HIS little dimpled hands were crossed,

His face looked saintly fair, 

With upturned eyes of tender blue,

And waves of golden hair, 

And by his dainty couch he knelt

To lisp his evening prayer.

"Dear Lord," he said, "I want to know

If you will bless tonight 

All naughty, wild, and wicked boys 

The boys who swear and fight? 

Please, too, to help those dreadful ones

Who steal, and run away, 

And never, never do what's right

Through all the blessed day."

Amazed his mother heard the plea,

And wonderingly she said, 

"Why, what, my darling child, has put

Such fancies in your head! 

Why don't you pray for brother Charles

And little cousin Fred?"

"Why should I pray for them, mamma?

They're good and happy, too; 

The Lord has done enough for them;

I want him now to do 

Something for those poor, friendless chaps

Who must be cross and bad, 

Because they've nothing in the world

To make them good or glad."

Oh, wisdom of the child's pure heart,

Oh, sweet and loving creed, 

That gives such tender, pitying thought

To souls in direst need! 

Could schoolmen, with their varied lore,

A larger lesson teach* 

Or churchmen, from their sacred desk,

Diviner doctrine preach!