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Bedtime Hour

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

‘Tis the children’s bedtime hour;
They are murmuring sleepy prayers,
While my thoughts go straying backward
Down the path of the vanished years;
And, evolved from their misty shadows,
One face and form I see:
A dear little boy, with serious look,
Saying his prayers at my knee.

With brown hands closely folded
And dark head bended low,
I hear again the murmur
That the childish lips o’erflow.
“Lead me not into any temptation,
From all evil deliver me,”
Was the nightly prayer of the little boy
Who said his prayers at my knee.

Ah me! with an aching heart beat,
I think how the years have flown
Since that time, and my firstborn
From his mother’s home is gone;
And to-night I pray: “‘Our Father,’
Wherever he may be,
Make him again the good little boy
Who said his prayers at my knee.”