The Beggar Children

by Carl Boberg and translated by Mark Safstrom

There are so many little feet,
who ‘round the village roam.
These children beg for bread to eat,
they lack support at home.
Its walls may hide a drunk father,
mother with tearstained face,
whose grave disease will soon take her
from this sorrowful place.
Oh, in their basket place a coin,
and speak kind words to them.
Their sadness for a moment join,
dispel their thoughts of home.
And give some bread before you go,
an answer to their prayer.
This seed in fertile soil sow,
to reap a world that’s fair.
Though garments stained by filth and sod
may clothe them here below,
their true home is above with God,
his word says this is so.
Their guardian angels watch them
close from corners silently
to see what happens in each house,
search for love, anxiously.
When you see small ones such as these –
dear child with happy home –
with care and love their sorrows ease,
and pray for kingdom come.
And thank your God who blessed you
so you have a different life,
than hungry souls who only know
of drunkenness and strife.

Carl Boberg (1859-1940), a popular evangelist to youth in Sweden and member of parliament, published numerous collections of devotional poetry and prose. Boberg is most know for his internationally cherished hymn, “How Great Thou Art” (O, store Gud).

See all articles by Carl Boberg

Mark Safstrom is Chief Editor of Pietisten, and an assistant professor of Scandinavian Studies at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

See all articles by Mark Safstrom