1 Gracious Lord, our children see,
By thy mercy we are free;
But, shall these alas! remain
Subjects still of Satan's reign?
Israel's young ones, when of old
Pharaoh threatened to withhold;
Then thy messenger said, "No;
Let the children also go."
2 When the angel of the Lord
Drawing forth his dreadful sword,
Slew with an avenging hand,
All the first-born of the land;
Then thy people's doors he passed,
Where the bloody sign was placed;
Hear us now upon our knees,
Plead the blood of Christ for these!
3 Lord we tremble for we know
How the fierce malicious foe,
Wheeling round his watchful flight,
Keeps them ever in his sight:
Spread thy pinions King of kings!
Hide them safe beneath thy wings;
Lest the ravenous birds of prey
Stoop, and bear the brood away.
Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803
Gracious Lord, our children see. W. Cowper. [Prayer on behalf of Children.] First published in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Book ii, No. 12, in 3 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled “A Prayer for Children," and signed "C." Its use in Great Britain is somewhat limited, but in America it is found in numerous collections. The reading of stanza i., “Gracious God, our children see," dates from Bickersteth's Christian Psalmody, 1833.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)