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The Child Crusaders' Hymn, song lyrics

Song: The Child Crusaders' Hymn
Lyrics: Sarah N. Cleghorn(1)(2)

Music: to the tune of "Onward, Christian Soldiers"
Year: 1914 or earlier(1)
Genre: Hymn
Country: USA


Ah, how long, Lord Jesus,
    Must our playmates stay,
Drudging, drudging, drudging
    All and every day?
Bruised and sore their fingers,
    Dull and sad their eyes;
Heavily they slumber,
    Wearily they rise.
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Pale and tired comrades,
    Asking us to pray
That the working children,
    Might come out to play.

Long enough, and too long,
    In the damp, hot room,
Have they watched the bobbins,
    Breathing dust and fume;
Long with aching shoulders
    By the grimy hole
Have they crouched and sorted
    Endless streams fo coal.
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Thin and tired comrades,
    From our hearts we pray,
That the working children
    Soon shall come and play.

Oh, that we could show them
    Where the berries grow,
Where the daisies whiten,
    Where the boughs hang low.
On the picnic wagon,
    On the load of hay,
There are places for them, -
    Let them come and play.

Jesus, may we never
    Cease to strive and pray
Till the working children
    All are free to play.


Notes:

1 - The Child Labor Bulletin, Volume three, Number two, August 1914, p. 17.

2 - Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn (1876 - 1959) biographical information.