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P HA N TA STE S

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A F AE R IE R O MAN C E F O R MEN A N D WO M E N .

GEOR GE M A C DO NALD ,

A U T HO R O F RO B E R T F A L NE
C O R ,” DA V I D E L G IN B R O D , ” E T C .

In g o o d soo th , m y m as t e rs , th i s is no d oor . Ye t t
i s i t a li tl e “ i n d o w , t h a t
l t
oo ke h up o n a. g re a tw orl d .

Gr P b l i h

L O R I N , u s e r ,

3 19

W E E HIN GT O N ST RE E T ,

35 SC HO O L ST REET ,

BO S TO N .
E s l a s en s i ch
s E rz ahl u n g en o h n e Z u s am m en h an g , j e d o c h m it A sso

c i at i o n , W k en ; G dich te di bl o w o h lkl i g n d d
i e T r au m e , d en e , e ss n e un

vo ll c h o Wo rt e s i d ab au ch o h e all S i
s n er d Z amm
n , er n en nn un us en

h a g h ch t e
n , i z l n S t op h
o s t d dli h w i B
ns e n h t nc k e a s
e e r e n v er s n c , e ru c s u

d en v e s ch i d e a t ig t
r D i ge D i e w ah P ie k a h c h t e s
e n r s en n n. es re o es nn o s n

e i en all g o i c h e
n Si
e im G r s d i e i di ct W i k
n nn g ro s s en , un e n n re e r un ,

Wie M ik h ab e
us D a m i t d i N at n. i p ti c h i d ie S t b
ru s e ur s o r e n oe s , W e u e

i
e n es Z aub e e s ei e P h y ik r r i ! i d
, t b i P lt r un d
n s s er s , e ne n ers u e, e n e o e -

Vorr at h sk amm er .

E in M e h r eh en ist W ie e in T r au m i d bl oh n e Z u s amm en h an g . E in

E n s em bl e w un d e r ba r er D in g e un d Be gb
e en h ei en , t z . B . ein e M u si

k ali s c h e Ph a t a i n s e, di e h ar m o ni s h en c F lg
o en e i n er A e o l s h arfe , di e
Nt a ur se lb t s .

In e in e m e ch t en M ah r c h en mu s s a ll es b
w u n d e r ar , g eh ei m n i s s v o ll

u n d z u s amm en h zi n g en d s ei n ; a ll e s b l bt
e e , j e d er au f e i n e an d e r e A rt .

Di e g anz e Nt a ur m u s s w u n d elic h m i t d er g z G i t w lt g mi c h t
an en e s er e e s

s ein ; h i er t i tt
r d ie Z i t d A ch i
e er n ar e, d G t z l igk it F ih it
er es e os e , re e ,

d er N at urs t an d d er N t di Z it
a ur , e e v or d er W e lt e i n . Di e
W e lt des M ah r c h en s i s t die , d er W e lt d er W ah rh e i t d u r c h au s en t g e

g en g es et z t e , un d e b en d a r um ih r so c
d ur h au s ii h nl i c h , W ie d as C h ao s
d er vo ll en d e en t S ch op fun g éih n li ch i s t . N O VA L IS .
P HA N TA STE S .

A s pi i t
r

Th e t g w o od s
u n d ul a in , an d s i enl t w ell ,

A nd r ipp l i g iv u l e t a
n r , n d ev e i g gl o om
n n ,

N ow d ee p e n in g th e d ar k s h ad e s , fo r s p chee as s u min g ,

l c o mmu n e w ith
He d h im ; as if h e an d it
W ere all th at w as .

S HE LLE s A las t or .

I AW O ! E on e morn i ng with the usual p erplexity of min d


which accompanies the retu rn of consciousness A s I lay .

and lo oked through the easter n win dow Of my room a faint ,

streak of peach color dividing a cloud that just rose abo ve


-
,

the low swell of the horizon announced the approach of the ,

s un
. A s my thou ghts which a deep an d appare n tly
,

dreamless sleep had dissolved began agai n to assume crys ,

t allin e forms the strange eve n ts of the foregoing n ight pre


,

sen ted themselves anew to my wondering consciousness .

