The Childless.

When I think upon the Childless, how I sorrow for the gloom 1
That pervades the silent chambers of their still and joyless home, 2
They do not hear the gleesome sound of infant voices sweet,3
The gush of fairy laughter, or the tread of tiny feet.4
Their hand the little shining head can never fondly press, 5
They never on the coral lip imprint a warm caress ; 6
They never hear a lisping tongue pronounce their name in
Or watch beside the cradle of a slumberer calm and fair.8
Their age is dull and lonely—in the solemn hour of death 9
No fond and weeping offspring receive their parting breath ; 10
And they feel the hollow nothingness of honours, lands, and
Knowing that those who love them not the heritage must claim.12
Thus I sorrowed for the Childless, but ere long in happier mood, 13
I thought how Providence o’er-rules each earthly thing for good ; 14
With the pleasures of the parent, their lot I had compared, 15
But dwelt not on the trials and the troubles they were spared.16
They knew not what it is to stand an infant sufferer by, 17
To mark the crimson fevered cheek, the bright and restless eye ; 18
And feel that in that feeble pulse, that form of fragile make, 19
Their happiness is garnered up, their earthly hopes at stake.20
They know not as the mind unfolds, how hard it is to win 21
The little heart to cling to good, and shun the ways of sin ; 22
They reck not of the awful charge amid a world of strife,23
To train a tenant for the skies, an heir of endless life.24
They see not the small coffin laid beneath the heavy sod, 25
Striving to school their bursting hearts to bear the stroke of God,26
Then turning to the dreary home once gay with childish mirth,27
To view the silent nursery—the sad deserted hearth.28
Yet is it not a blessed thought that we have One above, 29
Who deals to us our varied gifts with such impartial love? 30
Let not another’s favoured lot our anxious minds molest,31
God knows alike his need and ours, and judges for the best.32
He wisely with some shadowy cloud o’erspreads our brightest day,33
He kindly cheers our deepest gloom with some benignant ray ;34
And we may safely rest on Him, whose loving mercy lies,35
Not only in the good he sends, but that which he denies.36