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Legend of the bleeding-heart / by Annie Fellows Johnston. Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows), 1863-1931. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-277-32008329 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Legend of the bleeding-heart / by Annie Fellows Johnston. Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows), 1863-1931. L.C. Page, Boston : 1907. , 41 p. : ill. ; 17 cm. Coleman Within ornamental borders. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1995. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN05122.06 KUK) Printing Master B92-277. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. tt:LEGE ND ac BLEEDING HEART tE'FFELLOWS2 ilz iOM I Il This page in the original text is blank. itz, Eo0 At EE1Z a ofther (2b,EDNGH + .R :r/ 45 cartel. `Ctz-ZA ' K/I,0 erbi wttrf",I srThe LEGEND OF THE 62BLEEDING- 0, HEART 2 ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON A uthor of " The Little Colonel Series," "Big Brother," "Joel: A Boy of Galilee," "Keefing Tryst," etc. L. C BOSTON u L. C PAGE & COMPANY iota .a190 Copyright, 0oo0 toll By L. C. PAGE & COMPANY W., (INCORPORATED) Copyright, 1907 BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY (INCORPORATED) Afl rights reserved F First Impression, July, b9oq W61 COLON1A L PRESS AID Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds 6 Co. Boston, U. S. A. IN MEMORY OF THE ONES THAT GREW SO LONG AGO, IN OLD "runt Ian fip' GARDEN. Qy II'N a N This page in the original text is blank. The Legend of the Bleeding-heart e hN days of old, when all things in the Wood had speech, there lived within its depths a lone Flax-spinner. She was a bent old creature, and ill to look upon, but all the tongues of all the forest leaves were ever kept a-wag- ging with the story of her ae Q THE LEGEND OF THE kindly deeds. And even to this day they sometimes whisper low among them- selves (because they fain would h o l d in mind so I sweet a tale) the story of her kindness to the little e g orphan, Olga. ' 'Twas no slight task the old Flax-spinner took upon herself, the day she brought the helpless child to share the shelter of her thatch. 2 BLEEDING- HEART 00 The Oak outside her door r1 held up his arms in solemn OFCD protest. i ,4 Thou dost but waste r1 thyself," he said. "Thy benefits will be forgot, thy labours unrequited. F o r Youth is ever but another g title for Ingratitude." "Nay, friend," the old. Flax-spinner said. "Mylittle Olga will not be ungrateful w g and forgetful." or THE LEGEND OF THE All hedged about with loving care, the orphan grew to gracious maidenhood, and felt n o lack of f a t h e r, mother, brother or sister. In every way the old Flax- spinner took their places. AW But many were the sacri- Ole fices that she made to keep g her fed and warmly clad, and every time she went without herself that Olga might receive a greater n t BLEEDING- HEART share, Wiseacre Oak looked 9g down and frowned a nd shook his head. Then would the old dame hasten to her inner room, and there she pricked her- self with her spindle, until a g A great red drop of her heart's blood fell into her trembling hand. Wi t h witchery of words she blew upon it, and rolled it in her palm, and muttering, turned and eeNsa THE LEGEND OF THE turned and turned it. And i as the spell was laid upon it, it shrivelled into a tiny round ball like a seed, and she strung it on a thread . where were many others like it, saying, "1 By this she will X/, remember. She will not be ,r, ungrateful and forgetful." So years went by, and g Olga grew in goodness and t in beauty, and helped the Id Flax-spinner in her tasks g a BLEEDING- HEART as blithely and as willingly as if she were indeed her daughter. Every morning she brought water from the spring, gathered the wild fruits of the woods, and 2 spread t he linen on the By grass to bleach. At such 2 times would the bent old A i foster-mother hold herself erect, and call up to the Oak, "m Dost see Thou'rt Q wrong! Youth is not an- 7 THE LEGEND OF THE other title for Ingrati- tude." "Thou hast not lived as Oa f2 long as I," would be the c6 only answer. One day as Olga was wandering by the spring, searching for watercresses, the young Prince of the castle rode by on his pran- cing charger. A snow-white plume warred in his hat, and a shining silverbuglehung Ri 8 BLEEDING- HEART from his shoulder, for he had been following the r,'W chase. He was thirsty and tired, Or and asked for a drink, buth F t h e r e was no cup withe which to dip the water from the spring. But Olga caught the drops as they bubbled out from the spring, holding them in the hollow g of her beautiful white hands, and reaching up to where 9i ADIO THE LEGEND OF THE he sat, offered h im the sparkling water. So grace- fully was it done, that the Prince was charmed by her modest manner as well as her lovely face, and baring g his head when he had 0 g slaked his thirst, he touched the white hands with his C lips. C-N Before he rode away he c asked her name and where na she lived. The next day a 2 IO ffi1 age- Andrb BLEEDING- HEART courier in scarlet and gold g stopped at the door of the g cottage and invited Olga to r/. the castle. Princesses and royal ladies from all over the realm were to be enter- 9' tained there, seven days and l. seven nights. Every night rl a grand ball was to be given, and Olga was sum- moned to each of the balls. Q It was because of her pleas- ing manner and her great aeaa9QQI THE LEGEND OF THE W0 beauty that she had been 1a bidden. The old Flax-spinner 103 courtesied low to the courier and promised that Olga should b e at the castle g without fail. "But, good dame," cried Olga, when the courier had gone, "prithee tell me why g thou didst make such a n promise, knowing full well this gown of tow is all I i I2g BLEEDING - HEART own. Wouldst have me stand before the Prince in beggar's garb Better to bide at home for aye than be put to shame before such guests."