Our Lady Tree


The Lady praises herself:
I came out of the mouth of the most High, the firstborn before all creatures:
I made that in the heavens there should rise light that never faileth, and as a cloud I covered all the earth:
I dwelt in the highest places, and my throne is in a pillar of a cloud.
I alone have compassed the circuit of heaven, and have penetrated into the bottom of the deep, and have walked in the waves of the sea,
And have stood in all the earth: and in every people,
And in every nation I have had the chief rule:
And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low: and in all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the LORD.
Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle,
And he said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in my elect.
From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him.
And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.
And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints.
I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress tree on mount Sion.
I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades, and as a rose plant in Jericho:
As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted.
I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon, and aromatical balm: I yielded a sweet odour like the best myrrh:
And I perfumed my dwelling as storax, and galbanum, and onyx, and aloes, and as the frankincense not cut, and my odour is as the purest balm.
I have stretched out my branches as the [terebinth] tree, and my branches are of honour and grace.
As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odour: and my flowers are the fruit of honour and riches.
I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.
For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb.
My memory is unto everlasting generations.
They that eat me, shall yet hunger; and they that drink me, shall yet thirst.
He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin.
They that explain me shall have life everlasting.
All these things are the book of life, and the covenant of the most High, and the knowledge of truth. 
--Ecclesiasticus or the Wisdom of Sirach 24:5-32 (Douay-Rheims translation)

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