The day befor e had bee n my on e and twe n tieth bi rthday - -


.

/5 i hu g
6 HAN TA SI E S
P

A m ong o ther ceremonies investi n g me wi th my le g al rights ,

the keys of an Old secretary in which my father had ke p t


,

his private papers had bee n delivered up to me As s o on


,
. .

as I was left alone I ordered lights in the chamber where


,

the secretary s t ood ,


the first lights that had been there for
many a y ear ; for sin ce my father s death the room had
,

,

been le ft undist rbed B t as if the darkness had bee n


u . u ,

to long an inmate to be easily expelled and had dyed with


o
,

blackness the walls to which bat like it had clung these


,
-
, ,

tapers se rved but ill to light up the gloomy hangings an d ,

seemed to throw yet darker shadows into the hollows of the


deep wrought cornice All the further portions of the
-
.

room lay shrouded i n a mystery whose deepest folds were


gathered arou n d the dark oak cabinet which I n ow ap
ro ac h ed with a strange mingling of r everence and curi
p
o s it
y. Perhaps like a geologist I was about to turn up to
, ,

the light s ome of t he bur ied s trata of the human world ,

with its fossil remains charred by passio n and petrified by


tears Perhaps I was to lear n how my father whose per
.
,

sonal history was unk n ow n to me had wove n his web of ,

story ; how he had found the world an d how the world ,

had left him Perhaps I was to find only the records of


.

lands and moneys how gotte n an d h ow secured ; coming


,

d own from strange men and thro gh troublous times to


,
u ,

me wh o knew little or n othing of them all .

To s o lve my specu l ations and to dispel the awe which


,

was fast g atherin g ar o und me as if the dead we r e drawin g


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 7

n ear ,
I approach ed the secretary ; and having found the
key that fitted the upper portion I opened it with some ,

difficulty drew n ear it a heavy high backed chair and sat


,
-
,

down before a multitude of little drawers and slides and


pigeon holes But the door of a little cupboard in the
-
.

centre especially attracted my interest as if there lay the ,

secret of this long hidden world Its key I found O ne


-
. .

of the rusty hinges cracked and broke as I O p e n ed the door

it revealed a number of small pigeon holes These how -


.
,

ever being but shallow compared with the depth of those


,

around the little cupboard the o ter on es reaching to t h e


,
u

back of the desk I co n cluded that there must be some ac


,

cessible space behind ; and found indeed that they were , ,

formed i n a separ ate framework which admitted of th e ,

whole being pulled out i n on e piece Behind I found a .


,

sort of flexible p ortcullis of small bars Of wood laid close


together horizon tally After long search an d trying
.
,

many ways to move it I discovered at last a scarce l y pro


,

j e c t in
g p o int o f steel on on e side I pressed this re .

p eat edl
y a n d hard with the point of a n old tool that was

lying near ti l l at length it yielded inwards and the little


,

slide flyin g up suddenly disclosed a chamber empty


, , ,

,

except that in on e corner lay a little heap of withered rose


leaves whose lon g lived sce n t had lon g since departed ;
,
-

and i n another a small packet of pap ers tied with a bit


, , ,

of ribbon whose color had gone with the rose scent A l


,
-
.

most fearing to touch them they witn essed so mutely to ,


8 PHA N TA STE S

the law of oblivion I lean ed back i n my chair an d re


, ,

garded them for a momen t ; when sudde nly there stood o n


the threshold of the little chamber as thoug h sh e had just ,

emerged from its depth a tiny w oman form as perfect i n


.
,
-
,

shape as if sh e had bee n a small Greek statuette roused to


life and motion Her dress was of a kind that could n ever
.

grow Old fashioned because it was simply natural : a robe


-
,

plaited i n a band around the neck and co n fined by a belt ,

about the waist desce nded to her feet It w as only after


,
.

wards however that I took notice of he r dr ess although


, , ,

my surprise was by n o means of s o overpovVering a degree


as such an appariti on might naturally be expected to excite .

