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?

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