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Reprinted Pieces

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
 
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