The Children Band
ALL holy influences dwell within
by Sir Aubrey De Vere
The breast of Childhood: instincts fresh from God
Inspire it, ere the heart beneath the rod
Of grief hath bled, or caught the plague of sin.
How mighty was that fervour which could win
Its way to infant souls!--and was the sod
Of Palestine by infant Croises trod?
Like Joseph went they forth, or Benjamin,
In all their touching beauty to redeem?
And did their soft lips kiss the Sepulchre?
Alas! the lovely pageant as a dream
Faded! They sank not through ignoble fear;
They felt not Moslem steel. By mountain, stream,
In sands, in fens, they died--no mother near!