A Little Child Shall Lead Them
Frances E. W. Harper

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.

*The Temperance Band.

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