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  A Little Child Shall Lead Them  

 

Only a little scrap of blue
     Preserved with loving care,
But earth has not a brilliant hue
     To me more bright and fair.

Strong drink, like a raging demon,
     Laid on my heart his hand,
When my darling joined with others
     The Loyal Legion band.

But mystic angels called away
     My loved and precious child,
And o'er life's dark and stormy way
     Swept waves of anguish wild.

This badge of the Loyal Legion
     We placed upon her breast,
As she lay in her little coffin
     Taking her last sweet rest.

To wear that badge as a token
     She earnestly did crave,
So we laid it on her bosom
     To wear it in the grave.

Where sorrow would never reach her
     Nor harsh words smite her ear;
Nor her eyes in death dimmed slumber
     Would ever shed a tear.

"What means this badge?" said her father,
     Whom we had tried to save;
Who said, when we told her story,
     "Don't put it in the grave."

We took the badge from her bosom
     And laid it on a chair;
And men by drink deluded
     Knelt by that badge in prayer.

And vowed in that hour of sorrow
     From drink they would abstain;
And this little badge became the wedge
     Which broke their galling chain.

And lifted the gloomy shadows
     That overspread my life,
And flooding my home with gladness,
     Made me a happy wife.

And this is why this scrap of blue
     Is precious in my sight;
It changed my sad and gloomy home
     From darkness into light.

       - Frances E. W. Harper


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