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  Little Charlie  

 

A violet grew by the river-side,
     And gladdened all hearts with its bloom;
While over the fields, on the scented air,
     It breathed a rich perfume.
But the clouds grew dark in the angry sky,
     And its portals were opened wide;
And the heavy rain beat down the flower
     That grew by the river-side.

Not far away in a pleasant home,
     There lived a little boy,
Whose cheerful face and childish grace
     Filled every heart with joy.
He wandered one day to the river's verge,
     With no one near to save;
And the heart that we loved with a boundless love
     Was stilled in the restless wave.

The sky grew dark to our tearful eyes,
     And we bade farewell to joy;
For our hearts were bound by a sorrowful tie
     To the grave of the little boy.
The birds still sing in the leafy tree
     That shadows the open door;
We heed them not, for we think of the voice
     That we shall hear no more.

We think of him at eventide,
     And gaze on his vacant chair
With a longing heart that will scarce believe
     That Charlie is not there.
We seem to hear his ringing laugh,
     And his bounding step at the door;
But, alas! there comes the sorrowful thought,
     We shall never hear them more!                                                                

We shall walk sometimes to his little grave,
     In the pleasant summer hours;
We will speak his name in a softened voice,
     And cover his grave with flowers;
We will think of him in his heavenly home,--
     In his heavenly home so fair;
And we will trust with a hopeful trust
     That we shall meet him there.

       - Horatio Alger Jr.


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