Victor James Daley

Creeve Roe] (5 September 1858 – 29 December 1905 / Navan, County Armagh, Ireland

The Little People

WHO are these strange small folk,
These that come to our homes as kings,
Asking nor leave nor grace,
Bending our necks to their yoke,
Taking the highest place,
And mastery of all things?

Whence they come none may know,
But a wondrous land it must be;
Angels in exile they!
Here in this dull world below
Creatures of sinful clay
We feel near their purity.

Clearer their young eyes are
Than the dew in the cups of flowers
Gleaming, when shines at dawn,
Faintly, the morning’s one star—
Eyes whose still gaze, indrawn,
Sees things unseen by ours.

Deep in those orbs serene—
Little planets be-ringed and bright—
Mysteries marvellous lie:
Known unto us they might mean
Faith, without fear, to die,
All sure of the waiting light.

Dimpled their hands and small—
Would ye, therefore, their might contemn?
Seem they for play designed?
Fate, and the Future withal,
Weal, yea and Woe, of mankind,
Lie hid in the palms of them.

Tyrants, whose terrible names
Make men pale with affright intense,
Worshipping, kiss their feet:
Touch of their little hands tames
Fiercest of hearts that beat—
So mighty is Innocence.

These are the children dear,
From a country unknown of charts:
(Dim Land of Souls Unborn),
Rosy as morn they come here,
Filling with joy forlorn
Waste places in our hearts.
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