"Hymn for Children." by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)
JESUS, our gentle Shepherd, see
These tender lambs of Zion's fold:
Lo! we are come to follow thee;
Gather and guard us as of old:
While through the desert world we stray,
Preserve us in the narrow way.
Where thy refreshing pastures grow,
Where all thy chosen flock is fed,
Where living waters gently flow,
There may our wandering feet be led:
Direct us towards the heavenly hill;
And bear us in thy bosom still.
Much do we need thy watchful care,
Through every day and every hour;
For life is set with many a snare,
And Satan wanders to devour:
But we are safe from all alarms,
Within our heavenly Shepherd's arms.
Here in the gospel we are told,
What great compassion was in Thee,
When mothers brought their babes of old–
Poor helpless children, such as we–
E'en to thy tender bosom brought–
And thou didst say "Forbid them not."
And thus encouraged by thy grace,
To those still open arms we fly;
And though we cannot see thy face,
Yet Thou canst bless us from on high:
For still thy gracious word, we see,
Says–"Suffer them to come to me."