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The Bruised Flower

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

Within my hand lay a beautiful blossom. It was perfect in shape and delicately penciled with the most exquisite coloring, nestling amid the vivid green of its own leaves. With delight I gazed upon it, but how soon was my pleasure changed to disappointment when I found it yielded no perfume! No aroma of hidden sweets greeted my senses; no fragrant breath from its glowing heart perfumed the air. Scentless and valueless, it had grown up in riotous beauty, flaunting its lovely face and hiding in its heart its sweetness.

I wearied of the bright flower, and, mechanically closing my fingers upon it, it was crushed, when—lo!—up from the bruised petals floated an invisible cloud, so sweet, so subtle, that I was silent with astonishment. Then I chided myself for my haste, when I saw the blossom bruised and discolored; but a voice whispered: “Better so than to have lived its brief life and faded away with that ravishing sweetness hidden in its heart.”

It is thus with many a human flower. When friendship smooths the path, love beautifies the life, and health, wealth, and prosperity paint the earth with their rich coloring, the heart too often refuses the homage due the great Giver of all good; but misfortune comes and over the prismatic tints casts a sober, somber hue. Griefs that mar and trials that vex creep in, when—lo!—up from the bruised heart go prayers of penitence, and from the tried soul float songs of love and praise withheld in brighter days.