The Little Graves - By Seba Smith (1792–1868) T'was autumn, and the leaves were dry, And rustled on the ground, And chilly winds went whistling by With low and pensive sound. As through the grave-yards' lone retreat By meditation led, I walked with slow and cautious feet Above the sleeping dead,-- Three little graves, ranged side by side, My close attention drew; O'er two the tall grass, bending, sighed, And one seemed fresh and new. As lingering there I mused awhile On death's long, dreamless sleep, And morning life's deceitful smile, A mourner came to weep. Her form was bowed, but not with years, Her words were faint and few, And on those little graves her tears Distilled like evening dew. A prattling boy, some four years old, Her trembling hand embraced, And from my heart the tale he told Will never be effaced. "Mamma, now you must love me more, For little sister's dead; And t'other sister died before, And brother, too, you said. "Mamma, what made sweet sister die? She loved me when we played; You told me, if I would not cry, You'd show me where she's laid." "'Tis here, my child, that sister lies, Deep buried in the ground, No light comes to her little eyes, And she can hear no sound." Mamma, why can't we take her up, And put her in my bed? I'll feed her from my little cup, And then she won't be dead. "For sister'll be afraid to lie In this dark grave to-night, And she'll be very cold, and cry Because there is no light." "No, sister is not cold, my child, For God, who saw her die, As He looked down from heaven and smiled, Called her above the sky. "And then her spirit quickly fled To God to whom twas given; Her body in the ground is dead, But sister lives in heaven." "Mamma, won't she be hungry there, And want some bread to eat? And who will give her clothes to wear, And keep them clean and neat?" "Papa must go and carry some, I'll send her all I've got, And he must bring sweet sister home, Mamma, now must he not?" "No, my dear child, that cannot be; But if you're good and true, You one day can go to her, But she can never come to you. "Let little children come to me, Once our good Saviour said; And in his arms she'll always be, And God will give her bread.