I came across this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins at an Advent service at Canterbury Cathedral. Hopkins’ final verse is all the commentary we need. Enjoy a feastday to break up Lent!
Angelus ad virginem
1. Gabriel, from heaven's king Sent to the maiden sweet, Brought to her blissful tiding And fair 'gan her to greet. 'Hail be thou, full of grace aright! For so God's Son, the heaven's light, Loves man, that He A man will be and take Flesh of thee, maiden bright, Mankind free for to make Of sin and devil's might.'
2. Gently to him gave answer The gentle maiden then: 'And in what wise should I bear Child, that know not man?' The angel said: 'O dread thee nought. 'Tis through the Holy Ghost that wrought Shall be this thing whereof tidings I bring: Lost mankind shall be bought By thy sweet childbearing, And back from sorrow brought.'
3. When the maiden understood
And the angel's words had heard,
Mildly, of her own mild mood,
The angel she answered:
'Our Lord His handmaiden, I wis,
I am, that here above us is:
And touching me |fulfilled be | thy saw;
That I, since His will is,
Be, out of nature's law
A maid with mother's bliss.'
4. The angel went away thereon And parted from her sight And straightway she conceived a Son Through th' Holy Ghost His might. In her was Christ contained anon, True God, true man, in flesh and bone; Born of her too When time was due; who then Redeemed us for His own, And bought us out of pain, And died for us t'atone. 5. Filled full of charity, Thou matchless maiden-mother, Pray for us to him that He For thy love above other, Away our sin and guilt should take, And clean of every stain us make And heaven's bliss, when our time is to die, Would give us for thy sake; With grace to serve him by Till He us to him take. Amen.