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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
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Innocence

by L.H.A.T.
Volume 2, no. 2, 1891/92, pg. 420-421


I.

Innocence has no problem
For him who thinks his soul a castle, fed
From without at his will; a keep, whence brings he
Evil or good, his own; and where he is
Alone with himself, impregnable: as he,
Nor helped, nor let, doth make or mar himself,
So is he innocent, unmade, unmarr'd,
Ere habit of false thinking or misdeed
Hath fitted to his shape. But the poor man,
The hunted soul,--who has no innermost,
But when he comes, lo, Sin is sitting there!
Who hates and yet inclines, and, desperate,
Cleaveth to Grace to save him from the thing --
Is it himself? that daunts him; nor hath where
T' abide; but when of tears and crying brought
Into the place of peace where is the King,
He, thinking to remain, doth let him out
To dwell at ease, sudden he findeth him
In outer darkness, under other rule;
Then, painful winneth yet again to where
He was before, but not t' abide; filling
Thus ever a vessel bottomless!-- he,
Poor man, looks on the face of a little child
With awful wonder, as on a mystery,
The deepest and most gracious God doth keep!

II.

In the kingdom are the children;
You may read it in their eyes;
All the freedom of the kingdom
In their careless humour lies.

Very winsome are the children,
Yet, what merit in their grace?
Small the pains they take for goodness,
Hardly know they Duty's face.

Frail and faulty are the children,
Yet well pleasing to their King;
Little thought take they to serve Him,
Yet, the chosen offering bring.

Ours the weary, long endeavour,
Theirs the happy entering in;
Ours to strive, and wait, and labour,
Theirs to joy before the King.

Except ye be as the children,
Have ye in my realms no place;--
Christ, how meekly would we ponder
The glad secret of their grace!

L.H.A.T.


Typed by Pamela Hicks, Feb 2013