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.