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Down blossoming ways, upon the happy star
Where all young things of all Creation are--
Small winds and rainbows and the thoughts of flowers,
The unborn children laughed away the hours.

 

And like an aureole about each head
Hovered the shining prayers a mother said;
And like a radiant garment, pearl-enwrought,
About each form was wrapt a mother's thought.

 

Lovely and loved, the unborn children played,
With tenderness enfolded and arrayed--
Sported with stars upon the flowery sod,
And prattled, clinging round the knees of God.

 

But as they played one, listening, turned his face
Earthward, and saddened for a little space:
"Father, I hear their wistful voices cry;
Lonely and lost, I hear their feet go by--

 

"Their little homeless feet that find no rest:
For them no haven of a mother's breast.
Their sad eyes plead, their fluttering hands implore
In vain, for ever and for evermore.

 

"Somewhere for us a mother dreams and waits,
But they are shut for aye outside the gates--
The gates of Birth; for us a mother prays,
But they go desolate through all the days.

 

"Father, look down! Upon a suffering star
Their fathers have been slain, been slain in War....
I hear them wail, bereav├Ęd and forlorn--
The little children who can ne'er be born."