Thomas Aird

The Churchyard: Song Of The Churchyard Children

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Our good Lord Christ on high
Has let us forth a space,
To see the moonlit place
Where our little bodies lie.
Back He will call us, at His dear command
We'll run again unto the happy land.

O'er each unblemished head
No thunder-cloud unsheaths its terrors red;
Mild touching gleams those beauteous fields invest,
Won from the kingdoms of perpetual rest.
Stony Enchantment there,
Nor Divination frights;
Nor hoary witch with her blue lights,
And caldron's swarming glare.

There are no muttered spells,
Envy, nor Clamour loud;
Nor Hatred, on whose head for ever dwells
A sullen cloud.
There is no fiend's dissembling,
Nor the deep-furrowed garment of trembling,
But the robes of lucid air.
Oh, all is good and fair!

Unto the Lamb we'll sing,
Who gives us each glad thing:
For Mercy sits with Him upon His throne;
For there His gentle keeping is revealed,
O'er each young head select a glory and a shield.
Wide be His praises known!

And in the end of days,
Our little heads He'll raise
Unto Himself, unto His bosom dear,
Far from the outcast fear
Of them, O wo! who make there beds in fire.
Sons shall we be of the celestial prime,
Breathing the air of Heaven's delicious clime,
Walking in white attire,
With God Himself sublime.
[The Children vanish.]


That song, could we but sing it!


List! Away,
We must not look upon the light of day!
How they shudder down to smoke
At the crowing of the cock,
And the fat absorbing ground
Drinks them up without a sound!

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Thomas Aird