Little Children.

Not in bright abodes alone,1
Children’s laughing voices ring ;2
Dreary spots, in shadow thrown,3
With their glee are echoing.4
Gladdening these dull paths of ours,5
Loving work by them is done,6
All unconsciously, as flowers7
Spread their sweetness to the sun.8
Whence all holy influence springs,9
Comes the grace that in them lies ;10
He Who chooses foolish things11
Often to confound the wise12
Clothes these little ones with power13
Passing wisdom’s boasted might ;14
As He gives each fragrant flower15
Wondrous charm of beauty bright.16
And the heaven that we desire17
Clearest is to those young eyes,18
Which, with boundless faith entire,19
Upward gaze in trustful wise.20
You who would that Kingdom see,21
Erring mortal, sin-defiled,22
Must in heart and spirit be23
Like unto a little child !24