Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

they cried, “Love and little Violet.”

Then down from the throne, hand in hand, came the Queen and Violet,

and till the moon sank did the Fairies toil, to weave a wreath

of the fairest flowers. Tenderly they gathered them, with the

night-dew fresh upon their leaves, and as they wove chanted sweet

spells, and whispered fairy blessings on the bright messengers

whom they sent forth to die in a dreary land, that their gentle

kindred might bloom unharmed.

At length it was done; and the fair flowers lay glowing

in the soft starlight, while beside them stood the Fairies, singing

to the music of the wind-harps:–

“We are sending you, dear flowers,

Forth alone to die,

Where your gentle sisters may not weep

O’er the cold graves where you lie;

But you go to bring them fadeless life

In the bright homes where they dwell,

And you softly smile that ‘t is so,

As we sadly sing farewell.

O plead with gentle words for us,

And whisper tenderly

Of generous love to that cold heart,

And it will answer ye;

And though you fade in a dreary home,

Yet loving hearts will tell

Of the joy and peace that you have given:

Flowers, dear flowers, farewell!”

The morning sun looked softly down upon the broad green earth,

which like a mighty altar was sending up clouds of perfume from its

breast, while flowers danced gayly in the summer wind, and birds sang

their morning hymn among the cool green leaves. Then high above,

on shining wings, soared a little form. The sunlight rested softly

on the silken hair, and the winds fanned lovingly the bright face,

and brought the sweetest odors to cheer her on.

Thus went Violet through the clear air, and the earth looked

smiling up to her, as, with the bright wreath folded in her

arms, she flew among the soft, white clouds.

On and on she went, over hill and valley, broad rivers and

rustling woods, till the warm sunlight passed away, the winds

grew cold, and the air thick with falling snow. Then far below

she saw the Frost-King’s home. Pillars of hard, gray ice supported

the high, arched roof, hung with crystal icicles. Dreary gardens

lay around, filled with withered flowers and bare, drooping trees;

while heavy clouds hung low in the dark sky, and a cold wind

murmured sadly through the wintry air.

With a beating heart Violet folded her fading wreath more closely

to her breast, and with weary wings flew onward to the dreary palace.

Here, before the closed doors, stood many forms with dark faces and

harsh, discordant voices, who sternly asked the shivering little Fairy

why she came to them.

Gently she answered, telling them her errand, beseeching them

to let her pass ere the cold wind blighted her frail blossoms.

Then they flung wide the doors, and she passed in.

Walls of ice, carved with strange figures, were around her;

glittering icicles hung from the high roof, and soft, white snow

covered the hard floors. On a throne hung with clouds sat

the Frost-King; a crown of crystals bound his white locks, and

a dark mantle wrought with delicate frost-work was folded over

his cold breast.

His stern face could not stay little Violet, and on through

the long hall she went, heedless of the snow that gathered on

her feet, and the bleak wind that blew around her; while the King

with wondering eyes looked on the golden light that played upon the

dark walls as she passed.

The flowers, as if they knew their part, unfolded their bright leaves,

and poured forth their sweetest perfume, as, kneeling at the throne,

the brave little Fairy said,–

“O King of blight and sorrow, send me not away till I have

brought back the light and joy that will make your dark home bright

and beautiful again. Let me call back to the desolate gardens the

fair forms that are gone, and their soft voices blessing you will

bring to your breast a never failing joy. Cast by your icy crown

and sceptre, and let the sunlight of love fall softly on your heart.

“Then will the earth bloom again in all its beauty, and your dim eyes

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Categories: Alcott, Louisa May