Fragrance in Literature-Natalie, by Ferna Vale

Natalie, by Ferna Vale

"And this was the home of my mother," mused Natalie, as arrived in Florence, our tourists entered the arched gateway, which led to the broad domains of the long absent master, just as the sun was sinking to rest, his soft lingering rays kissing the fleecy clouds, o'er which a blush came and went, now deepening as the rose carmine, giving place to the most delicate tinge that e'er sat upon a maiden's cheek,--born of pure modesty. The scent of the delicate jasmine perfumed the air, while the pensive strains of some fair one, soft and clear as the tones of a wind-harp, was borne on the stillness of evening to the ear of the lovely Sea-flower, who, reclining upon the bosom of her father, her sunny tresses mingling with the silvery locks, which told that he had seen many winters, whispered in words low and musical,--"My angel mother,--I can feel her presence near; she has breathed this blissful air; can it be more heavenly there?"

Natalie still lingered beneath the ivy trellis, her feet drawn upon the cushions, for she would not crush the gentle flowers, which told to her their love in the rich perfume of the air; and yet, if trodden under foot, the flowers, with their dying breath, the beauteous flowers, do, with their richest perfume, breathe forgiveness.

As the two had been speaking, they had not observed a light form, reclining under a flowering currant, which only separated them from the object of their conversation. It was a little arbor, formed by a clustering rose, vieing with the flowering currant in fragrance; thither had the Sea-flower repaired, and as the softest rays of a northern sky, at sunset, sank into her soul, mingling with more mellow light than is of southern climes, these words fell upon her ear,--"Natalie, she is not my sister by birth."

Despatching a servant with the keys, which she had intended to have put into her hands at the earliest opportunity, thereby acknowledging her superior claim at once, she sought Natalie, whom she found seated in the conservatory, enjoying the Indian summer breeze, which stole softly in among the fragrant plants, which were the particular objects of her care. Each knew what was uppermost in the other's mind, but Winnie's heart was too full to speak.

Ah, who is he,--on whom young men and maidens look with pitying eye? to whom the old man lifts his hat, and little children cease from their sports as he passes, and quietly slip the innocent daisy, or the sweet-scented arbutus into his hand, which they have culled from the wide commons, where, they have been told, the good Sea-flower loved to stray.