Give Me the Heart of a Child

by Margaret O’Neill, Wicklow


Give me, O Lord, the heart of a child,

Simple and joyful and free.

Give me, O Lord, the love of a child,

Trusting and faithful to Thee.

Don’t let my age make a difference, Lord

If I’m middle-aged, young or old:

What matters is that I’ve the heart of a child,

Simple and pure as gold!

Yes, simple and pure as gold, dear Lord,

That’s tried in the furnace of fire;

Oh! Then let me have the heart of a child

And I’ll have achieved your desire.

For how often in Gospel stories

You gathered the little ones near.

And you begged all the adults about,

‘Be childlike and have no fear!’

For fear drives out love, dearest Lord,

And You’ve asked us to be meek and mild.

And therefore I beg You, my Master,

Please give me the heart of a child!


(D. Mullan, A Gift of Roses, Dublin, 2001, p. 204)