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Fixed on some mysterious vision,
With a startled sweet surprise.
For a radiant angel hovered
Smiling o'er the little bed;
Snowy dove-like pinions spread,
In a Glory round his head.
While, with tender love, the angel,
Leaning o'er the little nest,
Laid him gently on his breast,
That her darling was at rest.
So the angel, slowly rising,
Spread his wings; and, through the air, Bore the child, and while he held him
To his heart with loving care Placed a branch of crimson roses
Tenderly beside him there.
While the child, thus clinging, floated
Towards the mansions of the Blest, Gazing from his shining guardian
To the flowers upon his breast, Thus the angel spake, still smiling
On the little heavenly guest:
“ Know, dear little
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 that great town below us,
and narrow street, Dwelt a little sickly orphan;
Gentle aid, or pity sweet, Never in life's rugged 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 sped;
Leaning his poor aching head,
Lying sleepless on his bed.
“ Dreaming strange and longing fancies Of cool forests far
away; And of rosy happy children,
Laughing merrily at play, Coming home through green lanes, bearing
Trailing boughs of blooming May.
“ Scarce a glimpse of azure heaven
Gleamed above that narrow street, And the sultry air of Summer
(That you call so warm and sweet) Fevered the poor Orphan, dwelling
In the crowded alley's heat.
“ One bright day, with feeble footsteps
Slowly forth he tried to crawl, Through the crowded city's pathways,
Till he reached a garden-wall; Where ʼmid 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 luxuriant pride Even wafted breaths of 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 brightest day-dream
Shone with half such wondrous grace.
“ You were playing in that garden,
Throwing blossoms in the air, Laughing when the petals floated
Downwards on your golden hair ;
And the fond eyes watching o'er you,
Told, a House's Hope was there.
“When your servants, tired of seeing
Such a 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 child 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 took the flowers,
In his heart the loving word.