O, say not, think not, heavenly notes
To childish ears are vain,—
That the young mind at random floats,
And cannot reach the strain.
Was not our Lord a little child,
Taught by degrees to pray,
By father dear and mother mild
Instructed day by day?
And loved he not of heaven to talk
With children in his sight,
To meet them in his daily walk,
And to his arms invite?
And though some tones be weak and low,
What are all prayers beneath,
But cries of babes, that cannot know
Half the deep thought they breathe?
In his own words we Christ adore;
But angels, as we speak,
Higher above our meaning soar
Than we o’er children weak.
And yet his words mean more than they,
And yet he owns their praise;
O, think not that he turns away
From infants’ simple lays!