THE IRISH CHILD’S CRY
OH, children of England beyond the blue sea,
Your poor little brothers and sisters are we;
‘Tis not much affection or pity we find,
But we hear you are loving and gentle and kind;
So will you not listen a minute or two,
While we tell you a tale that is all of it true?
We live in a cabin, dark, smoky and poor;
At night we lie down on the hard dirty floor;
Our clothes are oft tattered, and shoes we have none;
Our food we must beg, as we always have done;
So cold, and so hungry, and wretched are we,
It would make you quite sad if you only could see.
There’s no one to teach us poor children to read;
There’s no one to help us, and no one to lead;
There’s no one at all that will tell us the way
To be happy or safe, or teach us to pray;
To the bright place above us we all want to go,
But we cannot for how to get there we don’t know.
They tell us the Virgin will hear if we call,
But sure in one minute she can’t hear us all.
And the saints are too busy in heaven we hear;
Then often the priests make us tremble with fear
At the fire of purgatory, which, as they tell,
Is almost as dreadful as going to hell.
Oh, will you not help us, and send us a ray
Of the light of the gospel, to brighten our way?
Oh, will you not tell us the beautiful story
Of Jesus, who came from His dwelling of glory
To save little children, and not only you,
But even the poor ragged Irish ones too?
–Frances Ridley Havergal from BEN BRIGHTBOOTS