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A new

commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.



And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers



Dialogue Poem

By Mar Narsai Harp of the Holy Spirit


Father dr. Khoshaba Gewargis


For the Syriac text, see (Homilies of Mar Narsai, Published by the Patriarchal Press San Francisco, California U .S.A. Vol. 1, Page 128)


O Power of the Father who came down and dwelt,

Compelled by His love, in a virgin womb,

grant me utterance that I may speak

of this great deed of yours which cannot be grasped.



O Son of the Bounteous One, whose love so willed

that He reside in a poor girl’s womb,

grant me utterance and words

that in due wonder I may speak of You.



To speak of You mouth is too small,

to describe You the tongue is quite inadequate;

voice and words are too feeble

to relate Your beauty, so please bid me tell of You.



Grant that I may approach, O Lord of all,

in the awe to that exalted place

of the chief of the angels when he announced

to the young mother Your coming.



You who are discerning, come, listen and give ear

to this episode so entirely filled with wonder.

Sing Glory to Him who bent down

to give life to Adam who had sinned and so died.



The Father in His mercy beckoned to His Son

to go down and deliver what He had fashioned,

and to Gabriel the angel he gave instructions

to prepare the path before His descent.



With David’s daughter did mercy shine out,

for she was to be mother of Him

who had given birth to Adam and to the World,

and whose name is older than the sun.



That Will which cannot be reached flew down

to summon the angel, sending him out

from the angelic hosts on his mission to her

to bring the glad tidings to the virgin pure.



A letter did he bring, that had been sealed

with the mystery that was hidden from all ages;

he filled it with greetings to the young girl

and fair hope for all the worlds.



Down flew the fiery one until he reached

the destitute girl, to fill her with wealth;

a greeting did he give her, announcing to her too

concerning her conception, the cause of wonder to all.



11.  ANGEL       To the Virgin did the angel thus say:

                           Peace be with you, O mother of my Lord,           Luke. 1:28

                           blessed are you, child,

                           and blessed the fruit that is within you.               Luke. 1:42


12. MARY        Says Mary: Who are you, sir?

                          And what is this that you utter?

                          What you are saying is remote from me,

                          and what it means I have no idea.


13.   ANGEL       O blessed of women, in you has it pleased

                             the Most High to dwell; have no fear,

                             for in you has Grace bent down

                             to pour mercy upon the world.


14.  MARY         I big you, sir, do not upset me,

                            you are clothed with coals of fire,

                            mind you do not burn me.

                            What you have said is alien to me.

                            I am quite unable to grasp what it means.


15. ANGEL         The Father has revealed to me,

                             as I do so now to you,

                             this mystery which is shared between Him and His Son,

                             when He sent me to say; that from you will He shine

                             out over the worlds.


16.  MARY          You are made of flame, do not frighten me;

                             you are wrapped in coals of fire,

                             do not terrify me.

                             O fiery one, how should I believe you,

                              when all that you have spoken to me is totally new?


17. ANGEL          It would be amazing in you if you

                              were to answer back,

                              annulling the message which I have brought to you

                              concerning the conception of the Most High,

                              whose will it is to dwell in your womb.



18. MARY           I am afraid, sir, to accept you,

                            for when Eve my mother accepted

                            the serpent who spoke as a friend,

                            she was snatched away from her former glory.


19. ANGEL         My daughter, he certainly used deception

                            on your mother Eve when he gave her the message,

                            but I just as certainly am not deceiving you,

                            seeing that it is the True One by whom I have been sent.


20. MARY           All this that you say,

                            is most difficult, so do not find fault with me,

                            for it is not from a virgin that a son will appear,

                            nor from that fruit, a divine being!


21. ANGEL         The Father gave me this meeting with you here,

                            to bring you greeting and announce to you,

                            that from your womb His Son will shine forth.

                            Do not answer back disputing this.


22. MARY          This meeting with you and your presence here is all very fine,

                            if only the natural order did nor stir me

                            to have doubts at your arrival

                            about how there can be fruit in a virgin.


23. ANGEL         The angelic hosts quake at His word:

                            the moment He had commanded,

                            they do not answer back;

                            how is it then that you are not afraid

                            to query the thing which the Father has willed?


24. MARY          I too quake, sir, and am terrified,

                           yet though I fear I find it hard to believe

                           since nature itself can well convince me

                           that virgins do not ever give birth.


25. ANGEL        It is the Father’s love which has so willed

                            that in your virginity you should gave birth to the Son.

                            It is appropriate you should keep silence,

                            and have faith too,

                            for the will of the Father cannot be gainsaid.


26. MARY        Your appearance is venerable,

                          your message full of awe,

                          your flames are leaping up. Into the person of your Lord

                          one cannot inquire,

                          and that I should believe all this is difficult to me.


27. ANGEL          It is glad tidings that I have brought you:

                              you shall give birth to your Lord, as I have explained,

                             O child, give thanks to Him who has held you worthy,

                             to be His mother, while having Him as your son.


