For the Children

COME stand by my knee, little children,
Too weary for laughter or song;
The sports of the daylight are over,
And evening is creeping along;
The snow-fields are white in the moonlight,
The winds of the winter are chill,
But under the sheltering roof-tree
The fire shineth ruddy and still.

You sit by the fire, little children,
Your cheeks are ruddy and warm;
But out in the cold of the winter
Is many a shivering form.
There are mothers that wander for shelter,
And babes that are pining for bread;
Oh, thank the dear Lord, little children,
From whose tender hand you are fed.
Come look in my eyes, little children,
And tell me, through all the long day,
Have you thought of the Father above us,
Who guarded from evil our way?
He heareth the cry of the sparrow,
And careth for great and for small;
In life and in death, little children,
His love is the truest of all.
Now come to your rest, little children,
And over your innocent sleep,
Unseen by your vision, the angels
Their watch through the darkness shall keep;
Then pray that the Shepherd who guideth
The lambs that He loveth so well
May lead you, in life’s rosy morning,
Beside the still waters to dwell.