- te Have done, my child! " the old dame said. " Thou shalt wear a court robe of the finest. Years have I toiled to have it ready, but that is naught. I loved thee as my own." asaaaI THE LEGEND OF THE Then once more the old the Flax-spinner went into her inner room, and pricked her- self with her spindle till another great red drop of her heart's blood fell into 71 her trembling hand. With witchery of words she blew it= upon it, and rolled it in her g' palm, and muttering, turned l and turned and turned it. A And as the spell was laid g upon it, it shrivelled into a '4 BLEEDING- HEART tiny round ball like a seed, lo and she strung it on to a e- thread, where were many others like i t. Seventy times seven was the number of beads on this strange rosary. the o When the night of the first ball rolled around, Olga combed her long golden hair and twined it with a wreath of snowy water-lilies, and then she stood before the '5 THE LEGEND OF THE old dame in her dress of tow. To her wonderment and grief she saw there was no silken robe in waiting, only a string of beads to clasp around her white throat. Each bead in the necklace was like a little shrivelled eed, and Olga's eyes filled with tears of disappoint- ment. "Obey me and all will be well," said the old woman. Nct9Qeei BLEEDING - HEART 5g Ad"When thou reachest the r1 castle gate clasp one bead in 9e thy fingers and say: "'For love's sweet sake, in my hour of Blossm need, 4S Blossom and deck me, little seed.' Straightway r i g h t royally shalt thou be clad. But re- member carefully the charm. Only to the magic words, g s For love's sweet sake' will the necklace give up its treasures. If thou shouldst '7 THE LEGEND OF THE forget, then thou must be doomed always to wear thy g gown of tow." So Olga s p e d on her moon-lighted way through the forest until she came to Ir & the castle gate. There she rv- paused, and grasping a bead Z2 of the strange necklace be- tween her fingers, repeated M im the old dame's charm: h For love's sweet sake, in my hour of need, Zo/ Blossom and deck me, little seed." 9j i8 BLEEDING - HEAR T Immediately the bead burst with a little puff as if a seed pod had snapped asunder. A faint perfume surrounded her, rare and subtle as if it had been blown across from some flower of Eden. Olga looked down and found her.. self enveloped in a robe of such delicate texture, that W 2 it seemed soft as a rose-leaf and as airy as pink clouds '9 THE LEGEND OF THE that sometimes float across It l the sunset. The water-lilies in her hair had become a coronal of opals. When she entered the great ball-room, the. Prince of the castle started up from his throne in amazement. Never before had he seen I, such a vision of loveliness. Surely," said hel nssome rose of Paradise hath found 2 a soul and drifted earthward 1 20 BLEEDING - HEAR T r1 to blossom here." And all that night he had eyes for none but her. F A.S The next night Olga ,r. started again to the castle in her dress of tow, and at the gate she grasped the second bead in her fingers, repeating the charm. This time the pale yellow of the g daffodils seemed to have woven itself into a cloth of gold for her adorning. It iaega2 THE LEGEND OF THE was like a shimmer of moon-beams, and her hair too held the diamond flashings of a hundred tiny stars. et That night the Prince paid her so many compliments and singled her out so often to bestow his favours, that r1 Olga's head wa s turned.. She tossed it proudly, and quite scorned the thought of g the humble cottage which A had given her shelter so ad given 22 BLEEDING- HEART long. The next day when she had returned to her gown of tow and was no longer a haughty court lady, but only Olga, t he Flax- spinner's maiden, she re- C11 pined at her lot. Frowning, she carried the water from the spring. Frowning, she gathered the cresses and plucked the woodland fruit. i And then she sat all day by the spring, r e f u s i n g to WSWa THE LEGEND OF THE spread the linen o n the grass to bleach. She was discontented with the old life of toil, and pouted crossly because duties called her when she wanted to do nothing but sit idly dreaming of the gay g court scenes in which she A, had taken a bright brief part. The old Flax-spinner's f fingers trembled as she spun, when she saw the in QaQstaQ24 BLEEDING - HEAR T frowns, for she had given of her heart's blood to buy happiness for this maiden AW she loved, and well she knew there can be no hap- piness where frowns abide. She felt that her years of sacrifice had been in vain, but when the Oak wagged his head she called back waveringly, " My little Olga will not be ungrateful and L forgetful! "C 6 25 THE LEGEND OF THE That night outside the castle gate, Olga paused. She