William-Adolphe Bouguereau - Madonna
Sonnets for Heaven's Queen

Virgo Praedicanda

Proclaim her, O ye stars that form her crown!
Proclaim her, sky, in your expanse of blue!
Declare her chastity, the swan’s white down!
And you, O sun, her glories ever new!

Shadows of clouds that move across our plains,
Her alternating joys and sorrows teach!
The grace she sends from heaven’s heights, O rains
That fall upon our thirst, be yours to preach!

Kings of this world, repeat her ancient lauds,
To love’s fair Empress consecrate your lands,
Commend your peoples, knowing they are God’s,
To the protection of her unstained hands!

Let poets sing, her honour to defend:
“Who explains me shall have life without end.”

Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. On February 1, 2020, he won the Society of Classical Poets Competition, taking First Place in the Best of 2019 category. He is also the only American to have won the Scottish International Poetry Competition (see: Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, MacKenzie's verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), The Telegraph (London), and many other venues. He wirtes primarily for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).

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