A Child's Dream of a Star

THERE was once a child, and he strolled
about a good deal, and thought of a num-
ber 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 flow-
ers; 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 hillsides are the chil-
dren of the water; and the smallest bright
specks playing at hide-and-seek in the sky
all night must surely be the children ofthe 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, know-
ing 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,
bless the star!”

But while she was still very young, O,
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 him-
self, 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 sparkling road by angels.
And the star, opening, showed him a
great world of light, where many more
such angels waited to receive them.
All these angels, who were waiting,
turned their beaming eyes upon the peo-
ple who were carried up into the star; and
some came out from the long rows in
which they stood, and fell upon the peo-ple’s necks, and kissed them tenderly, and
went away with them down avenues of
light, and were so happy in their compa-
ny, that, lying in his bed, he wept for joy.
But there were many angels who did
not go with them, and among them one
he knew. The patient face that once had
lain upon the bed was glorified and radi-
ant, but his heart found out his sister
among all the host.
His sister’s angel lingered near the
entrance of the star, and said to the leader
among those who had brought the people
“Is my brother come?”
And he said, “No.
She was
turning hopefully away,
when the child stretched out his arms,
and cried, “O sister, I am here! Take me!”
And then she turned her beaming eyes
upon him, and it was night; and the star
was shining into the room, making long
rays down towards him as he saw it
through his tears.
From that hour forth,
the child
looked out upon the star as on the home
he was to go to, when his time should
come; and he thought that he did not
belong to the earth alone, but to the star
too, because of his sister’s angel gone
There was a baby born to
be a
brother to the child; and while he was so
little that he never yet had spoken word,
he stretched his tiny form out on his bed,
and died.
Again the child dreamed of the
opened star, and of the company of
angels, and the train of people, and the
rows of angels with their beaming eyes all
turned upon those people’s faces.
Said his sister’s angel to the leader,
“Is my brother come?”
And he said,
“Not that one, but
As the child beheld his brother’s
angel in her arms, he cried,
“O sister, I am
here! Take me!”
And she turned and
smiled upon him, and the star was shin-
He grew to be a young man, and was
busy at his books when an old servant came to him and said, “Thy mother is no
more. I bring her blessing on her darling
Again at night he saw the star, and all
that former company. Said his sister’s
angel to the leader, “Is my brother come?”
And he said, “Thy mother!”
A mighty cry of joy went forth
through all the star, because the mother
was reunited to her two children. And he
stretched out his arms and cried,
mother, sister, and brother, I am here!
Take me!”
And they answered him,
“Not yet.”
And the star was shining.
He grew to be a man, whose hair was
turning gray; and he was sitting in his
chair by the fireside, heavy with grief, and
with his face bedewed with tears, when
the star opened once again.
Said his sister’s angel to the leader,
“Is my brother come?”
And he said, “Nay, but his maiden
And the man who had been the child
saw his daughter, newly lost to him, a
celestial creature among those three, and
he said, “My daughter’s head is on my
sister’s bosom, and her arm is round my
mother’s neck, and at her feet there is the
baby of old time, and I can bear the part-
ing from her, GOD be praised!”
And the star was shining.
Thus the child came to be an old
man, and his once smooth face was wrinkled, and his steps were slow and feeble,
and his back was bent. And one night as
he lay upon his bed, his children standing
round, he cried, as he had cried so long
“I see the star!”
They whispered one another,
“He is
And he said,
“I am. My age is falling
from me like a garment, and I move
towards the star as a child. And O my
Father, now I thank thee that it has so
often opened to receive those dear ones
who await me!”
And the star
was shining; and it
shines upon his grave.