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Thy Mexican pistoles,
That Antwerp monks may sing a mass
For thy poor spearmen's souls!
Ho! gallant nobles of the League,
Look that your arms be bright!
Ho! burghers of Saint Genevieve,

Keep watch and ward to-night!
For our God hath crushed thy tyrant,

Our God hath raised the slave,
And mocked the counsel of the wise
And the valour of the brave.
Then glory to his holy name

From whom all glories are;
And glory to our sovereign lord,
King Henry of Navarre!

Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning.


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 lambs are bleating in the meadows,


The young birds are chirping in the nest, young fawns are playing in the shadows, The young flowers are blowing from the west; But 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.

Do you question the young children in their sorrow, Why their tears are falling so?

The old man may weep for his to-morrow

Which is lost in long ago.

The old tree is leafless in the forest,

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;


For the man's grief abhorrent draws and presses
Down the cheeks of infancy.
"Your old earth," they say,
is very dreary;"
"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 old why they weep, and not the children,
For the outside earth is cold,

And we young ones stand without, in our bewild'ring, And the graves are for the old."

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"True," say the young children,

That we die before our time! Little Alice died last year, the Like a snow-ball, in the rime.

We looked into the pit prepared to take her,

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!'


you listen by that grave in sun and shower, With your ear down, little Alice never cries;

Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her,

For the smile has time for growing in her eyes. For merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in

The shroud, by the kirk-chime!

It is good when it happens," say the children, "That we die before our time!"

Alas, the young children! they are seeking
Death in life, as best to have!

They are binding up 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!
Pluck your handfuls of the meadow cowslips pretty,

Laugh aloud to feel your fingers let them through! But they answer, "Are your cowslips of the meadows Like the weeds anear the mine ?1

Leave us quiet in the dark of our coal-shadows,
From your pleasures fair and fine.


"For oh!" say the children, we are weary,
And we cannot run or leap:

If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
To drop down in them and sleep.

A commissioner mentions the fact of weeds being thus confounded with the idea of flowers.

Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping;

We fall on our face, trying to go;
And underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,
The reddest flowers would look as pale as snow;

For all day, we drag our burden tiring,
Through the coal-dark underground,
Or, 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, and our heads 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 droopeth down the wall; Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling

Are all turning all the day, and we with all! And all day the iron wheels are droning,

And sometimes we could pray—

'O ye wheels (breaking out in a mad moaning), Stop! be silent for to-day!"

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Ay, be silent! let them hear each other breathing,
For a moment, mouth to mouth;

Let them touch each other's hands, in a fresh wreathing
Of their tender human youth;

Let them feel that this cold metallic motion

Is not all the life God fashions or reveals;

Let them prove their inward souls against the notion

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 God is calling sunward, Spin on blindly in the dark.

Now tell the poor young children, O my brothers!
To look up to Him and pray,

So the blessed One who blesseth all the others,

Will bless them another day.

They answer: "Who is God that He should hear us,
While the rushing of the iron wheels is stirred?
When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us
Pass unhearing—at least, answer not a word;
And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding)
Strangers speaking at the door:

Is it likely God, with angels singing round Him,
Hears our weeping any more?

"Two words, indeed, of praying we remember; And at midnight's hour of harm,

"Our Father!' looking upward in the chamber, We say softly, for a charm.1

We know no other words except 'Our Father !'

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.'

The report of the commissioners presents repeated instances of children whose religious devotion is confined to the repetition of the first two words of the Lord's Prayer.

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