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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By II. “In Paradise Reposing”

Richard Frederick Littledale (1833–1890)

IN Paradise reposing

By Life’s eternal well,

The tender lambs of Jesus

In greenest pastures dwell.

Their palms and tiny crownlets,

Aglow with brightest gem,

Bedeck the baby Martyrs

Who died in Bethlehem.

With them the rose-wreathed army

Of children undefiled,

Who passed through mortal torments

For love of Christ the Child.

With them in peace unending,

With them in joyous mirth,

Are all the stainless infants

Which since have gone from earth.

The Angels, once their guardians,

Their fellows now in grace,

With them, in love adoring,

See God the Father’s Face.

The lullaby to hush them

In that eternal rest,

Is sweet angelic singing,

Their nurse God’s Mother blest:

For she who rocked the cradle

In Nazareth of old,

Now bendeth o’er the younglings

Within that happy fold.

O Jesu, loving Shepherd,

Who tenderly dost bear

The lambs in Thine own Bosom,

Bring us to join them there.