In the Kingdom are the children;
You may read it in their eyes;
All the freedom of the Kingdom
In their careless humour lies.
Very winsome are the children,
Say, whence comes it, their sweet grace?
Small the pains they take for goodness,
Scarcely know they Duty’s face.
Frail and faulty little lieges,
Yet well-pleasing to their King:
Scanty thought they take to serve Him;
Yet the chosen Offering bring;
Ours, the weary long endeavour;
Theirs, the happy entering in:
Ours, to strive and wait and labour;
Theirs, to joy before the King!
“Except ye be as the children,
Have ye in my courts no place:”
Lord, how meekly would we ponder
The glad secret of their grace!
Not in holy painful living;
Not in tears nor suppliant prayers;
Not in white days free from sinning,
No such sanctity is theirs.
What do they to take the Kingdom?
Only this leave they undone
Suffering Christ the King within them,
They in nought invade His throne:
On the children’s brows no witness
That themselves do fill their thought;
In the children’s hearts no strivings
That to them be honour brought.
Therefore finds the King an entrance;
Freely goes He out and in;
Sheds the gladness of His presence;
Doth for babes great victories win!
Thank you to Ambleside Online.