannot portray the sorrow you had beneath
the cross, nor His grievous suffering. But by the pains
of both I pray you, let not the foe of us all make his
boast that he has vanquished in his fatal lists what
you both have bought so dearly. As I first said, you
ground of our being, continue to keep your merciful
bright eyes upon us

MOSES, who saw the bush burning with red flames,
by which a stick was never consumed, saw the sign
of your unspotted maidenhood. You are the bush
which Moses deemed had been afire, on which
descended the Holy Spirit; and this was in symbol.
Now, lady, defend you us from the fire which shall
last eternally in hell.

NOBLE princess, who never had any peer, surely, if
there may be any comfort for us, it comes from you,
you beloved mother of Christ; no other melody or
song do we have to rejoice in our adversity, no other
advocate who will and dare so pray for us; and that
for so small a price as you, who helps us for an Ave-
Maria or two.

O TRUE light of blind eyes, O true delight of them in
labor and trouble, O treasurer of grace to mankind,
you whom for your humility God chose as mother!
From His hand-maiden He made you mistress of
heaven and earth, to offer up our petition. This world
ever waits upon your goodness, for you never fail any
creature in need.

PURPOSE I have sometime to seek out why the Holy
Spirit sought you, when Gabriel’s voice came to your
ear. He worked not such a marvel to make war upon
us, but to save us whom afterwards He redeemed.
Then we need no weapon to save us; but only needful
penance, when we have not done it, and to ask and
receive mercy.

QUEEN of comfort, yet when I consider that I have
sinned toward both Him and you, and that my soul is
worthy to sink, alas, churl, where can I go? Who shall
be my mediator to your Son? Who but yourself, who
are fount of pity? More pity than any tongue in this
world can tell you have on our adversity.

REFORM me, mother, and chasten me, for truly my
Father’s chastening I dare in no way endure, so
hideous is His just reckoning. Mother, from whom all
mercy to man bath ever sprung, be my judge and my
soul’s physician as well. For ever in you pity abounds
to each who will beg you for pity.

SOOTH is it that God grants no mercy without you;
for God of His goodness forgives none unless it
should please you. He has made you vicar and
mistress of all the world and empress of heaven as
well; and He represses His justice according to your
will, and in token of that He has crowned you in such
a royal fashion.

TEMPLE of devotion, where God has His abode
from which misbelievers be proscribed, to you I bring
my penitent soul. Receive me; I can flee no further!
O queen of heaven, with those venomous thorns for
which the earth was accursed full long ago I am so
wounded, as you may well see, that I am almost lost;
it pains so grievously.

VIRGIN so splendid in apparel, who leads us unto
the high tower of Paradise, counsel and guide me,
how I may obtain your grace and your aid, although I
have been in error and foulness. Lady, do you
summon me to that court that is called your bench, O
fresh and blooming, where mercy shall ever endure!

XRISTUS your Son descended into this world to
suffer His passion upon the cross, and that Longinus
also should pierce His heart and let His heart’s blood
run down; and all this was to save me. I am false and
unkind to Him, and yet He desires not my damnation.
For this I thank you, aid of all men.

YOUNG ISAAC was truly the type of His death,
who so obeyed his father that he cared not to be slain;
even so your Son wished to die as a lamb. Now lady
full of mercy, since He measured out His mercy so
generously, I entreat you be you not scant; for we all
sing and say that you are ever our shield against
vengeance.

ZACHARIAH calls you the open spring to wash the
sinful soul from its guilt. Therefore I ought well to
read this lesson, that we were lost were it not for your
tender heart. Now, lady bright, since you can and will
be merciful to the seed of Adam, bring us to that
palace that is raised for penitents who are deserving
of mercy.

Amen.