Devotional Poetry for the Children online

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"_Make us beautiful within,
By Thy Spirit's holy light;
Guard us when our faith burns dim,
Father of all love and might._"


Published by the Book Association of Friends.


Electrotyped and Printed for the Association,
403 North Sixth street, above Callowhill, Philadelphia.


The Life-Clock, 5
God is Love, 6
Time, - Thanksgiving, 7
"Thou, God, seest Me," 8
The Beautiful Works of God, 9
Spiritual Blessings, - The Dove's Visit, 10
Teach Us to Pray, - Deeds of Kindness, 12
An Evening Song, 14
Be Kind to The Poor, 15
The Lesson of The Leaves, 16
The Spring-Bird's Lesson, 17
The Orphan's Hymn, - Morning, 18
Evening, 19
A Moment Too Late, 20
A Little Sonnet about Little Things, 21
Examination, 22
God is in His holy Temple, 23
Morning Glories, 24
How Beautiful the Setting Sun, 25
Summer Time, 26
Like Jesus, - I Have a Home, 27
God, 28
The Bird's Nest, 29
The Lark, - Effort, 30
The Sea Shell, 31
God is Good, - Despise not Simple Things, 32
The Violet, 33
Child's Talent, 34
The Stars are Coming, 35
The Flowers, 36
Little by Little, 37
Never, My Child, Forget to Pray, 38
The Child's Prayer, 38
A Childlike Spirit, 39
Live for Something, 41
The Beautiful, 42
Don't Kill the Birds, 43
Little Acts of Kindness, 44
The Blessings, 46
When Father Comes Home, 47
Harvest-Field of Time, 48
Prayer, - Reflections, 49
What is Heaven? 50
The Child's Monitor, 51
Give Us our Daily Bread, 52
True Rest, 54
One by One, 56
God Seen in His Works, 57
The Little Sunbeam, 58
Compassion, - I Will be Good to-day, 59
I'll Do what I Can, 60
Time to Arise, 61
Divine Guidance, - Industry, 62
"Prayer is the Soul's sincere Desire," 63
Angry Words, 63
The Request, 64



There is a little mystic clock,
No human eye hath seen,
That beateth on, - and beateth on, -
From morning until e'en.

And when the soul is wrapped in sleep,
All silent and alone,
It ticks and ticks the livelong night,
And never runneth down.

Oh! wondrous is that work of art,
Which knells the passing hour;
But art ne'er formed, nor mind conceived,
The life-clock's magic power.

Not set in gold, nor decked with gems,
By wealth and pride possessed;
But rich or poor, or high or low,
Each bears it in his breast.

Such is the clock that measures life, -
Of flesh and spirit blended, -
And thus 't will run within the breast,
Till that strange life is ended.


Lo! the heavens are breaking,
Pure and bright above;
Light and life awaking,
Murmur, "God is love."

Music now is ringing,
Through the leafy grove,
Feathered songsters, singing,
Warble, "God is love."

Wake, my heart, and springing,
Spread thy wings above;
Soaring still, and singing, -
Singing, "God is love."


A minute, - how soon it is flown!
And yet, how important it is!
God calls every moment His own, -
For all our existence is His:
And tho' we may waste many moments each day,
He notices each that we squander away.

We should not a minute despise,
Although it so quickly is o'er;
We know that it rapidly flies,
And therefore should prize it the more.
Another, indeed, may appear in its stead;
But that precious minute, for ever, is fled.

'Tis easy to squander our years
In idleness, folly, and strife;
But, oh! no repentance nor tears
Can bring back one moment of life.
Then wisely improve all the time as it goes,
And life will be happy, and peaceful the close.


There's not a leaf within the bower, -
There's not a bird upon the tree, -
There's not a dewdrop on the flower, -
But bears the impress, Lord, of Thee.

Thy power the varied leaf designed,
And gave the bird its thrilling tone;
Thy hand the dewdrops' tints combined,
Till like a diamond's blaze they shone.

Yes, dewdrops, leaves and buds, and all, -
The smallest, like the greatest things, -
The sea's vast space, the earth's wide ball,
Alike proclaim Thee, King of kings!

But man alone, to bounteous Heaven,
Thanksgiving's conscious strains can raise:
To favored man, alone, 'tis given,
To join the angelic choir in praise.


Thine eye is on me always,
Thou knowest the way I take;
Thou seest me when I'm sleeping,
Thou seest me when I wake.

Thine arm is round about me,
Thy hand is underneath;
Thy love will still preserve me,
If I Thy laws do keep.

Thou art my present helper, -
Be Thou my daily guide;
Then I'll be safe for ever,
Whatever may betide.

