Imágenes de páginas


He shut the gate ; and now one thought

Filled all her infant mind,How she by any means the way

To Paradise might find.

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

*Ah, little Child !' they said, 'the way

Is long and full of care ;
God in His mercy give thee grace,

And lead thee safely there !'

But none could tell her what she asked:

So on and on she strayed ; And when the darksome night came down, . Clasped her small hands and prayed.

And down among the golden sheaves

The little maiden lay, Until the sun upon the field

Shone out with pleasant ray.

Then on again she journeyed forth,

And still to each she cries,• O tell me, pray, how I may

find The way to Paradise !'

Kind mothers grieved to see the Child,

And bread and fruit bestowed; As with her tender bleeding feet

She wandered on her road.

All tangled was her pretty hair,

Her cheeks grew pale and thin;
Her little dress was drenched with rain

That wet her to the skin.

And thus for fourteen weary days

The child did onward rove,
Till all her strength and spirit failed,

And she could scarcely move.

At last, all glittering in the sun

She saw a Refuge stand; She crept towards the door, and knocked

With cold and trembling hand.

A maid approached : Poor little girl,

Whom seek you here?' she cries,‘My mother! but I cannot find

The way to Paradise !'

• Ah poor, poor orphan !' with a sigh

Replied the damsel mild :
Then gently through the open gate

She led the little Child.

Alas, too late! her life is o'er :

She sinks with failing breath,
All worn and weary on the floor,

A lovely form in death!

The kind attendants hasten round,

With sorrow in their eyes :
But ah! the little Child has found
The way to Paradise !

M. A. S. M.



[ocr errors]

IN the parish of St J- in a small front

rooni on the ground floor, there lived a little boy named Herbert Kean. He had not left his room for one or two years at the time

he first came under our notice. A slow and lingering illness had wasted him to a mere shadow. His arms nd legs were no larger than a fine-sized doll's, his spine was irremediably affected, and he suffered great pains in his head; but still the lad was always cheerful, always ready to welcome any one who visited him with a bright, happy smile. He was the son of a dyer, who, in his earliest childhood, had deserted his son and wife, leaving them both totally unprovided for, to shift for themselves. Happily for them, she was strong enough to undertake some work, which, with casual assistance, and relief from the parish and from kind ladies who visited them, enabled the poor woman and her son to eke out a narrow income. Amongst the friends who visited them was a young pious lady, who weekly, sometimes oftener, sat and read to the helpless boy, and cheered him with her bright, happy smile, lighting up his tiny room with more sunshine than ever reached it from without.

One day Miss Higgins was sitting beside the poor boy, as he reclined in an invalid's easy chair which her mother had purchased with a view to his comfort, and was reading to him from the Bible in a gentle voice, when the boy, who had for some time been gazing thoughtfully on her face, suddenly interrupted her by saying

Miss Higgins, mother gave me a penny to-day.' • Did she?' said that young lady, surprised at the boy's apparent listlessness at what she was reading; for in general he devoured every word she uttered with the greatest avidity. "Well, Herbert, what are you going to buy with it?'

Oh, nothing yet, Miss. I'm going to save it up,' he replied.

'And what will you get, my boy, when you have enough?' Miss Higgins still persisted, as she felt curious to know what had so suddenly taken off his attention from the chapter she was reading.

"I'm going to buy a little looking-glass, Miss,' was the

Miss Higgins felt very much astonished at this, and thought that surely no germ of vanity could have taken foot in such a deformed and diseased little body. However, suppressing as well as she was able her astonish

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



ment at his reply, she inquired why he had taken a fancy for a little looking-glass.

• Mother knows, Miss. I told her I wanted one to hold up of a Sunday as I sit with my back to the light, so as to see you when you pass by.'

The young girl felt flattered and gratified by this little token of affection for her on the boy's part, and said that she would see that he had his little mirror. And many a time and oft, when she passed that .way, Sundays and other days, she would look towards the small window of the house, and see a thin white hand holding up the little toy, and she would either smile or wave her hand if she had no time to go in, so that the poor boy should know he was not forgotten.

He was very fond of drawing, and his mother would frequently supply him with pencil and paper; and it was really wonderful to see the way in which he would most accurately copy any picture. Besides this, he could also draw original designs very well

. His particular forte was soldiers on horseback, well armed, or else sailors, for which class of men he had a great penchant.

Many were the little sketches he used to get ready for Miss Higgins, which she invariably received with great commendation of his skill, to encourage his talent for the art.

He liked to get books about sailors better than anything; so one day Miss Higgins and a younger sister took him down a fine tale about the 'Blue Jackets,' which amused him intensely.

On their next visit he told them about the book, and said in a half-sorrowful, half-resigned tone of voice: 'Oh, Miss Higgins, if I had been a strong boy, I should have gone to sea. I love sailors; but God knows best.'

Now, from what afterwards took place, we may safely conjecture that Miss Higgins was of the same opinion; for it happened that, not very many days after this remark of Herbert's, a kind and good lieutenant in the Royal Navy found his way into the little room where Herbert

[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »