Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

The love of this shall lead her on through temptation and through

grief, and she shall be a spirit of joy and consolation to the sinful

and the sorrowing.”

And with busy love toiled the Elves amid the withered leaves,

and new strength was given to the flower; while, as day by day the

friendless child watered the growing buds, deeper grew her love for

the unseen friends who had given her one thing to cherish in her

lonely home; sweet, gentle thoughts filled her heart as she bent

above it, and the blossom’s fragrant breath was to her a whispered

voice of all fair and lovely things; and as the flower taught her,

so she taught others.

The loving Elves brought her sweet dreams by night, and happy thoughts

by day, and as she grew in childlike beauty, pure and patient amid

poverty and sorrow, the sinful were rebuked, sorrowing hearts grew

light, and the weak and selfish forgot their idle fears, when they saw

her trustingly live on with none to aid or comfort her. The love

she bore the tender flower kept her own heart innocent and bright,

and the pure human flower was a lesson to those who looked upon it;

and soon the gloomy house was bright with happy hearts, that learned

of the gentle child to bear poverty and grief as she had done, to

forgive those who brought care and wrong to them, and to seek for

happiness in humble deeds of charity and love.

“Our work is done,” whispered the Elves, and with blessings on the

two fair flowers, they flew away to other homes;–to a blind old man

who dwelt alone with none to love him, till through long years of

darkness and of silent sorrow the heart within had grown dim and cold.

No sunlight could enter at the darkened eyes, and none were near

to whisper gentle words, to cheer and comfort.

Thus he dwelt forgotten and alone, seeking to give no joy to others,

possessing none himself. Life was dark and sad till the untiring

Elves came to his dreary home, bringing sunlight and love. They

whispered sweet words of comfort,–how, if the darkened eyes could

find no light without, within there might be never-failing happiness;

gentle feelings and sweet, loving thoughts could make the heart fair,

if the gloomy, selfish sorrow were but cast away, and all would be

bright and beautiful.

They brought light-hearted children, who gathered round him, making

the desolate home fair with their young faces, and his sad heart gay

with their sweet, childish voices. The love they bore he could not

cast away, sunlight stole in, the dark thoughts passed away, and the

earth was a pleasant home to him.

Thus their little hands led him back to peace and happiness,

flowers bloomed beside his door, and their fragrant breath brought

happy thoughts of pleasant valleys and green hills; birds sang to him,

and their sweet voices woke the music in his own soul, that never

failed to calm and comfort. Happy sounds were heard in his once

lonely home, and bright faces gathered round his knee, and listened

tenderly while he strove to tell them all the good that gentleness and

love had done for him.

Still the Elves watched near, and brighter grew the heart as kindly

thoughts and tender feelings entered in, and made it their home;

and when the old man fell asleep, above his grave little feet trod

lightly, and loving hands laid fragrant flowers.

Then went the Elves into the dreary prison-houses, where sad hearts

pined in lonely sorrow for the joy and freedom they had lost. To

these came the loving band with tender words, telling of the peace

they yet might win by patient striving and repentant tears, thus

waking in their bosoms all the holy feelings and sweet affections

that had slept so long.

They told pleasant tales, and sang their sweetest songs to cheer and

gladden, while the dim cells grew bright with the sunlight, and

fragrant with the flowers the loving Elves had brought, and by their

gentle teachings those sad, despairing hearts were filled with patient

hope and earnest longing to win back their lost innocence and joy.

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Categories: Alcott, Louisa May