A First Series of Hymns and Songs/Sacred Songs/The Little Babe is dead
12. The Little Babe is dead.
(A dialogue between a mother and child.)
The little babe is dead, it lies
Its coffin small within,
And clos'd are both its pretty eyes,
And waxen white its skin.
Ah, where is now the thing that play'd
Like light around its face,
Which all its infant movements made
So full of life and grace?
And can this be the merry child
That was so fond of me,
Who never saw me but he smil'd
And clapp'd his hands in glee?
It seems, and yet it seems not him;
'Tis like him and 'tis not:
Oh, what has made his look so dim,
Or can I have forgot?
No, darling, thou hast not forgot;
Our own sweet babe we see:
It is both like him and 'tis not,
And yet indeed 'tis he.
The thing that flll'd his eyes with light,
And there divinely glow'd,
That thing it was the spirit bright,
And now it lives with God.
Then think how fair that soul must be
Which gives such grace to clay;
And think how too there glows in thee
The same celestial ray.
All beaming like a seraph bright,
It lives thy breast within,
And nought can quench that spirit's light
Except the breath of sin.
Oh, would'st thou then undimm'd maintain
The lustre of the soul,
Each evil thought thou must restrain,
Each sinful wish control.
And be it now thine anxious care,
As then thy joy 'twill be,
To give it back to God as fair
As when he gave it thee.