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

By The Rivulet (1871). VII. “The world was dark”

Thomas Toke Lynch (1818–1871)

THE WORLD was dark with care and woe,

With brawl and pleasure wild,

When in the midst, His love to show,

God set a child.

The sages frowned, their beards they shook,

For pride their heart beguiled;

They said, each looking on his book,

“We want no child.”

The merchants turned towards their scales,

Around their wealth lay piled;

Said they, “’Tis gold alone prevails;

We want no child.”

The soldiers rose in noisy sport,

Disdainfully they smiled,

And said, “Can babes the shield support?

We want no child.”

The merry sinners laughed or blushed,

Alas, and some reviled;

All cried, as to the dance they rushed,

“We want no child.”

The old, the afflicted, and the poor,

With voices harsh or mild,

Said, “Hope to us returns no more;

We want no child.”

And men of grave and moral word,

With consciences defiled,

Said, “Let the old truth still be heard;

We want no child.”

Then said the Lord, “O world of care

So blinded and beguiled,

Thou must become for thy repair

A holy child.

And unto thee a Son is born,

Thy second hope has smiled;

Thou mayst, though sin and trouble worn,

Be made a child.”