Ballad of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Just listen to me, Sirs,
I'd like to sing you a song,
It's something that really happened:
I wouldn't string you along.

I want to tell you a true thing
About Our Lady of Tepeyac,
Who appeared to Juan Diego
On a deserted mountain track.

Juan Diego was an Indian,
Who came from Cautitlan.
He was crossing the mountains
Walking to beat the band.

He was crossing this mountain
That is known as Tepeyac.
Juan was going to Tlatelulco
And came from Tulpetlac.

He was crossing the mountains
To hear a Christian Mass;
The Franciscan fathers had taught him
that was worth the pass.

And as he crossed the mountain
He heard a voice divine,
And Juanito saw a Person
Lovelier than the Vine.

The Person said to Juanito
Where are you going now?
And Juan Diego answered
To hear the Mass, I vow.

Then the Virgin told him:
I'm Mary of Guadalupe
The Mother of Jesus Christ
And the Queen of all this group.

I've come to guard my children,
To make your country Mine.
Go and tell the Bishop
That he has to build me a shrine.

Tell him that Mary sent you,
Don't let him ever forget.
Juan Diego said farewell
And kept his purpose set.

Finally Juan Diego
Came to the Bishop's House,
And when he came to his presence
Told him what it was all about.

It was a Queen that sent me,
She told me to come to your house;
She told me to tell you
She wanted a Cathedral hereabouts.

The Bishop answered promptly:
You have to show me a sign
That it was the Virgin sent you
And that you haven't been drinking wine.

Go back, Juan Diego,
And bring me, if you can,
Some token superhuman
That has no taint of man.

Juan Diego left there promptly
With sad heart and dragging feet,
And went back to that hillside
Sad and unreplete.

When he reached the hillside
Where the Virgin had once surprised him,
She appeared again
And thus She catechised him.

My son, what did they tell you?
And why do you look so sad?
Did you talk to the Bishop?
What did he say to make you mad?

Juan Diego stood there speechless
He didn't know what to say
Or how to inform Her
That only a sign could carry the day.

The Virgin simply answered:
Well if it's a sign he craves,
Don't cry and don't you worry
We've thousands in these caves.

And when he plucked those roses,
His heart began to sing
He went right to that Bishop
As glad as anything.

And when he came to his presence,
He didn't waste a word;
All the Bishop's servants
Knew that Juan had to be heard.

And when the Bishop saw him
His heart forgot to doubt.
Let's see what you have in your cloak, boy,
And what this is all about.

It's the token that you've asked for
The loveliest flowers that there've been,
With a freshness and a savor
That the world has never seen.

Juanito dropped his cloak then,
Let the roses fall
And disclosed Our Lady's picture:
Mother of sinners all.

All dropped to their knees then
At this miracle serene,
Crossed themselves and shouted,
"Long live the Indian Queen!"

And this is what really happened
Four hundred years ago,
In fifteen thirty-one
As you all rightly know.

And all the world has noted
The miracle of Four
And to this date the nations
Worship at Her door.

Hidalgo with his wisdom,
In eighteen hundred and ten,
In Her Name proclaimed the freedom
Of all the Mexican men.

And in Her name we conquered,
Broke off the Spanish bands,
Gave ourselves to Mary,
Left our destiny in Her hands.

And to this day we hymn Her
Guardian of our soil;
In every Mexican breast She reigns
Queen of all our toil.

Today we come here singing
Pilgrims that we are,
The Song of Mary Virgin
Our Country's Guiding Star.

Silvino C. N. Martinez
Demarest, Donald, and Coley Taylor.
The Dark Virgin: The Book of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
New York: Academy Guild Press, 1956.

Return to Index of Guadalupe Poems

Lines to Our Lady of Guadalupe

"Am I not here who am thy Mother -
What dost thou fear?"

Deep in the tangled brushwood of my hours,
You are a sudden clearing, Madre mia,
Amid the choke of thorn,
Incredible rose.

And where my fears sit huddled in their trembling,
You are a soft word spoken, O Maria,
In heart's cacophany, a splendid chord!

Brave alabaster out of hope-shards builded,
What need I dream of beauty, I who know
Curve of your cheek, the raven hair low-winging,
Soft swell of lip, the delicate flight of brow!

Exuberance, be hedged in Christ oh! Sweetly

By this rumorous smile's so wistful bands;
And sorrow, find your meaning, find your haven
In this gentle fold of olive hands.

Authentic glimpse of heaven, Madre mia,
Your image my supernal dividend
On sorrow, and my pledge past all devising

Virgin of Guadalupe

Of paradisal day. What shall I fear
Of pain, of death, of diverse ignominy
When you are here, Maria, when you are here.

Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.

Return to Index of Guadalupe Poems

Juan Diego

An Indian's brown cheek curved to a dusky rose,
Once long ago upon Tepeyac's barren hill
When winter roses bloomed
And roses were mere roses in the glowing laughter
of the lady's smile.
My little son. I love you.' So all Tepeyac's holy hill
Now sang an Indian lullaby of roses and wild birds.

Anne B. Quinn

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Mary, Virgin of Guadalupe

Dark lady, you smile at me across the mountains
The secret smile of ancient people.
What thoughts do you send me, dark beautiful lady?
Will you someday tell me when I come with great
armfuls of roses
Over the mysterious mountains to your feet?
Dear, dark queen will you give me too
Lovely roses in December?

Anne B. Quinn

Return to Index of Guadalupe Poems

Hail, O Empress of America

Hail, O Empress of America,
Our dear Queen without a stain.
Guadalupe is your title
And the throne from which you reign
Is Mount Tepeyac made blessed
When you came to earth again.

Mother Mary graced our country
With her loving presence rare.
She appeared to Juan Diego
Sending him with gentle care
To the bishop with a message
That she wished a shrine built there.

"Build a temple to my honor,
Where my mother heart may reign,
Calling all with sweet compassion;
None will come to me in vain.
All in labor or affliction
Strength and peace will find again."

The good bishop, wisely prudent,
Begged a sign of Heaven's Queen;
And the gracious Lady answered
In a manner sweet, serene;
Working miracles, inspiring
Hope through ages yet unseen.

She commanded Juan Diego
Gather roses fair and bright
Which she caused to bloom in winter
On a barren, rocky height,
On the twelfth day of December -
Blessed day! O blessed site!

She arranged them in Juan's mantle
Saying with a smile benign:
"Take these to the holy bishop,
Here he has the heavenly sign.
Do not look within your mantle
Till the bishop you will find."

When Juan opened his poor mantle
To the bishop's great surprise,
Roses fell in shower of glory
Spreading their sweet perfume wide.
But the prelate knelt in reverence;
Greater marvel met his eyes.

There upon the cheap, rough tilma,
Painted by an art divine,
Was the portrait of Our Lady,
Queen and Mother for all time,
Come to dwell in our dear country
Blessing souls with gifts sublime.

Hail, O Empress of America,
Guadalupe is your name.
Please accept our humble homage,
Bless our hearts and homes again.
Keep us loyal to our Savior
Till with Him and you we reign.

Sr. Regina
The Missionary Catechist
December 1959.

Return to Index of Guadalupe Poems

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