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"WHAT shall I render Thee! Father Supreme,
For thy rich gifts, and this the best of all?"
Said a young mother, as she fondly watched
     Her sleeping babe.
                There was an answering voice
     That night in dreams.
                "Thou hast a little bud
Wrapt in thy breast, and fed with dews
Of love; give me that bud,'twill be
A flower in heaven."
But there was silence, yea, a hush so deep,
Breathless and terror-stricken,
                                   That the lip
Blanched in its trance-
                                   "Thou hast a little harp
     How sweetly would it swell the
     Angels' songs! Give me that harp."
There burst a shuddering sob
As if the bosom, by some hidden sword,
Was cleft in twain.

Morn came, a blight had found
The crimson velvet of the unfolding bud;
The harp-string rang a thrilling strain,
And broke,
     And that young mother lay upon
The earth in childless agony.
                Again the voice-
     That stirred her vision
                "He who asked of thee
Loveth a cheerful giver."
                So she raised
Her gushing eye, and ere the tear-drop
Dried upon its fringes, smiled-
                Doubt not that smile,
Like Abraham's faith,
                "Was counted righteousness."

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.