Read Books Online, for Free
|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
"The Grass Withereth--the Flower Fadeth"
|Page 3 of 5||
"Tom," said Eva, suddenly stopping, and pointing to the lake, "there 't is."
"What, Miss Eva?"
"Don't you see,--there?" said the child, pointing to the glassy water, which, as it rose and fell, reflected the golden glow of the sky. "There's a `sea of glass, mingled with fire.'"
"True enough, Miss Eva," said Tom; and Tom sang--
"O, had I the wings of the morning, I'd fly away to Canaan's shore; Bright angels should convey me home, To the new Jerusalem."
"Where do you suppose new Jerusalem is, Uncle Tom?" said Eva.
"O, up in the clouds, Miss Eva."
"Then I think I see it," said Eva. "Look in those clouds!--they look like great gates of pearl; and you can see beyond them--far, far off--it's all gold. Tom, sing about `spirits bright.'"
Tom sung the words of a well-known Methodist hymn,
"I see a band of spirits bright, That taste the glories there; They all are robed in spotless white, And conquering palms they bear."
"Uncle Tom, I've seen _them_," said Eva.
Tom had no doubt of it at all; it did not surprise him in the least. If Eva had told him she had been to heaven, he would have thought it entirely probable.
"They come to me sometimes in my sleep, those spirits;" and Eva's eyes grew dreamy, and she hummed, in a low voice,
"They are all robed in spotless white, And conquering palms they bear."
"Uncle Tom," said Eva, "I'm going there."
"Where, Miss Eva?"
The child rose, and pointed her little hand to the sky; the glow of evening lit her golden hair and flushed cheek with a kind of unearthly radiance, and her eyes were bent earnestly on the skies.
"I'm going _there_," she said, "to the spirits bright, Tom; _I'm going, before long_."
The faithful old heart felt a sudden thrust; and Tom thought how often he had noticed, within six months, that Eva's little hands had grown thinner, and her skin more transparent, and her breath shorter; and how, when she ran or played in the garden, as she once could for hours, she became soon so tired and languid. He had heard Miss Ophelia speak often of a cough, that all her medicaments could not cure; and even now that fervent cheek and little hand were burning with hectic fever; and yet the thought that Eva's words suggested had never come to him till now.
Has there ever been a child like Eva? Yes, there have been; but their names are always on grave-stones, and their sweet smiles, their heavenly eyes, their singular words and ways, are among the buried treasures of yearning hearts. In how many families do you hear the legend that all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charms of one who _is not_. It is as if heaven had an especial band of angels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homeward flight. When you see that deep, spiritual light in the eye,--when the little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than the ordinary words of children,--hope not to retain that child; for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortality looks out from its eyes.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004