had forgotten the charm. The day's discon- tent had darkened her memory as storm-clouds darken the sky. But she grasped her necklace imperi- 3 ously. ",Deck me at once!" she g cried in a haughty tone. AClothe me more beauti- fully than mortal maid was i fully than 26 BLEEDING- HEAR T ever clad before, so that I may find favour in the Ir A Prince's sight and become rn the bride of the castle! I A-owould that Iwere done for gX ever with the spindle and the distaff!"Y) But the moon went under a cloud and the wind begants to moan around the turrets. The black night hawks in the forest flapped their wings warningly, and their 27 THE LEGEND OF THE black bats flitted low around her head. "Obey me at once!" she cried angrily, stamping her foot and jerking a t the necklace. But the string broke, and the beads went It, rolling away in the darkness in every direction and were lost -all but one, which she held clasped in her hand. Then Olga wept at the 28 BLEEDING- HEART castle gate; wept outside in the night and the darkness, in her peasant's garb of tow. But after awhile through her sobbing, stole the an- g swering sob of the night g wind. "Hush-sh! " it seemed to Flo say. "Sh-sh! Never a heart can come to harm, if the lips but speak the old dame's g charm." The voice of the night 29 THE LEGEND OF THE wind sounded so much like the voice of the old Flax- spinner, that Olga was startled and looked around wonderingly. The n sud- denly she seemed to see the thatched cottage and the bent form of the lonely old woman at the wheel. All the years in which the good r- dame had befriended her seemed to rise up in a row, Q and out of each one called 30 BLEEDING- HEART a thousand kindnesses as with one voice: " How canst thou forget us, Olga We were done for love's sweet sake, and that alone!" Then was Olga sorry and ashamed that she had been ir h so proud and forgetful, and she wept again. The tears seemed to clear her vision, r1 for now s h e saw plainly that through no power of g her own could she wrest 3' THE LEGEND OF THE strange favours from for- tune. Only the power of the old charm could make them hers. S he remem- bered it then, and hold- ing fast the one bead in her hand, she repeated O g humbly: "For love's sweet sake, in my hour of need, Blossom and deck me, little seed." Lo, as the words left her lips, the moon shone out from behind the clouds 32 BLEEDING - HEAR T - g above the dark f o r e s t. There was a fragrance of lilies all about, and a gos- samer gown floated around her, whiter than the white- ness of the fairest lily. It was fine like the finest lace the frost-elves weave, and softer than the softest er- mine of the snow. On her g long golden hair gleamed a - coronet of pearls. g So beautiful, so dazzling mw 33 THE LEGEND OF THE was she as she entered the castle door, that the Prince came down to meet her, and kneeling, kissed her hand an d claimed her as his bride. Then came the bishop in his mitre, and led her to the throne, and before g them all the Flax-spinner's maiden was married to the Prince, and made the Prin- A, cess Olga. Then until the seven days 34 BLEEDING- HEART and seven nights were done, the revels lasted in t h e castle. And in the merri- ment the old Flax-spinner was again forgotten. Her kindness of the past, her loneliness in the present had no part in the thoughts of the Princess Olga. All night the old Oak, tap- ping on the thatch, called down, Thou'rt forgotten I 2 Thou'rt forgotten! 35 THE LEGEND OF THE But the beads that had rolled away in the darkness, 0C0 buried themselves in the ir & earth, and took root, and sprang up, as the o l d woman knew they would do. There a t the castle g a t e t h e y bloomed, a strange, strange flower, for on every stem hung a row g of little bleeding hearts. One d ay the Princess Olga, seeing them from her 36 A-o BLEEDING - HEART 91 N window, went down to them in wonderment. 1 A "What do you here" she cried, for in her forest tol life she'd learned all speech of bird and beast and r/1 plant. r/ ,We bloom for love's IC/ sweet sake," they answered. g 4" We have sprung from the g g old Flax-spinner's gift- the necklace thou didst break and scatter. From her aeawa3 THE LEGEND OF THE MA heart's best blood s h e gave it, and her heart still bleeds to think she is for- gotten." Then they began to tell g the story of the old dame's sacrifices, all the seventy times seven that she had made for the sake of the - maiden, and Olga grieved as she listened, that she could have been so ungrateful. x Then she brought the 38 BLEEDING - HEAR T Prince to hear the story of the strange, strange flowers, and when he had heard, together they went to the are lowly cottage and fetched rd the old Flax-spinner to the castle, there to live out all tll her days in ease and con- tentment. 4 "See now," she whispered to the Oak at parting, but rl sturdily he held his ground, 00 persisting, "Thou wouldst 39 i THE LEGEND OF THE have been forgotten, save for that miracle of bloom." A Snd still the flower we call BLEEDING- Q HEAI R T blooms on by cot/age walls and castle gardens, /o waken all the world to grateful mem- orAes. .4nd ever i do/h obring to mind the lonely hearts that bleed because they are forgotten, and they40 BLEEDING- HEART X &1 all they sacriftced for g love's sweet sake, to give us happiness. Xlm THE END. 4' an 4 iI1RI- i"I R cin! 0 grt