Project Canterbury

Christian Ballads

By A. Cleveland Coxe, D.D.

New York: D. Appleton, 1865.



OH, if there be a sight, on earth,
  That makes good angels smile,
'Tis when a soul of mortal birth
  Is washed from mortal guile.


When some repentant child of Eve's,
  In age, is born anew:
Or when, on life's first buds and leaves,
  Falls the baptismal dew.


But all the same! The soul that, in
  That laver undefiled,
Is truly washed from wrath and sin,
  Must be a little child.


Children alone that grace may claim,
  Whether, to babes, be given,
Or to the childlike heart, the name
  Of all the sons of Heaven.


See, then, the font, the church's door,
  The group with gladsome look,
The waters, and the priest to pour,
  The sponsors, and the book!


What light is on all faces, now,
  As low they bend to pray!
How kindly on the grandsire's brow
  Each furrow smooths away!


How fond the pale young mother's eye
  Lights up, with tearful charm,
To see her babe enfolded lie
  Upon the surpliced arm!


And he, of innocence, that wears
  That sign and spotless vest,
How Shepherd-like! Like Him that bears
  The lambkin on His breast.


But hark! the tiny Christian's name!
  Hush! 'Tis the Mystic Trine!
The Water and the SPIRIT came,
  And, there, is life divine.


The Cross is signed--mysterious seal
  Of death our life that won:
And CHRIST'S dear spouse, for woe or weal,
  Hath borne her Lord a son.


For woe or weal! The grafted shoot,
  Alas! may fade and die;
Though long the fatness of the Root
  This shower of grace supply.


But, JESU! take Thy child from earth
  Ere sense and guile begin,
If, only so, this second birth
  May 'scape the death of sin.

Project Canterbury