The song "Ave Maria" is based on a portion of the poem called "Lady of the Lake" that was originally written in English. The poem was written by Sir Walter Scott in 1810.
In the third canto of "Lady of the Lake," Scott wrote of a young girl named Ellen who prays to the Virgin Mary. German composer Franz Schubert put this "Hymn to the Virgin" to music in 1826. He used Adam Storck's German language translation of the hymn for the lyrics. The song was a great success for Schubert, which resulted in the misconception that the words to "Ave Maria" were not originally in English.