These children being washed
Up lifeless on our sun-drenched shores,
From what illustrious race are they descended
And what woe has brought them to us
In God’s name?
Surely some great catastrophe
Has befallen them
And they seek nothing
But a far, far better world than that
From which they came.
If we could but tell them
At last the journey’s over
And their lives not lived in vain,
Who would cleanse our bodies
Of our frightful, faceless shame?