Girlhood of Mary

This is that blessed Mary, pre-elect
  God s Virgin. Gone is a great while, and she
  Dwelt young in Nazareth of Galilee.
Unto God s will she brought devout respect,
Profound simplicity of intellect,
  And supreme patience. From her mother s knee
  Faithful and hopeful; wise in charity;
Strong in grave peace; in pity circumspect.

So held she through her girlhood; as it were
  An angel-watered lily, that near God
    Grows and is quiet. Till, one dawn at home,
She woke in her white bed, and had no fear
  At all – yet wept till sunshine and felt awed:
    Because the fulness of the time was come.

Times are the symbols, on that cloth of red
  I’ the centre is the Tripoint: perfect each,
  Except the second of its points to teach
That Christ is not yet born. The book whose head

Is golden Charity as Paul hath said –
  Those virtues are wherein the soul is rich,
  Therefore on them the Lily standeth, which
Is innocence, being interpreted.

The seven-thorn d briar and the palm – seven-leaved
  Are her great sorrow and her great reward.
    Until the end be full, the Holy One
Abides without. She soon shall have achieved
  Her perfect purity: yea God the Lord
    Shall soon vouchsafe His Son to be her Son.

– Dante G. Rossetti