The Ancient "Lady of Sorrow"
THE ANCIENT "LADY OF SORROW."
[The worship of the Madonna, or Mater Dolorosa— "Our Lady of Sorrow"—is not confined to the Roman Catholic faith; it was an important feature in all the ancient Pagan systems of religion, even the most primitive. In the Sacred Mysteries of Egypt and of Greece her worship was the distinctive and prominent element. In the latter her name was Achtheia, or Sorrow. Under the name of Demeter, by which she was generally known among the Greeks, she, like the Egyptian Isis, typifying the Earth, was represented as sympathizing with the sorrowing children of Earth, both as a bountiful mother, bestowing upon them her fruits and golden harvests, and in her more gloomy aspects—as in autumnal decay, in tempests, and wintry desolation—as sighing over human frailty, and over the wintry deserts of the human heart. The worship connected with this tradition was vague and symbolical, having no well-defined body of doctrine as to sin, salvation, or a future life. Day and Nignt, Summer and Winter, Birth and Death, as shown in Nature, were seized upon as symbols of vaguely understood truths.]
Her closing eyelids mock the light;
"Childhood and youth are vain," she saith,