Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
The Children Band
By Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)
ALL holy influences dwell within
  The breast of Childhood: instincts fresh from God
  Inspire it, ere the heart beneath the rod
Of grief hath bled, or caught the plague of sin.
How mighty was that fervour which could win        5
  Its way to infant souls!—and was the sod
  Of Palestine by infant Croises trod?
Like Joseph went they forth, or Benjamin,
In all their touching beauty to redeem?
  And did their soft lips kiss the Sepulchre?        10
Alas! the lovely pageant as a dream
  Faded! They sank not through ignoble fear;
They felt not Moslem steel. By mountain, stream,
  In sands, in fens, they died—no mother near!

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