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Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years? They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young flowers are blowing toward the westBut the young, young children, O my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly! They are weeping in the playtime of the others,
In the country of the free.
Why their tears are falling so ?
Which is lost in Long Ago.
The old year is ending in the frost, The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,
The old hope is hardest to be lost.
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
Do you ask them why they stand Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers,
In our happy Fatherland ?
They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
And their looks are sad to see,
Down the cheeks of infancy.
Our young feet,' they say, "are very weak ! Few paces have we taken, yet are weary,
Our grave-rest is very far to seek. Ask the aged why they weep, and not the children;
For the outside earth is cold; Andwe young ones stand without, in our bewildering,
And the graves are for the old.
" True,' say the children, “it may happen
That we die before our time.
Like a snowball, in the rime.
Was no room for any work in the close clay ! From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her,
Crying, “Get up, little Alice ! it is day.'
With your ear down, little Alice never cries. Could we see her face, be sure we should not know
For the smile has time for growing in her eyes.
And merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in
The shroud by the kirk-chime !
“That we die before our time.'
Alas, alas, the children! they are seeking
Death in life, as best to have. They are bindingup their hearts away from breaking,
With a cerement from the grave. Go out, children, from the mine and from the city,
Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do.
Like our weeds anear the mine?
From your pleasures fair and fine !
'For oh,' say the children, 'we are weary
And we cannot run or leap.
To drop down in them and sleep.
We fall upon our faces, trying to go;
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow. For, all day, we drag our burden tiring
Through the coal-dark, undergroundOr, all day, we drive the wheels of iron
In the factories, round and round.
'For, all day, the wheels are droning, turning,
Their wind comes in our faces,Till our hearts turn,-our head, with pulses burning,
And the walls turn in their places. Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling,
Turns the long light that drops adown the wall, Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,
All are turning, all the day, and we with all.
And sometimes we could pray,
'Stop! be silent for to-day!!!
VIII. Ay! be silent! Let them hear each other breathing
For a moment, mouth to mouth!
Of their tender human youth !
Is not all the life God fashions or reveals.
That they live in you, or under you, O wheels! Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,
Grinding life down from its mark; And the children's souls, which Godis calling sunward,
Spin on blindly in the dark.
Now tell the poor young children, O my brothers,
To look up to Him and pray;
Will bless them another day.
They answer, “Who is God that He should hear us,
While the rushing of the iron wheel is stirred? When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us,
Pass by, hearing not, or answer not a word.
Strangers speaking at the door.
Hears our weeping any more?
x. 'Two words, indeed, of praying we remember,
And at midnight's hour of harm,
We say softly for a charm.*
And we think that, in some pause of angels' song, God may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather,
And hold both within his right hand which is strong. "Our Father! If He heard us, He would surely
(For they call him good and mild) Answer, smiling down the steep world very purely,
Come and rest with me, my child.'
"He is speechless as a stone.
Who commands us to work on.
* A fact rendered pathetically historical by Mr. Horne's report of his commission. The name of the poet of "Orion" and "Cosmo de' Medici" has, however, a change of associations, and comes in time to remind me that we have some noble poetic heat of liter: ture still - however open to the reproach of being somewhat go in our humanity.-1844.