by Théophile Gautier, translated by Robert Sanderson
As a guardian angel, take me under your wing;
Deign to stoop and put out, smiling,
Your maternal hand to my little hand
To support my steps and keep me from falling!
For Jesus the sweet Master, with celestial love,
Suffered little children to come to him;
As an indulgent parent, he submitted to their caresses
And played with them without showing weariness.
O you who resemble those church pictures
Where one sees, on a gold background, august Charity
Preserving from hunger, preserving from cold,
A fair and smiling group sheltered in her folds;
Like the nursling of the Divine mother,
For pity’s sake, lift me to your lap;
Protect me, poor young girl, alone, an orphan,
Whose only hope is in God, whose only hope is in you!