Oh! help me, dearest Father,
To walk in wisdom's way,
That I, Thy loving child, may be
Through every future day,
And, by my loving actions, prove
That He who guardeth me is Love.


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, -
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their shining wings.

The tall trees in the green wood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes, by the water,
We gather every day, -

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips, that we may tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who doeth all things well.


Almighty Father! Thou hast many blessings
In store for every loving child of Thine;
For this I pray, - Let me, Thy grace possessing,
Seek to be guided by Thy will divine.

Not for earth's treasures, - for her joys the dearest, -
Would I my supplications raise to Thee;
Not for the hopes that to my heart are nearest,
But only that I give that heart to Thee.

I pray that Thou wouldst guide and guard me ever;
Cleanse, by Thy power, from every stain of sin;
I will Thy blessing ask on each endeavor,
And thus Thy promised peace my soul shall win.


I knew a little, sickly child,
The long, long summer's day,
When all the world was green and bright,
Alone in bed to lay;
There used to come a little dove
Before his window small,
And sing to him with her sweet voice,
Out of the fir-tree tall.

And when the sick child better grew,
And he could creep along,
Close to that window he would come,
And listen to her song.
He was so gentle in his speech,
And quiet at his play,
He would not, for the world, have made,
That sweet bird fly away.

There is a Holy Dove that sings
To every listening child, -
That whispers to his little heart
A song more sweet and mild.
It is the Spirit of our God
That speaks to him within;
That leads him on to all things good,
And holds him back from sin.

And he must hear that "still, small voice,"
Nor tempt it to depart, -
The Spirit, great and wonderful,
That whispers in his heart.
He must be pure, and good, and true;
Must strive, and watch, and pray;
For unresisted sin, at last,
May drive that Dove away.


Teach us to pray
Oh, Father! we look up to Thee,
And this our one request shall be,
Teach us to pray.

Teach us to pray.
A form of words will not suffice, -
The heart must bring its sacrifice:
Teach us to pray.

Teach us to pray.
To whom shall we, Thy children, turn?
Teach Thou the lesson we would learn:
Teach us to pray.

Teach us to pray.
To Thee, alone, our hearts look up:
Prayer is our only door of hope;
Teach us to pray.


Suppose the little cowslip
Should hang its tiny cup,
And say, "I'm such a little flower,
I'd better not grow up."
How many a weary traveler
Would miss the fragrant smell?
How many a little child would grieve
To miss it from the dell!

Suppose the glistening dew-drop,
Upon the grass, should say,
"What can a little dew-drop do?
I'd better roll away."
The blade on which it rested,
Before the day was done,
Without a drop to moisten it,
Would wither in the sun.

Suppose the little breezes
Upon a summer's day,
Should think themselves too small to cool
The traveler on his way:
Who would not miss the smallest
And softest ones that blow,
And think they made a great mistake
If they were talking so?

How many deeds of kindness
A little child may do,
Although it has so little strength,
And little wisdom, too.
It wants a loving spirit,
Much more than strength, to prove,
How many things a child may do
For others by his love.


How radiant the evening skies!
Broad wing of blue in heaven unfurled,
God watching with unwearied eyes
The welfare of a sleeping world.

He rolls the sun to its decline,
And speeds it on to realms afar,
To let the modest glowworm shine,
And men behold the evening star.

He lights the wild flower in the wood,
He rocks the sparrow in her nest,
He guides the angels on their road,
That come to guard us while we rest

When blows the bee his tiny horn,
To wake the sisterhood of flowers,
He kindles with His smile the morn,
To bless with light the winged hours.

O God! look down with loving eyes
Upon Thy children slumbering here,
Beneath this tent of starry skies,
For heaven is nigh, and Thou art near.


Turn not from him, who asks of thee
A portion of thy store;
Poor though in earthly goods thou be,
Thou yet canst give, - what's more,

The balm of comfort thou canst pour
Into his grieving mind,
Who oft is turned from wealth's proud door,
With many a word unkind.

Does any from the false world find
Naught but reproach and scorn?
Does any, stung by words unkind,
Wish that he ne'er was born?

Do thou raise up his drooping heart,
Restore his wounded mind;
Though naught of wealth thou canst impart,
Yet still thou mayest be kind.

And oft again thy words shall wing
Backward their course to thee,
And in thy breast will prove a spring
Of pure felicity.


How do the leaves grow,
In spring, upon their stems?
Oh! the sap swells up with a drop for all,
And that is life to them.

What do the leaves do
Through the long summer hours,
They make a home for the wandering birds,
And shelter the wild flowers.

