Ave maris stella is a Marian Hymn intended to be sung at First Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Like most that remains of John Sheppard's (c1515-1558) music it's drawn from the Offices of the major feasts in the liturgical year. The backbone of the piece is the chant which moves forward in long note values and anchors the suspensions.
Video and Quote Source: Ave maris stella - John Sheppard (c1515-1558) – YouTube Uploaded by markfromireland on Feb 5, 2012. I've put the text and translation below the fold. Enjoy :-).
Text: Ave maris stella
Ave maris stella,
Sumens illud Ave
Solve vincla reis,
Monstra te esse matrem:
Vitam praesta puram,
Sit laus Deo Patri
Hymn at First Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Hail, star of the sea,
Taking that 'Ave'
Strike off the chains of the guilty,
Show yourself to be our mother:
Virgin past compare,
Grant us a pure life,
Let there be praise to God the Father,