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(2009-04-27 22:46:07)



Child’s Dream of Star

Charles Dickens


There was once a child and he liked to go for a stroll, and thought of number 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 flowers; they wondered at the height and blueness of the sky; they wondered at the depth of the bright water; they wondered at 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 children of the water; and the smallest bright specks playing at hide-and-seek in the sky all night, must surely be the children of the stars; and they would all be heart-broken 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 others. And every night they watched for it, standing hand in hand at the window. Whoever saw it first, cried out, “I see the star!” And often they cried out both together, knowing 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 around to sleep, they used to say, “God bless the star!”

But while she was very young, oh, 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 himself, and when he saw the star, turned round and said to the patient, pale face on the bed, “I see the satr!” 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; and when the star made long rays down toward 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 lonely bed, he dreamed about the star; and dreamed that, 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 people who were carried up into the star; and some came out from the long rows in which they stood, and fell upon the people’s necks, and kissed them tenderly, and were so happy in their company, 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 radiant, but his heart fuond out his sister among these angels.

His sister’s angel lingered near the entrance of the star, and said to the leader among those who had brought the people:

“Does 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 the star long rays down toward him as he saw it through his tears.

From that hour 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 before.

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 died.

Again the child dreamed of the opened star, and of the company of angels, and the train of people, and the angels with their beaming eyes all turned upon those people’s faces.

Said his sister’s angel to the leader:

“Does my brother come?”

And he said, “Not that one, but another.”

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 shining.

He grew to be a young man, and was busy at his books, when an old servant came to him and said:

“Your mother is no more.”

Again at night he saw the star, and all that former company. Said his sister’s angel to the leader: “Does my brother come?”

And he said, “Your mother!”

A cry of joy went forth through the star, because the mother was reunited to her two children. And he stretched out his arms and cried: “O mother, sister, and brother, I am here! Take me!” 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, when the star opened once again.

Said his sister’s angel to the leader, “Does my brother come?”

And he said, “No, but his daughter.”

And the man who had been the child saw his daughter, newly lost to him, among those three, and the star was shining.

And the star was shining, slow and feeble, and his back was bent. And one night as he lay upon his bed, his chikdren standing round, he reied, as he had cried so long age:

“I see the star!”

They whispered one another, “He is dying.”

And he said: “I am. My age is falling from me like a garment, and I move toward the star as a child.”

And the star was shining; and it shines upon his grave.













































































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