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"Know, O little one! that heaven
  Does no earthly thing disdain.
Man's poor joys find there an echo
   Just as surely as his pain;
Love, on earth so feebly striving,
   Lives divine in Heaven again!

"Once in yonder town below us
  In a poor and narrow street,
Dwelt a little sickly orphan,
  Gentle aid, or pity sweet,
Never in life's ragged pathway
  Guided his poor tottering feet.

"All the striving anxious forethought
   That should only come with age,
Weighed upon his baby spirit,
   Showed him soon life's sternest page;
Grim Want was his nurse, and Sorrow
   Was his only heritage!

"All too weak for childish pastimes
  Drearily the hours spend;
On his hands so small and trembling
  Leaning his poor aching head.
Or, through dark and painful hours,
  Lying sleepless on no bed.

"Dreaming strange and longing fancies
  Of cool forests far away;
Dreams of rosy happy children,
  Laughing merrily at play;
Coming home through green lanes, bearing
  Trailing branches of white May.

"Scarce a glimpse of the blue heavens
   Gleamed above the narrow street,
And the sultry air of Summer
  (That you called so warm and sweet,)
Fevered the poor Orphan, dwelling
  In the crowded alley's heat.

"One bright day, with feeble footsteps
  Slowly forth he dared to crawl.
Through the crowded city's pathways,
   Till he reached a garden-wall;
Where 'mid princely halls and mansions
   Stood the lordliest of all.

"There were trees with giant branches
  Velvet glades where shadows hide;
There were sparkling fountains glancing,
   Flowers whose rich luxuriant pride
Wafted a breath of precious perfume
   To the child who stood outside.

"He against the gate of iron
  Pressed his wan and wistful face,
Gazing with an awe struck pleasure
   At the glories of the place;
Never had his fairest day-dream
   Shone with half such wondrous grace.

"You were playing in that garden,
  Throwing blossoms in the air,
And laughing when the petals floated
  Downward on your golden hair:
And the fond eyes watching o'er you.
And the splendour spread before you
Told, a House's Hope was there.

"When your servants, tired of seeing
  His pale face of want and woe,
Turning to the ragged Orphan,
  Gave him coin, and bade him go.
Down his cheeks so thin and wasted,
   Bitter tears began to flow.

"But that look of childish sorrow
   On your tender young heart fell,
And you plucked the reddest roses
   From the tree you loved so well.
Passing them through the stern grating,
   With the gentle word, 'Farewell!'

"Dazzled by the fragrant treasure
   And the gentle voice he heard,
In the poor forlorn boy's spirit,
   Joy the sleeping Seraph stirred;
In his hand he clasped the flowers.
   In his heart the loving word.

"So he crept to his poor garret,
  Poor no more, but rich and bright;
For the holy dreams of childhood
  Love, and Rest, and Hope, and Light
Floated round the Orphan's pillow
   Through the starry summer night.

"Day dawned, yet the vision lasted;
  All too weak to rise he lay;
Did he dream that none spoke harshly
  All were strangely kind that day?
Yes; he thought his treasured roses
  Must have charmed all ills away.

"And he smiled, though they were fading;
  One by one their leaves were shed;
'Such bright things could never perish,
  They would bloom again,' he said.
When the next day's sun had risen,
  Child and flowers both were dead.

"Know, dear little one! our Father
  Does no gentle deed disdain;
And in hearts that beat in heaven.
  Still all tender thoughts remain;
Love on the cold earth remaining
  Lives divine and pure again!"

Thus the angel ceased, and gently
  O'er his little burthen leant;
While the child gazed from the shining
  Loving eyes that o'er him bent.
To the blooming roses by him,
  Wondering what that mystery meant.

Then the radiant angel answered,
   And with holy meaning smiled:
"Ere your tender, loving spirit
   Sin and the hard world defiled,
Mercy gave me leave to seek you;
   I was once that little child!"


In the year seventeen hundred and sixty-
nine, the little town of Barford was thrown
into a state of great excitement by the
intelligence that a gentleman (and "quite the
gentleman," said the landlord of the George
Inn), had been looking at Mr. Clavering's old
house. This house was neither in the town
nor in the country. It stood on the outskirts
of Barford, on the road-side leading to Derby.
The last occupant had been a Mr. Clavering
a Northumberland gentleman of good family
who had come to live in Barford when he
was but a younger son; but when some elder
branches of the family died, he had returned
to take possession of the family estate. The
house of which I speak was called the White
House, from its being covered with a greyish
kind of stucco. It had a good garden to the

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