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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel 1834–94

“That They All May Be One”

WHENE’ER there comes a little child,

My darling comes with him;

Whene’er I hear a birdie wild

Who sings his merry whim,

Mine sings with him:

If a low strain of music sails

Among melodious hills and dales,

When a white lamb or kitten leaps,

Or star, or vernal flower peeps,

When rainbow dews are pulsing joy,

Or sunny waves, or leaflets toy,

Then he who sleeps

Softly wakes within my heart;

With a kiss from him I start;

He lays his head upon my breast,

Tho’ I may not see my guest,

Dear bosom-guest!

In all that ’s pure and fair and good,

I feel the spring-time of thy blood,

Hear thy whisper’d accents flow

To lighten woe,

Feel them blend,

Although I fail to comprehend.

And if one woundeth with harsh word,

Or deed, a child, or beast, or bird,

It seems to strike weak Innocence

Through him, who hath for his defence

Thunder of the All-loving Sire,

And mine, to whom He gave the fire.