Louisa May Alcott

Here you will find the Poem Little Paul of poet Louisa May Alcott

Little Paul

CHEERFUL voices by the sea-side 
Echoed through the summer air, 
Happy children, fresh and rosy, 
Sang and sported freely there, 
Often turning friendly glances, 
Where, neglectful of them all, 
On his bed among the gray rocks, 
Mused the pale child, little Paul. 

For he never joined their pastimes, 
Never danced upon the sand, 
Only smiled upon them kindly, 
Only waved his wasted hand. 
Many a treasured gift they bore him, 
Best beloved among them all. 
Many a childish heart grieved sadly, 
Thinking of poor little Paul. 

But while Florence was beside him, 
While her face above him bent, 
While her dear voice sounded near him, 
He was happy and content; 
Watching ever the great billows, 
Listening to their ceaseless fall, 
For they brought a pleasant music 
To the ear of little Paul. 

'Sister Floy,' the pale child whispered, 
'What is that the blue waves say? 
What strange message are they bringing 
From that shore so far away? 
Who is dwelling in that country 
Whence a low voice seems to call 
Softly, through the dash of waters, 
'Come away, my little Paul'?' 

But sad Florence could not answer, 
Though her dim eyes tenderly 
Watched the wistful face, that ever 
Gazed across the restless sea, 
While the sunshine like a blessing 
On his bright hair seemed to fall, 
And the winds grew more caressing, 
As they kissed frail little Paul. 

Ere long, paler and more wasted, 
On another bed he lay, 
Where the city's din and discord 
Echoed round him day by day; 
While the voice that to his spirit 
By the sea-side seemed to call, 
Sounded with its tender music 
Very near to little Paul. 

As the deep tones of the ocean 
Linger in the frailest shell, 
So the lonely sea-side musings 
In his memory seemed to dwell. 
And he talked of golden waters 
Rippling on his chamber wall, 
While their melody in fancy 
Cheered the heart of little Paul. 

Clinging fast to faithful Florence, 
Murmuring faintly night and day, 
Of the swift and darksome river 
Bearing him so far away, 
Toward a shore whose blessed sunshine 
Seemed most radiantly to fall 
On a beautiful mild spirit, 
Waiting there for little Paul. 

So the tide of life ebbed slowly, 
Till the last wave died away, 
And nothing but the fragile wreck 
On the sister's bosom lay. 
And from out death's solemn waters, 
Lifted high above them all, 
In her arms the spirit mother 
Bore the soul of little Paul.