Sinless as celestial spirits—
Lovely as a morning flow'r
Comes the smiling infant stranger
In an evil-omen'd hour.
In an hour of lamentation—
In a time—a season when
Zion's noblest sons are fallen,
By the hands of wicked men.
In an hour when peace and safety
Have the civil banner fled—
In a day when legal justice
Covers its dishonor'd head
In an age when saints must s[u]ffer
Without mercy or redress;
Comes to meet a generation
That has made it fatherless
Not to share a father's fondness—
Not to know its father's worth—
By the arm of persecution
'Tis an orphan at its birth!
Smile, sweet babe! Thou art unconscious
Of thy great, untimely loss!
The broad stroke of thy bereavement,
Zion's pathway seem'd to cross!
Till in childhood thou had'st known him,
Had the age, thy father spar'd;
The endearment of remembrance,
Through thy life time thou had'st
Thou may'st draw from love and kindness
All a mother can bestow;
But alas! On earth, a father
You art destin'd not to know!
Nauvoo, Nov. 24th, 1844.