Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Sir Aubrey De Vere. 1788–1846
602. The Children Band
ALL holy influences dwell within 
The breast of Childhood: instincts fresh from God 
  Inspire it, ere the heart beneath the rod 
Of grief hath bled, or caught the plague of sin. 
How mighty was that fervour which could win         5
  Its way to infant souls!—and was the sod 
  Of Palestine by infant Croises trod? 
Like Joseph went they forth, or Benjamin, 
In all their touching beauty to redeem? 
  And did their soft lips kiss the Sepulchre?  10
Alas! the lovely pageant as a dream 
  Faded! They sank not through ignoble fear; 
They felt not Moslem steel. By mountain, stream, 
  In sands, in fens, they died—no mother near! 

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