McGuffey Reader and Poetry

SUSIE SUNBEAM

1. Susie Sunbeam was not her real name; that was Susan Brown. But every one called her Susie Sunbeam, because she had such a sweet, smiling face, and always brought brightness with her when she came.

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2. Her grandfather first gave her this name, and it seemed to fit the little girl so nicely that soon it took the place of her own.

3. Even when a baby, Susie laughed and crowed from morning till night. No one ever heard her cry unless she was sick or hurt.

4. When she had learned to walk, she loved to go about the house and get things for her mother, and in this way save her as many steps as she could.

5. She would sit by her mother’s side for an hour at a time, and ask her ever so many questions, or she would take her new book and read.

6. Susie was always pleasant in her play with other children. She never used an unkind word, but tried to do whatever would please her playmates best.

7. One day, a poor little girl with a very ragged dress was going by and Susie heard some children teasing her and making fun of her.

8. She at once ran out to the gate, and asked the poor little girl to come in. “What are you crying for?” Susie asked.

9. “Because they all laugh at me,” she said.

10. Then Susie took the little girl into the house. She cheered her up with kind words, and gave her a nice dress and a pair of shoes.
11. This brought real joy and gladness to the poor child, and she, too, thought that Susie was rightly called Sunbeam.

IF I WERE A SUNBEAM

  1. “If I were a sunbeam,
    I know what I’d do;
    I would seek white lilies,
    Roaming woodlands through.
    I would steal among them,
    Softest light I’d shed,
    Until every lily
    Raised its drooping head.
  2. “If I were a sunbeam,
    I know where I’d go;
    Into lowly hovels,
    Dark with want and woe:
    Till sad hearts looked upward,
    I would shine and shine;
    Then they’d think of heaven,
    Their sweet home and mine.”
  3. Are you not a sunbeam,
    Child, whose life is glad
    With an inner brightness
    Sunshine never had?
    Oh, as God has blessed you,
    Scatter light divine!
    For there is no sunbeam
    But must die or shine.

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