Author’s Note: Elizbeth Barrett Browning published an iconic piece called “The Cry of the Children” in 1843. Through the poem, she protested the English practice of child labor in the mining industry. She used her poetry to give a voice to the voiceless, and increase visibility to those ignored by society. I always appreciated her work, and I decided to write a poem of my own, inspired by her poetry. This following poem is a reimagination of her work, if it was applied to the societal evil of abortion. I have used a similar rhyming scheme, and ended my poem quoting her words, but everything else is my own work. I hope that this helps you reflect upon the current plight of children yet unborn in our world.
The Cry of the Unborn Children
Do you hear the children weeping?
Their sorrow and their tears
Voiceless victims, ever crying,
For the end is drawing near.
The young lambs may bleat in the meadow,
We delight in the young birds’ chirp.
We fawn over puppies in the shadows,
And care for any creature’s hurt.
But the young young babies are forgotten,
They are crying silently.
As a nation turns from their begotten,
In the land of liberty.
Do we wonder of their future,
Of the effects they could have made?
Do we know that through their nurture,
We would deliver them from their pain?
But we turn our eyes with a wonder,
And with a callous mind we agree,
That their life is a cost to our comfort,
And their death is our “right” to live free.
And so the children will keep on dying,
In the land where life is now cheap.
We will keep on our daily sanctioned killing,
In the promised land of the free.
Do you see the babies smiling,
As their little hands stretch wide?
Do you see that heart that’s beating,
And their feet that kick to the side?
Do not forget you were that helpless,
Although today, you are full-grown.
Remember that you were defenseless,
But you were valued and you were known.
But the cry of the killed is the bleakest,
And their number will continue to rise.
If a nation is blind to its weakest,
Then it is heading to its demise.
When did we prune life of its value, pray tell,
And define it by its size or shape?
When was environment the toll of the knell,
Or development worthy of shame?
If these are our standards, Lord have mercy,
We have now crossed a solid line.
For if we justify an abortive act electively,
Then no life is worthy of our time.
For if they are not secure, then how are we?
To us, do the rules not apply?
Yet we live on blind in our hypocrisy,
And with spiritual depravity align.
Each of these babies is a gift of the Almighty.
The Creator fashioned and shaped them all.
Yet we despise the precious Imago Dei,
And we will be held responsible for our fall.
We thought history’s evils had been put aside,
That humanity eliminated barbaric ways.
But Baal and Molech are still satisfied,
With the slaughter of the innocents today.
Does that make us pause and wonder?
There is a spiritual side we should see.
And as we reflect, we should ponder,
That the children’s cries are heard by Thee.
The heavens are pierced with their cries,
But on earth they are drowned out.
Up there the children are tenderly prized,
But we hold onto our doubts.
We redefine semantically
To soften the verbal blow.
We rush to rights or healthcare frantically.
Murder is too hard to swallow.
For our words hold power, life and death,
But for many silence is their choice.
But in the midst of injustice’s breath,
Who will stand strong against its voice?
And we should weep for our dear nation,
And repent of our own dark past.
For our lack of decisive action,
And our own moral relapse.
For our crimes against the unborn.
For our many horrors, all untold.
For our great debt is a burden,
That could not be paid by any gold.
We have failed the young children dearly.
But imagine the wondrous day,
When both we and the children clearly,
Will together sing God’s praise.
Can you stand before God above,
Defending your “rights” at his feet?
With blood-stained hands of children he loves,
And every face there you shall meet.
We deserve death for our wicked deeds,
But Christ came, and took our place.
And with salvation he has set us free,
And so after Him we chase.
In our pursuit, do we take hold
What Christ said to the Pharisees?
How he loved the children young and old,
And said “Let them come to Me.”
Our nation has thrown life aside,
And turned its own way instead.
Slowly dying from the inside,
Blind to the reckoning ahead.
What will move us for what’s right,
And rouse us from our sleep?
To stand against the unborn’s plight,
And at the prospect of abolition leap?
Would we have stood with history’s ills,
Or oppose them staunchly with pride?
Hindsight softens that bitter pill,
While we ignore this infanticide.
In Ramah, I heard crying,
And then throughout every age.
For an innocent life that is dying,
And no one comes to their aid.
How long will we stand silent,
And in comfort keep our thrones?
Will we stand up strong, defiant,
Or with the world be judged and known.
Their blood splashes upward, O tyrants!
You say justice is your path.
“But the child’s sob curseth deeper in the silence,
Than the strong man in his wrath!”
The original poem “The Cry of the Children” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning can be found here.