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Good Words 1860
The Fatherless One

She was one among many, a school-girl of fifteen, growing as others grow at that interesting age. Her oval face was a clear gipsy-brown, and her shining black hair lay banded on her dimpled cheeks. A bloom like a summer rose would sometimes throw a brilliant lustre over her countenance, but it was usually thoughtful, and the occasional dropping of her long silken lashes gave a fascinating sadness to its expression. Her eyes were the softest brown, and I used to watch the big tears gather there, till they brimmed over, and rolled silently down her dark cheeks, telling, as they fell faster and more thickly, the touching tale of an orphan's woe.

A few years have gone by: she is an orphan still. The voice she missed so grievously has never sounded since. The gaze she mourned after so deeply has fallen on her no more. The lips are as silent as they were; the brow as pallid, the cheek as cold. The body she loved is crumbling; the soul,—ay, where is it? But she weeps no longer. Oh! but if a kinder voice had soothed her! if a better gaze had satisfied her! if a mightier Father's blessing had healed her! But it was not so. There was One whose stronger love would have dried up her tide of orphan grief; but she would not. She turned away, and the chilling world has frozen it instead.

She is nearly twenty now. Woman's loveliness is in her face, and the smile of pleasure plays round her mouth. She was like a drooping lily of the vale; but her head is lifted joyously in the consciousness of beauty, and the semblance is passed away. The lash falls not so closely over her dark eye as it used, and the wild satire that early grief sobered awhile streams out unchecked in its brilliant gaze. The soft blush of girlish modesty has forsaken her cheek, and given place to a richer bloom ; the arched brow has lost its witching shade of pensiveness, and the laugh of wayward mirth sits proudly on her curling lip. She is beautiful,, but it is no longer as the simple valley flower. She grows in the garden of the world, rearing her lovely blossoms among her gay peers, and opening her sunny graces in the dazzling glare of shortlived pleasure.

Is she happy? Oh! if she had a Guide in her gleesome youth! If the eye that once drooped so darkly had never more lifted its lid till it turned upward to the loving countenance of her Father in heaven; if the tear that fell in such burning fulness had never stayed till His tender hand chased it away; if her head had only ceased its throbbing upon His bosom; if her lips had only smiled when they learned to breathe the holy "Abba" of the saved! But it is not so. She would not: she turned away. Her heart beats most joyfully; but she is a Fatherless one!

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