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As a Little Child

From the Rock Island Argus, April 9, 1914. By Henry Howland.

Oft through the dark my little one
    Comes stealing softly to my bed,
To clamber in and cuddle down
    And on my bosom lay his head;
I hear him whisper coaxingly:
    “Please let me sleep with you tonight,”
And as he nestles close to me
    His childish fears are put to flight.

Ah, if he knew how weak, how frail
    Am I in whom he puts his trust,
How blindly and how oft I fail,
    How oft my face is in the dust,
He would not rush to me when fear
    Comes with her sable wings outspread;
The faith he has when I am near
    Would cease to bring him to my bed.

Some day perchance they’ll bring him where
    I long have slept, from visions free;
And weeping, they may leave him there
    To lie serenely close to me.
Oh may I hear him, trusting, say
    As he is reaching upward then,
“Please, father, I have come to lay
    My head upon your breast again.”

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