Such a short time is my little life on earth –
If I get my three score years and ten
Then I have indeed had my cup running o’er
Because I am on the lucky side of the world.

If I am part of the unlucky side, under developed,
Then I may never even see my first birthday,
Let alone hope for a fifth birthday party.
My bones, life and potential will mingle with earth.

Children bitterly crying and children sadly dying –
Children not crying, silent and still dying.
It really is much worse when all is so quiet,
For then the spirit has gone into the unknown.

Ah pity me not for the little time that I had
I spent oh so well – I was loved and wanted.
My parents, and my country needed me – children
Are what it is about – they are essential.

Every child has such great possibility for good –
The village Hampden may indeed be unrecognised
To deny hope to children is to deny the world
Of what might very well be its great saviour.

Turn not away from a small child and remember
It were better to have a millstone round the neck
Than do harm to one of these dear little ones –
They are very stuff of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Laughing eyes and lithe quicksilver bodies
These are the substance that dreams are made on
They deserve every chance and the very best
That we, mankind, have to offer to anyone.

Eglantyne Jebb said that, and believed that
Children are first, and must always come first,
For their prime importance cannot be ignored.
That millstone is going to feel very heavy.

No doubt there is good reason why you look away,
Why you never admit to yourself the horrors
That children suffer from hunger, disease, fear
Open your heart to the suffering and grow within.

There is nothing so bad it cannot be faced down;
Courage in one’s own troubles but love for others –
Make your time on earth worthwhile for all children.
You then go out in a wondrous blaze of glorious love.

Pam Barrington MBE

This was certainly published in an SCF magazine in the early to mid 1990’s.