S eeing however as I suppose some astonishment in my


, , ,

countenan ce sh e came forward withi n a yard of me an d


, ,

said in a voice that strangely recalled a sensation of twi


,

light and reedy river banks an d a low wind even i n this


, , ,

de athly room
An odos you n ever s aw such a little creature before
, ,

did you ?
No said I ; an d indeed I hardly believe I do
,
” “

Ah that is always the way with you me n ; you be


!
lieve nothing the first time ; an d it is foolish enough to let
mere repetition convince you of what you con sider i n itself
unbe l ievable I am not goin g to argue with you however
.
, ,

but to grant you a wish .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 9

H ere c o uld not help in terrupting her with the fo olish


I
Speech o f which however I had o ca se to repent :
, , ,
n u


Ho w can such a very little creature as yo u grant or ,

refuse anything

Is that all the philos ophy you have gained in one and -

t wenty years said s h e


?”
F orm is much but si z e is
.
,

n thing It is a mere matter of relation I s ppose y r


o . . u ou

s ix foo t
-
lordship d o es n ot feel a l t ogether insignificant ,

th o gh to o thers yo do l ook small beside y o r old Uncle


u u u

R a l ph wh o rises ab o ve you a great half fo ot at l east


,
But -
.

si z e is o f s o little c onsequence with me that I may as well ,

accommodate myself t o y o r foolish prej dices u u .


So sayi g s h e leaped fro m the desk upon the fl oo r ; where


n ,

s h e st oo d a ta l l gracio s lady with pa l e face and large


,
u ,

bl e eyes Her dark hair fl owed behind wavy b t


u .
,
u un

c rled down t o her waist and against it her form stood


u , ,

clear in its robe o f white .

No w ,
said sh e you will believe me

,
.

O vercome with the presence o f a bea ty which I co ld u u

n o w perceive and drawn to wards her by an attracti on


,

irresistible as inco mprehensible I suppose I stretched o t ,


u

my arms towards her for s h e dre w back a step or two and


, ,

said
Fo o l ish boy if you could touch me I sh o uld h rt you
, ,
u .

Besides I was t wo hundred and thirty seve n years old last


,
-

M idsummer eve and a man must not fall in love with his
-

grandmother you know ,


.

10 P HA N TA STE S


But you are not my grandmother said I ,

How do you know that ? s h e retorted I dare say .

o u know s omething o f y o r great grandfathers a g o d deal o


y u -

f rther back than that ; but you kno w very little abo t
u u

your great grandmothers on either side N ew to the


-
.
,

poin t You r little sister was r eadin g a fairy tale to you


.

last night .


S he was .

When s h e had finished sh e said as sh e closed the , ,

book Is there a fairy country brother ? You replied


,

,

with a sigh I suppose there is if on e could find the way


, ,

into it .


I did ; but I meant something qu ife different from
'

what you se em to think .



N ever mind what I seem to think You shall find .

the way into F airy land to morrow N ow look i n my - - .

eyes .

E agerly I did so They filled me with a n unknown .

longing I remembered s omehow that my mother died


.

whe n I was a baby I looked deeper an d deeper till they .


,

spread around me like seas and I sank in their waters I ,


.

fo rgot all the rest till I found myself at the window whose
, ,

g l oomy curtain s were withdrawn and where I stood ga z in g ,

on a wh o le heave n of stars small an d Sparkling i n the


,

mo onlight Below lay a s ea still as death and hoary in


.
, ,

the moon sweepin g into bays and around cap es and islands
, ,

away away I k n ew n ot whither


, A las ! it was n o sea
, .
,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 11

but a low fog burnished by the moo n S urely there is


.

such a s ea somewhere ! said I to myself A low sweet .


