ALL silent is the room,
There is no stir of breath,
Save mine, as in the gloom
I sit alone with Death.
Short life it had, the sweet,
Small babe here lying dead,
With tapers at its feet
And tapers at its head.

Dear little hands, too frail
Their grasp on life to hold;
Dear little mouth so pale,
So solemn, and so cold;

Small feet that nevermore
About the house shall run;
Thy little life is o’er!
Thy little journey done!

Sweet infant, dead too soon,
Thou shalt no more behold
The face of sun or moon,
Or starlight clear and cold;

Nor know, where thou art gone,
The mournfulness and mirth
We know who dwell upon
This sad, glad, mad, old earth.

The foolish hopes and fond
That cheat us to the last
Thou shalt not feel; beyond
All these things thou hast passed.

The struggles that upraise
The soul by slow degrees
To God, through weary days—
Thou hast no part in these.

And at thy childish play
Shall we, O little one,
No more behold thee? Nay,
No more beneath the sun.

Death’s sword may well be bared
’Gainst those grown old in strife,
But, ah! it might have spared
Thy little unlived life.

Why talk as in despair?
Just God, whose rod I kiss,
Did not make thee so fair
To end thy life at this.

There is some pleasant shore—
Far from His Heaven of Pride,
Where those strong souls who bore
His Cross in bliss abide—

Some place where feeble things,
For Life’s long war too weak,
Young birds with unfledged wings,
Buds nipped by storm-winds bleak,

Young lambs left all forlorn
Beneath a bitter sky,
Meek souls to sorrow born,
Find refuge when they die.

There day is one long dawn,
And from the cups of flowers
Light dew-filled clouds updrawn
Rain soft and perfumed showers.

Child Jesus walketh there
Amidst child-angel bands,
With smiling lips, and fair
White roses in His hands.

I kiss thee on the brow,
I kiss thee on the eyes—
Farewell! Thy home is now
The Children’s Paradise.

More verses by Victor James Daley