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It has been a while since I re-printed an old poem in The New Leaf Journal. I wil fix that today with my second consecutive post covering content from the March 16, 1880 issue of Harper’s Round Table. We covered a guide on how to draw leaves yesterday. Today I will reprint Alice’s Question, a poem that appeared in the issue, along with its original illustration. Unlike many of the poems that I re-print, Alice’s Question does not note the author. It is a simple poem about three children being moved by lovely and pious organ music – which prompted a question to the organist from Alice, one of the three children.

“Alice’s Question”

A pencil sketch of three children watching a man play the organ.  It was originally published in the March 16, 1880 Harper's Round Table to accompany a children's poem called "Alice's Question."
Original sketch that accompanied the poem in Harper’s Round Table.
Softly, gently upward
      A strain from the organ floats,
And the children at play in the nursery
      Listen awhile to the notes,

Stop, and they are silent a moment—
      They are almost tired of play,
And the shadows of evening are falling,
      Making twilight of the day.

Then down the broad old staircase
      Comes the patter of little feet,
And in through the open doorway,
      Drawn by the sounds so sweet.

Then close to the organ stealing,
      With awe-struck eyes they gaze
At the player, and listen mutely
      To the deep clear notes of praise.

Then drawing nearer and nearer,
      Made bold by the twilight gray,
Little Alice looks up, and whispers,
      "Did God teach you how to play?"

March 16, 1880 Harper’s Round Table.