Gateway to the Classics: Display Item
Eugene Field

Little Homer's Slate

After dear old grandma died,

Hunting through an oaken chest

In the attic, we espied

What repaid our childish quest;

'Twas a homely little slate,

Seemingly of ancient date.

On its quaint and battered face

Was the picture of a cart,

Drawn with all that awkward grace

Which betokens childish art;

But what meant this legend, pray:

"Homer drew this yesterday"?

Mother recollected then

What the years were fain to hide—

She was but a baby when

Little Homer lived and died;

Forty years, so mother said,

Little Homer had been dead.

This one secret through those years

Grandma kept from all apart,

Hallowed by her lonely tears

And the breaking of her heart;

While each year that sped away

Seemed to her but yesterday.

So the homely little slate

Grandma's baby's fingers pressed,

To a memory consecrate,

Lieth in the oaken chest,

Where, unwilling we should know,

Grandma put it, years ago.