How do the leaves fade
Beneath the autumn blast?
Oh! they fairer grow before they die,
Their brightest is their last.

We, too, are like leaves,
O children! weak and small;
God knows each leaf of the forest shade:
He knows us, each and all.

Never a leaf falls
Until its part is done;
God gives us grace, like sap, and then
Some work to every one.

We, too, must grow old,
Beneath the autumn sky;
But lovelier and brighter our lives may grow,
Like leaves before they die.

Brighter with kind deeds,
With love to others given;
Till the leaf falls off from the autumn tree,
And the spirit is in heaven.


Thou'rt up betimes, my little bird,
And out this morning early,
For still the tender bud is closed,
And still the grass is pearly.

Why rise so soon, thou little bird,
Thy soft, warm nest forsaking?
To brave the dull, cold morning sky,
While day is scarcely breaking?

Ah! thou art wise, thou little bird,
For fast the hours are flying;
And this young day, but dawning now,
Will soon, alas! be dying.

I'll learn of thee, thou little bird,
And slothful habits scorning,
No longer sleep youth's dawn away,
Nor waste life's precious morning.


Father, - an orphan's prayer receive,
And listen to my plaintive cry:
Thou only canst my wants relieve,
Who art my Father in the sky.

I have no father here below,
No mother kind to wipe my tears, -
These tender names I never know,
To soothe my grief and quell my fears.

But Thou wilt be my parent, - nigh
In every hour of deep distress,
And listen to an orphan's sigh,
And soothe the anguish of my breast.

For Thou hast promised all I need,
More than a father's, mother's care:
Thou wilt the hungry orphan feed,
And always listen to my prayer.


Dear Lord, another day has come,
And through the hours of night,
In a good bed and quiet home
I've slept till morning light.

Then let me give Thee thanks and praise,
For Thou art very good;
Oh, teach my little heart to raise
The prayer that children should.

Keep me this day from faults and sin,
And make me good and mild;
Thy Holy Spirit place within,
Grant grace unto a child.

Help me obey my parents dear,
For they are very kind;
And when the hour of rest draws near,
Another prayer I'll find.


The day is gone, - the silent night
Invites me to my peaceful bed;
But, Lord, I know that it is right
To thank Thee, ere I rest my head.

For my good meals and pleasant hours,
That I have had this present day,
Let me exert my infant powers
To praise Thee, nor forget to pray.

Thou art most good. I can't tell all
That Thou hast ever done for me;
My Shepherd, now on Thee I call,
From dangers still preserve me free.

If I've been naughty on this day,
Oh! make me sorry for my fault;
Do Thou forgive, and teach the way
To follow Jesus as I ought.

And now I'll lay me down to rest,
Myself, - my friends, - all safely keep;
May Thy great name be ever blest,
Both when we wake, and when we sleep.


A moment too late, my beautiful bird, -
A moment too late are you now,
The wind has your soft, downy nest disturbed, -
The nest that you hung on the bough.
A moment too late, - that string in your bill
Would have fastened it firmly and strong;
But see, there it goes rolling over the hill!
Oh! you tarried a moment too long.

A moment too late, - too late, busy bee,
The honey has dropped from the flower;
No use to creep under the petals to see, -
It stood ready to drop for an hour.
A moment too late, - had you sped on your wing,
The honey would not have been gone;
But see what a very, - a very sad thing,
'Tis to tarry a moment too long.


The little, smoky vapors
Produce the drops of rain;
These little drops commingle,
And form the boundless main.

Then, drops compose the fountains;
And little grains of sand
Compose the mighty mountains,
That high above us stand.

The little atoms, it is said,
Compose the solid earth;
Such truths will show, if rightly read,
What little things are worth.

For, as the sea of drops is made,
So it is Heaven's plan,
That atoms should compose the globe,
And actions mark the man.

The little seconds soon pass by,
And leave our time the less;
And on these moments, as they fly,
Hang woe or happiness.

For, as the present hour is spent,
So must the future be;
Each action lives, in its effect,
Through all eternity.

The little sins and follies,
That lead the soul astray,
Leave stains, that tears of penitence,
May never wash away.

And little acts of charity,
And little deeds of love,
May make this world a paradise,
Like to that world above.


Before we close our eyes to-night,
Oh, let us each these questions ask!
Have we endeavored to do right,
Nor thought our duty a hard task?

Have we been gentle, lowly, meek,
And the small voice of conscience heard?
When passion tempted us to speak,
Have we repressed the angry word?

Have we with cheerful zeal obeyed
What our kind parents bade us do?
And not by word or action said
The thing that was not strictly true?

