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Children's Troubles.

1.

THE CROSS LAID ON INFANTS.

“ And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus."

WELL

may

I brook the lash of scorn or woe
On mine own head to fall :
An evil mark is on me : well I know

I have deserved it all.

But these my tender sheep, What have they sown, such ill to reap ? Why should a new-born babe the watch of sorrow

keep ?”

Stay thee, sad heart, or ere thou breathe thy plaint,

And still thee, murmuring tongue,
And mark Who climbs the hill, so meek, so faint,

Whose brows with anguish wrung

On the rough way drop blood ; How rushing round Him like a flood, They drag Him, fallen beneath the accursed and

galling wood.

Nor Him alone. They seize upon his way,

Early that fearful morn,
One hastening Zion-ward, and on him lay

Part of the pain and scorn,

Part of the Cross : who knows Which in his secret heart he chose, The persecutors' peace, or the meek Saviour's woes ?

Bowed he with grudging mind the yoke to bear,

Or was the bitter sweet
For Jesus' sake? Lo, in the silent air

On unseen pinions fleet

The hosts of scorn and love : With the sad train they onward move :Owns he the raven's wing, or the soft gliding Dove ?

O surely, when the healing Rood he felt,

The sacrificial fire
Of Love redeeming did his spirit melt,

And with true heart's desire

He set where JESUS trode His steps along the mountain road, Still learning more and more of His sweet awful load.

Thou leanest o’er thine infant's couch of pain :

It breaks thine heart, to see
The wan glazed eye, the wasted arm, that fain

Would reach and cling to thee.

Yet is there quiet rest Prepared upon the Saviour's breast For babes unconscious borne on Calvary to be blest.

Nor to the darlings of thine aching heart,

Nor to thine own weak soul,
Grudge thou the good Cyrenian's patient part,

The Cross that maketh whole

Met unawares, and laid Upon the unresisting head, The tottering feet upon

the way

of sorrow led.

What if at times the playful hand, though weak,

From the safe bosom part
The nursing Father's awful crown to seek,

And find it thorns, and start

With grieved and wondering call ? Who but would joy, one drop should fall Out of his own dull veins, for Him who spared us all ?

2.

TEARS RESTRAINED.

Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men."

66 TEARS are of Nature's best, they say ;
An April dry makes cheerless May :

Eyes that with answering glow
Meet eager joy, I love not well
That they should gaze immoveable

On sights of fear and woe.”

“Nay, soft and wavering shows the heart
Whence the life-drops so lightly start,

And harsher by and by
Will prove, I ween, the withering hour
Of selfish care, for each brief shower

That hurries down our sky."

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