Dedicated to Mrs. Alice Baldwin, of Burlington, Iowa, the 'Little Girl' of Yore.
'Oh, isn't it pretty?' a little girl cried,
With her bright eyes upturned, as she stood by my side.
'It is just like the moon that we both used to see
When Addie and I sat on grandfather's knee.
I wonder,' she said, as I gave her a kiss,
'If God looked at that when He went to make this.'
I brushed from her forehead a tiny, stray curl,
And pressed to my bosom the dear little girl;
Then told her the moon was the same she had seen
Ere she crossed the great rivers and prairies of green.
'Then why,' she said, quickly, appearing to doubt,
'Does it sometimes shine brightly and sometimes go out?'
She paused, mused a moment, then, turning to me,
And clapping her hands in her innocent glee,
'I know now,' she answered, in tones of delight:
' God's candle ! He carries it with Him at night;
He takes it through heaven wherever He goes,
And that's why it moves through the sky, I suppose.
' And I think I can guess why He brought it to-night,
And why He is looking at me by its light:
At grandfather's knee every evening I pray,
And He thinks I'll forget it because I'm away.'
Then, kneeling, she murmured the prayer she was taught,
And added, ' Dear Father, I have not forgot,
But please take Thy lamp while I'm praying to Thee,
And hold it for Addie, that she, too, may see.'
I turned to the sky as the prayer upward flew:
A cloud hid the face of the Night Queen from view.
The little one rose, as she said, with a smile,
'I knew He would hold it for Addie awhile.'