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Which Child Shall It Be?

Which Child Shall It Be? image
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"Here, wife, is a letter," said John, 'Trom rich sister Ellen at C , She writes she's a widow, and childless too, And lonely as lonelj can be. She makes us a kind offer, wife, A generous one, indeed : And as the times are hard,we'll gladly accept - But, here, wife, take it and read." Her offer was this: "Dearbrother,"6he wrote uIf you but one child will spare, I'lllavish all my love upon it, And give it a mother's care ; It sliall know 110 want tliat wealth can supply, And when with my fortune I'm done, It shall all belong to this child of yours, As my heir, and only one." I had read enough, and in terror I flung The letter upon the floor, And quickly cast afrightened glance Towards the children's door. Thcn. seelng John's ostonished look, I smiled at my groundless fears, And said: "Come, John, and choose her one From amongour sleeping dears." We went together, and stood beside Our flrst-bom Nellie's bed, And opening half her sleepy cyes, "Good-night, papa," she said. He bent, and kissed her eyelids down, And smoothed her nut-brown hair, And marmured low - I caught the words - "Not you, not you, my fair!" Next we paused beshJe the coucli Where slept the father'sjoy, Our second-born, and only son, Our precious Charley boy. His sturdy little arm was thrown High o'er his curly head; His rosy Ups were still apart, As when his prayer he said. I viewed him with a mother's pride, Feeling his case was won, And knowing it, when John exclaimed ! "I'll not give up my son I" "Come, then," said I, your choice lies here, Between our baby twins. I am anxious to know which one Your sister's fortune wins." Their white night-robes were cast aside, Their perfect limbs disclosing ; Ah ! holy sight ! embraced they lay, Like cherubs fair reposing ; The brows that lay beneath their curls With ehildhood's sleep were dewey - They so alike we scarce could teil Sweet Lu from darling Louie. The father gazed on them awhile, Then knelt beside their cot, And said: "Oh, God forgive me For repining at my lot ! I never realized till now How rich my treasures were, And I fear I have sometimes forgot Who placed them in my care. Forgive me, Lord, and, by Thy grace, Writhone I will not part." And thus it was a mother's breast Was spared an aching heart.


Old News
Michigan Argus