28. MARY            I am but a girl and cannot

                              receive a man of fire,

                             The matter you speak of is hidden from me,

                             Yet you proclaim that I should accept it.


29. ANGEL          Today for Adam hope has arrived,

                              for in you is the Lord of all pleased

                              to come down and release him, granting him liberty.

                             Accept my words, at the same time give thanks.


30. MARY            Today I wonder and am amazed

                             at all these things of which you have spoken to me.

                             Yet I am afraid, sir, to accept you.

                              In case there be some deceit in what you say.


31. ANGEL          When I was sent to announce to you

                              I heard His greetings and brought it to you.

                              My Lord is true, for so Has willed

                              to shine forth from you over the worlds.


32. MARY         All your words quite astonish me,

                           I beg you, sir, do not blame me,

                           for a son in a virgin is not to be seen,

                           and no one has ever slept with me.


33. ANGEL       He will come to you, have no fear,

                          He will reside in your womb, do not ask how.

                          O woman full of blessings, sing praise

                          to Him who is pleased to be seen in you.


34. MARY        Sir, no man has ever known me,

                          nor any ever slept with me,

                          How can this be, what you have said,

                          for without such union there will not be a son.


35. ANGEL       From the Father I was sent,

                           to bring you this message, that His love has compelled Him

                           so that in your womb His Son should reside,

                           and over you shall reside the Holy Spirit.                      Luke 1:35


36. MARY         In that case, O angel, I will not answer back:

                           if the Holy Spirit shall come to me,

                           I am his maidservant, and He has authority:                  Luke 1:38

                           let it be to me, sir, in accordance with your word.


37. ANGEL          Let your head be raised up. O maiden,

                             let your heart rejoice, O virgin;

                             O second heaven, let the earth

                             rejoice at you, for in your Son does it gain peace.


38. MARY          Let my head be raised up, sir, as you have said.

                           As I rejoice, I shall confess His name,

                           for if you, His servant, are so fair,

                           what might He be like? Tell if you know.


39. ANGEL        This is something the angelic hosts are unable to do,

                            to gaze on Him, for He is most fearful.

                           Hidden is He within His Father’s flame,

                           and the heavenly bands hold Him in awe.


40. MARY          You greatly disturb me now,

                            for if, as you say, He is all flame,

                            how will my womb not be harmed

                           at the Fire residing there?


41. ANGEL         Your womb will be filled with sanctity,

                             sealed with the Hidden Divinity:

                             a place that is holy is greatly beloved

                             by God as a place where to appear.


42. MARY           O angel, reveal to me why it has pleased

                             your Lord to reside in a poor girl like me:

                             the world is full of kings’ daughters,

                             so why does He want me who am quite destitute?


43. ANGEL          It would have been easy for Him to dwell in a rich girl,

                             but it is with your poverty that He has fallen in love,

                             so that He may become, one with the poor,

                             and enrich them when He is revealed.


44. MARY            Explain to me, if you know this,

                              when does He wish to come to me,

                              and will He appear to me like fire,

                              when He resides in me, as you have said?


45. ANGEL           He has already so willed it,

                              He is come and already resides in you,

                              remained unaware.

                              I dare not look upon you now

                              That you are filled with the Fire that does not consume.


46. MARY            I should like, sir, to put this question to you:

                              explain to me the ways of my Son

                              who resides in me without my being aware;

                              what should I do for Him so that He is not held in contempt?


47. ANGEL          Cry out, Holy, Holy, Holy,                                        cf. Is. 6:3

                             just as our heavenly legions do, adding nothing else,

                             for we have nothing besides this ‘Holy’;

                             this is all we utter concerning your Son.


48. MARY           Holy and glorious and blessed is His name,

                             for He has looked upon His handmaid’s low estate;       Luke 1:48

                             henceforth all generations in the world

                             shall proclaim me blessed.


49. ANGEL           Height and depth shall sing out to Him,

                              angels and human kind shall give Him praise,

                              for He, the Lord of all, has come down

                              and dwell in a virgin to make all things new.


50. MARY           Great is His mercy and not to be measured,

                             far beyond what lips can describe;

                             on height the heavens cannot contain Him,

                            yet down below for Him a womb suffices!


51. MARY          Let heaven and earth call Him blessed;

                            let both angel and virgin,

                            and all humanity, too call Him Holy,

                            for in His love He has descended and become a Human Being,


52. MARY           Let heaven and angels give thanks on high,

                             let earth rejoice in the virgin ;

                             let both sides, as they exult,

                             give praise to the Son of their Lord.


53. MARY            Let both sides be mingled in praise,

                              both angels and humanity,

                              to the Son who has restored peace between them,

                              when between them there had been anger and disruption.


54. MARY            Thanks be to You, Lord, from all fiery

                              and invisible worlds,

                              in this world, too, from every mouth

                              let the earth sing praises to You.

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Last updated 2009-07-18