In hard temptation's troubled hour,
Oh! have we stopped to think and pray,
That God would please to give us power
To chase the naughty thought away?

Oh, Thou! who seest all my heart,
Do Thou forgive and love me still
And unto me new strength impart,
And make me love and do Thy will.


God is in His holy temple;
Thoughts of earth be silent now,
While with reverence we assemble,
And before His presence bow.
He is with us, now and ever,
While we call upon His name,
Aiding every good endeavor,
Guiding every upward aim.

God is in His holy temple, -
In the pure and humble mind;
In the reverent heart and simple;
In the soul from sense refined.
Then let every low emotion
Banished far and silent be;
And our hearts in pure devotion,
Lord, be temples worthy Thee.


They said, "don't plant them," mother; "they're so common and so poor;"
But of seeds I had no other, so I dropped them by the door;
And they soon were brightly growing, in the rich and teeming soil,
Stretching upward, upward, upward, to reward me for my toil.

They grew all o'er the casement, and they wreathed around the door,
All about the chamber windows, upward, - upward, ever more;
And each dawn, in glowing beauty, glistening with early dew,
Is the house all wreathed with splendor, every morning bright and new.

What, if they close at mid-day? 'tis because their work is done,
And they shut their crimson petals from the kisses of the sun;
Teaching every day their lesson to my weary, panting soul,
To be faithful in well doing, stretching upward for the goal,

Sending out the climbing tendrils, trusting God for strength and power,
To support, and aid, and comfort, in the trying day and hour.
Ne'er spurn the thing that's common, nor call homely flowers poor,
Each hath a holy mission, like my Glory o'er the door.


How beautiful the setting sun!
The clouds, how bright and gay!
The stars, appearing one by one,
How beautiful are they!

And when the moon climbs up the sky,
And sheds her gentle light,
And hangs her crystal lamp on high,
How beautiful is night!

And can it be, that I'm possessed
Of something brighter far?
Glows there a light within this breast,
Out-shining every star?

Yes, should the sun and stars turn pale,
The mountains melt away,
This flame within shall never fail,
But live in endless day.


I love to hear the little birds
That carol on the trees;
I love the gentle, murmuring stream;
I love the evening breeze.

I love to hear the busy hum
Of honey-making bee,
And learn a lesson, - hard to learn, -
Of patient industry.

I love to think of Him who made
Those pleasant things for me,
Who gave me life, and health, and strength,
And eyes, that I might see.

The child who raises, morn and eve,
In prayer its tiny voice
Who grieves whene'er its parents grieve,
And joys when they rejoice, -

In whose bright eyes young genius glows,
Whose heart, without a blot,
Is fresh and pure as summer's rose, -
That child's a sunny spot.


I want to be like Jesus,
So lowly and so meek;
For no one marked an angry word,
Whoever heard him speak.

I want to be like Jesus,
So frequently in prayer;
Alone upon the mountain top,
He met his Father there.

I want to be like Jesus:
I never, never find,
That he, though persecuted, was
To any one unkind.

I want to be like Jesus,
Engaged in doing good;
So that of me it may be said,
I have done what I could.


I have a home in which to live,
A bed to rest upon,
Good food to eat, and fire to warm,
And raiment to put on.

Kind parents, full of gentle love,
Brothers and sisters, too,
With many faithful, loving friends,
Who teach me what to do.

How many little children have
No food, nor clothes to wear,
No house, nor home, nor parents kind,
To guide them by their care.

For all Thy bounty, O my God,
May I be grateful found,
And ever show my love to Thee,
By loving all around.


God! - What a great and holy name!
Oh! who can speak His worth?
By saints in heaven He is adored,
Obeyed by men on earth
And yet a little child may bend
And say: "My Father and my Friend."

The glorious sun, which blazes high,
The moon, more pale and dim,
And all the stars which fill the sky,
Are made and ruled by Him:
And yet a child may ask His care,
And call upon His name in prayer.

And this large world of ours below,
The waters and the land,
And all the trees and flowers that grow,
Were fashioned by His hand;
Yes, - and He forms our infant race,
And even I may seek His face.


There's a nest in the hedge-row,
Half bid by the leaves,
And the sprays, white with blossom,
Bend o'er it like eaves.

God gives birds their lodging,
He gives them their food,
And they trust He will give them
Whatever is good.

Ah! when our rich blessings,
My child, we forget;
When for some little trouble
We murmur and fret;

Hear sweet voices singing
In hedges and trees:
Shall we be less thankful,
Less trustful than these?


Ah! little lark, I see you there,
So very, very high;

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Online LibraryVariousDevotional Poetry for the Children → online text (page 1 of 3)