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Eugene Field (Юджин Фильд)

Little Homer's Slate

AFTER dear old grandma died,
    Hunting through an oaken chest 
In the attic, we espied
    What repaid our childish quest; 
'Twas a homely little slate,
Seemingly of ancient date.

On its quaint and battered face
    Was the picture of a cart, 
Drawn with all that awkward grace
    Which betokens childish art; 
But what meant this legend, pray:
    "Homer drew this yesterday?"

Mother recollected then
    What the years were fain to hide-- 
She was but a baby when
    Little Homer lived and died; 
Forty years, so mother said,
Little Homer had been dead.

This one secret through those years
    Grandma kept from all apart, 
Hallowed by her lonely tears
    And the breaking of her heart; 
While each year that sped away
Seemed to her but yesterday.

So the homely little slate
    Grandma's baby's fingers pressed, 
To a memory consecrate,
    Lieth in the oaken chest, 
Where, unwilling we should know,
Grandma put it, years ago.

Eugene Field's other poems:
  1. Jest 'Fore Christmas
  2. The Naughty Doll
  3. In the Firelight
  4. The Sugar-Plum Tree
  5. Over the Hills and Far Away

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