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Table Of Contents: The Blue Flower

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"Is it blue," she asked, "as blue as the speedwell that grows beside the brook?"

"Yes, it is as much bluer than the speedwell, as the river is deeper than the brook."

"And is it she asked, "as bright as the drops of dew in the moonlight?"

"Yes, it is brighter than the drops of dew as the sun is clearer than the moon."

"And is it sweet," she asked, "as sweet as the honeysuckle when the day is warm and still?"

"Yes, it is as much sweeter than the honeysuckle as the night is stiller and more sweet than the day."

"Tell me again," she asked, "when you saw it, and why do you seek it?"

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"Once I saw it when I was a boy, no older than you. Our house looked out toward the hills, far away and at sunset softly blue against the eastern sky. It was the day that we laid my father to rest in the little burying-ground among the cedar-trees. There was his father's grave, and his father's father's grave, and there were the places for my mother and for my two brothers and for my sister and for me. I counted them all, when the others had gone back to the house. I paced up and down alone, measuring the ground; there was room enough for us all; and in the western corner where a young elm-tree was growing,--that would be my place, for I was the youngest. How tall would the elm-tree be then? I had never thought of it before. It seemed to make me sad and restless,--wishing for something, I knew not what,--longing to see the world and to taste happiness before I must sleep beneath the elm-tree. Then I looked off to the blue hills, shadowy and dream-like, the boundary of the little world that I knew. And there, in a cleft between the highest peaks I saw a wondrous thing: for the place at which I was looking seemed to come nearer and nearer to me; I saw the trees, the rocks, the ferns, the white road winding before me; the enfolding hills unclosed like leaves, and in the heart of them I saw a Blue Flower, so bright, so beautiful that my eyes filled with tears as I looked. It was like a face that smiled at me and promised something. Then I heard a call, like the note of a trumpet very far away, calling me to come. And as I listened the flower faded into the dimness of the hills."

"Did you follow it," asked Ruamie, "and did you go away from your home? How could you do that?"

"Yes, Ruamie, when the time came, as soon as I was free, I set out on my journey, and my home is at the end of the journey, wherever that may be."

"And the flower," she asked, "you have seen it again?"

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The Blue Flower
Henry van Dyke

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