The Children of the Poor

Take heed of this small child of earth;
He is great; he hath in him God most high.
Children before their fleshly birth
Are lights above in the blue sky.

In our light, bitter world of wrong
They come; God give us them awhile.
His speech is in their stammering tongue,
And forgiveness in their smile.

Their sweet light rests upon our eyes.
Alas, their right to joy is plain.
If they are hungry, Paradise
Weeps, and, if cold, Heaven thrills with pain.

The want that saps their sinless flower
Speaks judgment on sin’s ministers.
Man holds an angel in his power.
Ah, deep in Heaven what thunders stirs,

WhenGod seeks out these things
Whom in the shadow where we sleep
He sends us clothed about with wings,
And finds them ragged babes that weep!

Victor Hugo


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