“Yes, yes, my son; take good care of her, be a true brother to her, ever. Many long years have passed since my own little Natalie played in my arms, but they are gone;” and the kind gentleman gathered his sketching instruments to depart.
That night, as Mrs. Grosvenor talked with her children, as was her wont, of the good Father who loves us all, Harry related the interview with the stranger gentleman; and in the prayer which followed he was not forgotten. The Sea-flower folded her tiny hands meekly, while from the windows of her soul went up the love she could not speak. As that faithful mother sat meditating upon the story of Harry in regard to the stranger, which she had related to her husband, Captain Grosvenor remarked,—“It is just one year to-day when our dear child came to us, being also my birthday; but instead of adding a year to my life, it seems to me old Father time has made a mistake, and made a deduction of a year. Just one year to-day, and she is the Sea-flower still. Yes, she will ever be the Sea-flower to us; yet I suppose she must have a name more in keeping with the ideas of the world. What was the name of the lost one the sad gentleman mused of?”
“He spoke of the long time ago, before his own Natalie had gone.”
“Poor man! Each life must have its portion of bitterness. Natalie,—I like the sound; it reminds me of my home on the waters. With your consent, my wife, the Christian name of the child shall be Natalie, for she came to us from the sea.”
THE ISLAND HOME.
“Long may this ocean-gem be bright,
And long may it be fair,
In Freedom’s pure and blessed light,
And Virtue’s hallowed air!
While still across its ocean bound,
Shall e’er be borne the truthful sound,
Our island home! our island home!
We love our island home!”
Mrs. J. H. Hanaford.
“And yet that isle remaineth,
A refuge for the free,
As when true-hearted Macy
Beheld it from the sea.
God bless the sea-beat island!
And grant for evermore,
That Charity and Freedom dwell,
As now, upon the shore!”
J. G. Whittier.
Gentle reader, pause a little, and let us for a few moments turn our thoughts toward that Island of the sea, upon which it was the fate of our heroine, through the guidance of a divine providence, to find a home in the bosoms of those whose hearts’ beatings were of love for our unknown. Yea, love ever encircleth purity.