My name was Dullus Marius, stationed in Galillee,
I was a centurion, the toughest in the valley.
Of all strong, hate-filled men I was then the worst,
Now I fight for The Nazarean, but I saw her first.
I saw her only once and stopped to stare.
She was tall and stood straight, forthright and fair,
Fair, divinely fair, with spring blossoms woven
In dark honey hair, in smooth locks cloven.
The loveliest work of His most divine art
With not the slightest evil in her heart.
The mother I never knew, the sister I never had,
The woman all men love. She was both sorrowful and glad.
Her eyes as deep as the starry midnight sky,
She turned full upon me as she passed by.
I bowed in deepest shame, and there and then
Swore myself her son, though I never saw her again.
This is an old poem, but among all of my poems it is still one of my favorites. It is even more Marian, and therefore more relevant, than when I wrote it.