Holy Mother of God, Merciful Mary. Hear me! I am very weary.
I have come from a village miles away, all day I have been
coming, and I ache for such far roaming. I cannot walk as
light as I used, and my thoughts grow confused. I am heavier
than I was. Mary Mother, you know the cause!

Beautiful Holy Lady, take my shame away from me! Let this
fear be only seeming, let it be that I am dreaming. For
months I have hoped it was so, now I am afraid I know.
Lady, why should this be shame, just because I haven't got
his name. He loved me, yes, Lady, he did, and he couldn't
keep it hid. We meant to marry. Why did he die?

That day when they told me he had gone down in the
avalanche, and could not be found until the snow melted in
Spring, I did nothing. I could not cry. Why should he die?
Why should he die and his child live? His little child
alive in me, for my comfort. No, Good God, for my misery!
I cannot face the shame, to be a mother, and not married,
and the poor child to be reviled for having no father.
Merciful Mother, Holy Virgin, take away this sin I did. Let
the baby not be. Only take the stigma off of me!

I have told no one but you, Holy Mary. My mother would call
me “whore”, and spit upon me; the priest would have me
repent, and have the rest of my life spent in a convent. I
am no whore, no bad woman, he loved me, and we were to be
married. I carried him always in my heart, what did it
matter if I gave him the least part of me too? You were a
virgin, Holy Mother, but you had a son, you know there are
times when a woman must give all. There is some call to
give and hold back nothing. I swear I obeyed God then, and
this child who lives in me is the sign. What am I saying?
He is dead, my beautiful, strong man! I shall never feel
him caress me again. This is the only baby I shall have.
Oh, Holy Virgin, protect my baby! My little, helpless baby!

He will look like his father, and he will be as fast a
runner and as good a shot. Not that he shall be no scholar
neither. He shall go to school in winter, and learn to read
and write, and my father will teach him to carve, so that he
can make the little horses, and cows, and chamois, out of
white wood. Oh, No! No! No! How can I think such things,
I am not good. My father will have nothing to do with my
boy, I shall be an outcast thing. Oh, Mother of our Lord
God, be merciful, take away my shame! Let my body be as it
was before he came. No little baby for me to keep underneath
my heart for those long months. To live for and to get
comfort from. I cannot go home and tell my mother. She is
so hard and righteous. She never loved my father, and we
were born for duty, not for love. I cannot face it. Holy
Mother, take my baby away! Take away my little baby! I
don't want it, I can't bear it!

And I shall have nothing, nothing! Just be known as a good
girl. Have other men want to marry me, whom I could not
touch, after having known my man. Known the length and
breadth of his beautiful white body, and the depth of his
love, on the high Summer Alp, with the moon above, and the
pine-needles all shiny in the light of it. He is gone, my
man, I shall never hear him or feel him again, but I could
not touch another. I would rather lie under the snow with my
own man in my arms!

So I shall live on and on. Just a good woman. With nothing
to warm my heart where he lay, and where he left his baby
for me to care for. I shall not be quite human, I think.
Merely a stone-dead creature. They will respect me. What do
I care for respect! You didn't care for people's tongues
when you were carrying our Lord Jesus. God had my man give
me my baby, when He knew that He was going to take him away.
His lips will comfort me, his hands will soothe me. All day
I will work at my lace-making, and all night I will keep him
warm by my side and pray the blessed Angels to cover him
with their wings. Dear Mother, what is it that sings? I
hear voices singing, and lovely silver trumpets through it
all. They seem just on the other side of the wall. Let me
keep my baby, Holy Mother. He is only a poor lace-maker's
baby, with a stain upon him, but give me strength to bring
him up to be a man.