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A CHILD'S DREAM OF A STAR

THERE was once a child, and he strolled
about a good deal, and thought of a number
of things. He had a sister, who was a child
too, and his constant companion. These
two used to wonder all day long. They
wondered at the beauty of the flowers; they
wondered at the height and blueness of the
sky; they wondered at the depth of the
bright water; they wondered at the goodness
and the power of GOD who made the lovely
world.

They used to say to one another, sometimes,
Supposing all the children upon earth were
to die, would the flowers, and the water, and
the sky, be sorry? They believed they would
be sorry. For, said they, the buds are the
children of the flowers, and the little playful
streams that gambol down the hill-sides are
the children of the water; and the smallest
bright specks, playing at hide and seek in the
sky all night, must surely be the children of
the stars; and they would all be grieved to
see their playmates, the children of men, no
more.

There was one clear shining star that used
to come out in the sky before the rest, near
the church spire, above the graves. It was
larger and more beautiful, they thought, than
all the others, and every night they watched
for it, standing hand in hand at a window.
Whoever saw it first, cried out, "I see the
star!" And often they cried out both
together, knowing so well when it would rise,
and where. So they grew to be such friends
with it, that, before lying down in their beds,
they always looked out once again, to bid it
good night; and when they were turning
round to sleep, they used to say, "God bless
the star!"

But while she was still very young, oh very
very young, the sister drooped, and came to be
so weak that she could no longer stand in the
window at night; and then the child looked
sadly out by himself, and when he saw the
star, turned round and said to the patient pale
face on the bed, "I see the star!" and then a
smile would come upon the face, and a little
weak voice used to say, "God bless my brother
and the star!"

And so the time came, all too soon! when
the child looked out alone, and when there
was no face on the bed; and when there was
a little grave among the graves, not there
before; and when the star made long rays
down towards him, as he saw it through his
tears.

Now, these rays were so bright, and they
seemed to make such a shining way from
earth to Heaven, that when the child went
to his solitary bed, he dreamed about the
star; and dreamed that, lying where he
was, he saw a train of people taken up that
sparkling road by angels. And the star,
opening, showed him a great world of light,
where many more such angels waited to
receive them.

All these angels, who were waiting, turned
their beaming eyes upon the people who
were carried up into the star; and some
came out from the long rows in which they
stood, and fell upon the people's necks, and
kissed them tenderly, and went away with
them down avenues of light, and were so
happy in their company, that lying in his bed
he wept for joy.

But, there were many angels who did not
go with them, and among them one he
knew. The patient face that once had lain
upon the bed was glorified and radiant, but
his heart found out his sister among all the
host.

His sister's angel lingered near the entrance
of the star, and said to the leader among
those who had brought the people thither:

"Is my brother come?"

And he said "No."

She was turning hopefully away, when the
child stretched out his arms, and cried "O,
sister, I am here! Take me!" and then she
turned her beaming eyes upon him, and it
was night; and the star was shining into the
room, making long rays down towards him as
he saw it through his tears.

From that hour forth, the child looked out
upon the star as on the Home he was to go
to, when his time should come; and he
thought that he did not belong to the earth
alone, but to the star too, because of his
sister's angel gone before.

There was a baby born to be a brother
to the child; and while he was so little
that he never yet had spoken word, he
stretched his tiny form out on his bed, and
died.

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