The Poet's Love For The Children

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Kindly and warm and tender,
He nestled each childish palm
So close in his own that his touch was a prayer
And his speech a blessed psalm.

He has turned from the marvelous pages
Of many an alien tome -
Haply come down from Olivet,
Or out from the gates of Rome -

Set sail o'er the seas between him
And each little beckoning hand
That fluttered about in the meadows
And groves of his native land, -

Fluttered and flashed on his vision
As, in the glimmering light
Of the orchard-lands of childhood,
The blossoms of pink and white.

And there have been sobs in his bosom,
As out on the shores he stept,
And many a little welcomer
Has wondered why he wept. -

That was because, O children,
Ye might not always be
The same that the Savior's arms were wound
About, in Galilee.

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