Charley and his Father

A BALLAD .

The birds are flown away,

The flowers are dead and gone;

The clouds look cold and gray

Around the setting sun.

The trees, with solemn sighs,

Their naked branches swing;

The winter winds arise,

And mournfully they sing.

Upon his father's knee

Was Charley's happy place,

And very thoughtfully

He looked up in his face:

And these his simple, words:

" Father, how cold it blows!

What 'comes of all the birds

Amidst the storms and snows? "

" They fly far, far away

From storms and snows and rain:

But, Charley dear, next May

They 'll all come back again. "

" And will my flowers come too? "

The little fellow said;

" And all be bright and new

That now looks cold and dead? "

" O yes, dear; in the spring

The flowers will all revive;

The birds return and sing,

And all be made alive. "

" Who shows the birds the way,

Father, that they must go?

And brings them back in May,

When there is no more snow?

" And when no flower is seen

Upon the hill and plain,Who 'll make it all so green,

And bring the flowers again? "

" My son, there is a Power

That none of us can see,

Takes care of every flower,

Gives life to every tree.

" He through the pathless air

Shows little birds their way:

And we, too, are his care;

He guards us day by day. "

" Father, when people die,

Will they come back in May? "

Tears were in Charley's eye —

" Will they, dear father? say. "

" No! they will never come:

We go to them, my boy;

There, in our heavenly home,

To meet in endless joy. "

Upon his father's knee

Still Charley kept his place,

And very thoughtfully

He looked up in his face.

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