While yet the youthful spirit bears
The image of its God within,
And uneffaced that beauty wears,
Which may too soon be stained by sin;
Then is the time for faith and love
To take in charge their precious care,—
Teach the young heart to look above,
Teach the young lips to speak in prayer.
The world will come with care and crime,
And tempt too oft that heart astray;
Still the seed sown in early time
Shall not be wholly cast away.
The infant prayer, the infant hymn,
Within the darkened soul will rise,
When age’s weary eye is dim,
And the grave’s shadow round us lies.
The infant hymn is heard again,
The infant prayer is breathed once more;
Reclasping thus the broken chain,
We turn to all we loved before.