[Illustration: Letter T.]
The happiest hour of all the day
To me, is always last;
When both my studies and my play,
My walks and work, are past.
When round the bright warm fire we come,
With hearts so light and free,
And all within our happy home
Are talking quietly,
Then, by my dear, kind father’s side
I sit, or on his knee,
And then I tell him I have tried
His gentle girl to be.
And then he says the little child
Is loved by every one,
Who has a temper sweet and mild
And smiling as the sun.
Let me do always as I should,
Nor vex my father dear;
And let me be as glad and good
As he would have me here.
“My little Edward, how could you
Tell me a thing that was not true?
And make me feel thus grieved and sad
To find I have a child so bad?
“And then, to do a deed so mean,
And wish by that yourself to screen!
Would you have had me blame poor Tray,
And send him from the fire away?
“O! never, when you’ve disobeyed,
Or by your mischief trouble made,
Think that a wicked act is right
Because you hide it from my sight.
“It will be always seen by One,
Who knows each wrong that you have done;
And I shall know it too, no doubt,
For sin must always find you out.
“I cannot let you here to-day
With me and little sisters stay;
But you must go up stairs alone,
Till you a better boy have grown.”
[Illustration: Letter C.]
“Come hither, little brothers,
And listen now to me,
And I will read a story
To both, while at my knee.”
Then Johnnie’s flag hung idly,
And Charlie hushed his drum;
To hear sweet Mary’s story
The mimic soldiers come.
“’Tis of a boy no larger,
My little Charles, than you;
But he had been in battle,
And all its terrors knew.
“His father was a captain;
He had no child beside;
And while he was an infant
His mother dear had died.
“And so from camp to battle,
From fight to camp again,
Had lived, this little hero,
On many a bloody plain.
“One day, when shouts were loudest
Upon the reddened field,—
When came the victor’s war-cry,
’See! see! they fly! they yield!’—
“Forth then, to seek his father,
He went with eager joy;
But with a chance ball wounded,
Low lay the fearless boy!
“The son of a brave chieftain,
He made no sigh or groan;
His father’s hand yet tighter
He clasped within his own!