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An angel stood beside the bed
Where lay the living and the dead.

He gave the mother -- her who died --
A kiss that Christ the Crucified

Had sent to greet the weary soul
When, worn and faint, it reached its goal.

He gave the infant kisses twain,
One on the breast, one on the brain.

"Go forth into the world," he said,
"With blessings on your heart and head,

"For God, who ruleth righteously,
Hath ordered that to such as be

"From birth deprived of mother's love,
I bring His blessing from above;

"But if the mother's life he spare
Then she is made God's messenger

"To kiss and pray that heart and brain
May go through life without a stain."

The infant moved towards the light,
The angel spread his wings in flight.

But each man carries to his grave
The kisses that in hopes to save
The angel or his mother gave.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)