,

voice beside me replied


In F airy land Anodos
-
,
.

I turned b t s aw no one
,
u I closed the secretary and
.
,

went to my own room an d t o bed


,
.

A ll this I recalled as I lay with half closed ey es I was


-
.

c on t o find the tr th o f the lady s p romise that this da



u
y ,

I should discover the r oad into F airy land -


.
12 PHA N TA STE S

II .

W o tr om ? ri ef e m it T h e
i s t d er S r r an n. Si eh s d u t ni ch t s i ne e

bla u enW ll ub e s ?enE h hi a f


er u n r sa n u , un d de r bla ue S t om fl s
r os

li
e se ub e ih r m B a p t e
r eN O VA L S H i
u .
- I . e n r i ch c on O f t er d i n g en .

W h er e i s t h e t
s r e am ? ”
c ried h e, w i h t t e ar s . S ee s t th u n t
o o

it s bl ue w av e s ab e ? ov us

He l k ed u p
oo , an d lo ! th e bl e t eam
u s r

w as fl o wi n g g tly o v e th ei
en r r h e ad s .

WHI LE these strange events were passing through my


m nd I suddenly as on e awakes to the c nsciousness that
i
, ,
o

the sea has been moaning by h im for ho rs or tha t the u ,

storm has been h ow l ing ab o t his wind ow all night became u ,

a ware of the s ound of running water near me ; and l ooking o


,

o t o f bed I saw that a large green m a b l e b as i


u
,
in w hich r n,

I was w ont to wash and which stood a low pedestal of


,
on

the same material in a corner of my room was overflo wing ,

like a spring ; and that a stream of clear water was run


ning o ver the carpet all the length Of the ro om finding
, ,

its o tlet I knew n ot where And stranger stil l wh ere


u .
, ,

this carpet which I had myself designed to imitate a fie l d


,

o f grass and daisies b ordered the c o rse of the little


,
u

stream the grass blades and daisies seemed to wave in a


,
-

tiny bree z e that followed the water s flow ; while under ’

the rivulet they bent and swayed with every motion of the
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 13

changef l c rrent as if they were abo t to dissolve with


u u ,
u

it and forsaking their fixed form become fl uent as the


, , ,

waters .

M y dressing table was an Old fashio n ed piece of furn i


- -

t re of black o ak with drawers all down the front These


u ,
.

were elab orately carved i n foliage of which ivy formed ,

the chief part The nearer end of this table remained


.

uj st as it had been b t on the further end a singular


,
u

change had commenced I happe n ed to fix my eye on a .

little cluster o f ivy leaves The first o f these was evi


-
.

de t ly the work of the carver ; the next l ooked curious ;


n

the third was unmistakable ivy ; and just beyond it a


tendril of clematis had twined itself ab out the gilt handle
'

Of on e of the drawers Hearin g next a slight m otio n ab o ve


.

me I looked up a n d saw that the branches and leaves de


, ,

signed upon the curtains of my bed were slight ly in mo


tion N ot knowing what change might follow next I
.
,

th o ght it high time to get up ; and springing fro m the


u ,

bed my bare feet alighted u p on a cool gree n sward ; and


,

although I dressed in all haste I found myself completing ,

my toi l et u n der the boughs of a great tree whose top ,

waved in the golde n stream of the sunrise with many


interchanging lights and with sh adows o f leaf and bran ch
,

gliding over leaf an d branch as the cool mornin g wind ,

swung it to and fro like a sinking s ea wave


,
-
.

After washin g as well as I could in the clear stream I ,

r ose and looked arou n d me The tree u nder which I .


14 PR A N TA STE s

seemed to have lain all n i ght was one of the advan ced
,

g ard of a den se forest towards which the r i vulet r an


u ,
.

