There stood in heav’n a linden tree,
But tho’ t’was honeyladen
All angels cried, ‘No bloom shall be
Like that of one fair maiden.’
Sped Gabriel on wingèd feet,
And pass’d through bolted portals
In Nazareth, a maid to greet,
Blest o’er all other mortals.
‘Hail Mary!’ quoth the angel mild,
‘Of womankind the fairest:
The Virgin ay shalt thou be styled,
A babe although thou bearest.’
‘So be it!’ God’s handsome maiden cried,
‘According to thy telling.’
Where on the angel smartly hied
Up homeward to his dwelling.
This tiding fill’d his mates with glee:
’Twas pass’d from one to other,
That ’twas Mary, and none but she,
And God would call her Mother.
This is an Old German tune. The translation is by G. R. Woodward.