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Grief held me silent in my seat,
I neither moved nor smiled:
Joy held her silent at my feet,
My little lily-child.

She raised her face; she seemed to feel
That she was left outside;
She said one word with childish zeal
That would not be denied.

Twice more my name, with infant grace;
Sole word her lips could mould!
Her face was pulling at my face--
She was but ten months old.

I know not what were my replies--
I thought: dost Thou, O God,
Need ever thy poor children's eyes,
To ease thee of thy load?

They find not Thee in evil case,
But, raised in sorrow wild,
Bring down from visiting thy face
The calmness of a child.

Thou art the depth of Heaven above--
The springing well in her;
Not Father only in thy love,
But daily minister.

And this is how the comfort slid
From her to me the while,--
It was thy present face that did
Smile on me from her smile.

George MacDonald