F aint traces of a footp ath much overgrow n with grass an d


moss an d with here and the r e a pimper n el eve n were
, ,

discern ible alon g the right ban k . This thoug ht I



,

,

must surely be the p ath i n to F airy lan d which the


-
,

lady of last n ight p romised I should so soon find I .


crossed the rivulet and accom p anied it keeping the foot


, ,

p ath on its right bank u n til it led me as I expected into


, , ,

the wood H ere I left it without any g ood r eason an d


.
, ,

with a vague feeling that I ought to have followed its


course I took a more southe rly di rectio n .
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 15

III .

M an t u surp all s p ac e
do h ,

S t a e s th ee i n r o c k bu sh ri er in t h e
r , , , v ,

N ev e y et th in e ey e b eh l d a t ee ;
r s o r

a th ou s e es t in t h e e a

Ti s n
o se s ,

T i b u t a di s g u i e d h m a i ty

s s u n .

T o a o i d t h y f ll ow
v ain th y p l an ;
e , v

A ll th at in t ere s ts a m an i s m an , .

H ENRY S U TT N O .

THE tree s which were far apart whe r e I e n tered givi ng


, ,

free p assage to the level rays of the sun closed rapidly as I ,

advanced s o that ere long their crowded stems barred t h e


,

sunlight o ut fo rming as it were a thick g ating b et ween


, , ,
r
l

me and the east I seemed to be advan cing towards a


.

second midnight In the midst Of the intervenin g twilight


.
,

however before I en tered what appeared to be the darkest


,

p orti on of the forest I s aw a country maide n coming to


,

wards me from its very depths S he did n ot seem to .

Observe me for she was apparently intent upon a bun ch of


,

wi ld flowers which she carried in her hand I c ould .

hardly s ee her face ; for tho gh she came right towards ,


u

me sh e never looked p But when we met instead of


,
u .
,

p assing s h e turned and walked alongside of me for a few


,

yards still keeping her fac e dow nwards an d busied with


, ,
16 P HA N TA STE s

her flowers S he spoke rapidly howeve r all the time in


.
, , ,

a low tone as if ta l king to herself but eviden tly addressing


, ,

the purport of her words to me S he seemed afraid of .

bein g observed by some lurking foe Trust the O ak .



,

said sh e ; trust the O ak an d the E lm and the great


Beech Take care of the Birch ; for though sh e is hon est


.
,

s h e is t o o you n g not to be chan g eable But shu n the Ash .

and the Alder ; for the A sh is an ogr e you will k n ow ,

him by his thick fingers ; and the Alder will smother you
with her web Of hair if you let her n ear you at night
,
.

A ll this was uttered without pause or alteratio n of to n e .

T hen s h e turned suddenly and left me walki ng still with ,

the same unchangin g gait I could n ot conjecture what


.

sh e meant ; but satisfied myself with thinking that it would

be time enough to find out her meaning when there was


n eed t o make use of he r warning ; and that the occasio n
wo ld reveal the admonition I concl ded from the flowers
u . u ,

that s he carried that the forest could not be everywhere so


,

dense as it appeared from where I was n ow walking ; an d I


was right in this conclusion F or soon I came te a m ore
.

Open part and by and by crossed a wide grassy glade on


, , ,

which were several circles Of brighter green B t even . u

here I was struck with the utter stillness N o bird sa g . n .

N O insect b u mmed N ot a living creature crossed my


.

way . Yet somehow the whole environment seemed only


asleep and to wear even i n sleep an air of expectati on
, .

The trees seemed all to have an expression of conscious


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 17

mystery , as if they said to themselves We could an if ,



,

we wo ld They had all a meanin g look about them



u . .

Then I remembered that n i ght is the fairies day and the ’


,

m oon their s un ; and I tho ght everything sleeps and


u
,

dreams n ow ; when the night comes it will be different , .

