The Gift

The gift

A poor orphan girl named Maria,
was walking to market one day.
She stopped for to rest by the roadside,
where a bird with a broken wing lay.
A few moments passed till she saw it,
for it’s feathers were covered with sand.
But soon clean and wrapped it was travelling,
in the warmth of Maria’s small hand.

She happily gave her last peso,
on a cage made of rushes and twine.
She fed it loose corn from the market,
and watched it grow stronger with time.

Now the Christmas Eve service was coming,
and the church shone with tinsel and light.
And all of the townfolk brought presents,
to lay by the manger, that night.
There were diamonds and incense and perfumes,
in packages fit for a king.
But for one ragged bird in a small cage,
Maria had nothing to bring.

She waited till just before midnight,
so no one would see her go in.
And crying she knelt by the manger,
for her gift was unworthy of him.

Then a voice spoke to her through the darkness,
“Maria, what brings you to me?
If the bird in the cage is your offering,
open the door, let me see.”
Though she trembled, she did as he asked her,
and out of the cage the bird flew.
Soaring up into the rafters,
on a wing that had healed good as new.

Just then the midnight bells rang out,
and the little bird started to sing.
A song that no words could recapture,
whose beauty was fit for a king.

Now Maria felt blessed just to listen,
to that cascade of notes, sweet and long.
As her offering was lifted to heaven,
by the very first nightingale’s song.

(Garth Brooks)

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