An Ave Maria (courtesy of Franz Schubert and the heaven-sent Jessye Norman) for our readers! The lyrics used by Schubert were composed by Sir Walter Scott in his “Hymn to the Virgin” (translated into German). Here is the first verse in the original English:

Ave Maria! maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden’s prayer!
Thou canst hear though from the wild;
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banish’d, outcast and reviled –
Maiden! hear a maiden’s prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

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