The children begged, I know not why,
The story of the cross.
And must I tell to such as these
The pain of earthly anguishes,
The sorrow and the loss?
Such little hands that cross to bear,
Such little feet to follow where
The Son of Man had moved!
O Son of Man, so greatly loved,
How may I lead them gently there
And, witness to thy word?
And, on the mount of Calvary,
How lift them up that they may see
The message of their Lord?
Yet hand in hand we climb the way
To see what wondrous things we may
And as we reach the height, we pray.
And lo! against the setting sun
No thief whose earthly life has run,
No form so silent and so still,
No heart-torn mother, anguishing;
But fair before their opening eyes,
Newly descended from the skies
The holy city, Zion, lies,
Beneath the darkening hill.