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LITTLE CHARLIE

by Horatio Alger, Jr.

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.

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