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And the little children gambolled—their faces purely raised,
Just for a wondering1 moment as the huge bombs whirled and blazed !
Then turning with silv'ry laughter to the sports which children love,
Thrice mailed in the sweet instinctive thought that the good God watched above.*
Yet the hailing bolts fell faster from scores of flame-clad
ships, And above us, denser, darker, grew the conflict's wide
eclipse, 'Till a solid cloud closed o'er like a type of doom and ire, Whence shot a thousand quiv'ring tongues of forked and
But the unseen hands of angels, these death shafts warned
aside, And the dove of heavenly mercy, ruled o'er the battle tide; In the houses ceased the wailing, and through the war-scarred
marts, The people strode with the step of hope to the music in
* Several weeks after the commencement of the terrific bombardment, ladies were seen coolly walking the streets, and children in many parts of the city engaged, as ever, in their playing, only stopping their sport for the moment to gaze and listen at the bursting shells.