Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Home: I. About Children
On the Death of an Infant
Dirk Smits (1702–1752)
From the Dutch by H. S. Van Dyk

A HOST of angels flying,
  Through cloudless skies impelled,
  Upon the earth beheld
A pearl of beauty lying,
  Worthy to glitter bright        5
  In heaven’s vast hall of light.
They saw, with glances tender,
  An infant newly born,
  O’er whom life’s earliest morn
Just cast its opening splendor;        10
  Virtue it could not know,
  Nor vice, nor joy, nor woe.
The blest angelic legion,
  Greeted its birth above,
  And came, with looks of love,        15
From heaven’s enchanting region;
  Bending their wingèd way
  To where the infant lay.
They spread their pinions o’er it,—
  That little pearl which shone        20
  With lustre all its own,—
And then on high they bore it,
  Where glory has its birth;—
  But left the shell on earth.

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