Charley and his Father


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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