The Child And The Flower-Elf.

A poem by H. P. Nichols

"I was walking, dearest mother,
This morning, by the brook,
And tired at last I rested me
Within a shady nook.

"There all was still and lonely,
And suddenly I heard
A little voice,--a sweeter one
Than note of any bird.

"I looked above, around me,
I saw not whence it came;
And yet that tone of music
Was calling me by name.

"The violet beside me
Bloomed with its purple cup,
And a tiny face, so lovely,
Amidst its leaves peeped up.

"Again the silver music,--
The voice I loved to hear,--
Upon its sweet breath floated,
And bade me not to fear.

"'I am the elf,' it whispered,
'Who in the violet dwells,
And every blossom hides one
Within its fragrant cells.

"'If you will list our teaching,
And catch our faintest tone,
Your heart will be as spotless,
As loving as our own.'

"And then, as I was gazing,
It vanished from my sight;
Once more the violet nodded,
And sought the sunshine bright."

"My darling child, the elfins
That live within the flowers
Sweet sounds are ever breathing,
To glad this world of ours.

"Well may we weep and sorrow,
If they are silent all;
Then are our souls too sinful
To heed their spirit call.

"The pure in heart alone can hear
Those precious words and low;
And by their lessons purer yet
Throughout their lives shall grow."

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