A t the same time I being a man and a child of the day felt
, ,

some anxiety as to how I should fare among the elves and


other children of the n ight who wake when mortals dream ,

an d find their commo n life in those wondrous hours that -

fl ow noiselessly over the moveless d eath like forms of me n ,


-

an d women and children lying strewn and parted beneath


,

the weight of the heavy waves of night which flow on an d ,

beat them down and hold them drowned and senseless


, ,

until the ebb tide comes and the waves sink away back
-
, ,

i n to the ocean of the dark But I took courage and we n t


.

on . S oon however I became agai n anxious tho gh fro m


, , ,
u

another cause I had eaten n othing that day and for a n


.
,

ho r past had been feeli n g the want of food SO I grew


u .

afraid lest I should find nothing to meet my human n eces


sities in this strange place ; but once m ore I comforted
myself with h ope and went on .

Befo re noon I fan cied I s aw a thin blue smoke rising


,

amo gst t h e stems Of larger trees in fr on t o f me ; and soon



n

I came to an open spot of gro nd in which stood a little u ,

c ttage s o built that the stems of four great trees formed


o ,

its c orners while their branches met and intertwined over


,

its roof heaping a great cloud of leaves over it up towards


, ,

2
18 P HA N TA STE S

the heavens I wondered at finding a human dwelling i n


.

this n eighb orh ood ; and yet it did not lo ok altogether


hum an though sufficiently so to e n courage me to expect
,

some sort of food S eein g n o d oor I went ro nd to the


.
,
u

o ther side and there I fou n d o e wide ope n


,
A woman n ,
.

s at beside it preparing some vegetables for dinner


,
This .

was homely and comforting As I came n ear s he looked .


,

up and seeing me sh owed n o s rprise b t bent her head


, , ,
u ,
u

again over her work and said in a low tone , ,

Did you see my daughter ?


“ ”

I believe I did said I C an you give me som e


,

.

thing to eat for I am very hungry ?


,

With ple asure sh e replied in the same tone ; but



,

,

do not say anything more till you c ome into the house for , ,

the A sh is watching us .

Havin g said this sh e rose and led the way into the c ot
,

tage ; which I now s aw was built Of the stems of small


, ,

trees s et cl osely t ogether and was furnished with ro gh ,


u

ch airs and tables from which eve n the bark had not bee n
,

rem oved A s soon as sh e had shut the door and set a


.

chair :


You have fairy blood in you said s he lookin g hard , ,

at me .

How do you k n ow that ? ”

Yo c o ld o t have got so far into th is wood if it were


u u n

n ot so ; and I am trying to find ou t so me trace of it i n


your co ntenance I think I s ee it
u . .

~

20 PHA N TA STE S

anything to be seen from where I was sitting I rose and ,

looked over her shoulder I had just time t o s ee across .


,

the Open space on the edge of the denser forest a single


, ,

large ash tree whose foliage showed bluish amidst the


-
,

truer green of the other trees around it ; whe n sh e pushed


me back with an expression Of impatie n ce and terror and ,

the n almost shut out the light fr om the window by setti g n

u p a large old book in it .


In gen eral said she recoverin g her composure
,

, ,


there is no danger in the daytime for then he is sound ,

asleep ; but there is something unusual going on in the


woods there must be some solemn ity among the fairies to
night for all the trees are restless and although they can
, , ,

not come awake they see and hear in their sleep


,
.

But what danger is to be dreaded from him ?


Instead of answering the q estion she went again to the u ,

window and looked ou t saying s h e feared the fairies would


f

be interrupt ed by foul weather for a storm w


,

as brewing i n ,

the west .


A nd t h e sooner it grows dark the soon er the A sh will ,

be awake added s h e
,

.

I asked her how she knew that there was any unusual
excitement in the woods S he replied .


Besides the look of the trees the dog there is u n ,

happy ; and the eyes and ears of the white rabbit a e redder r

than usual and he frisks about as if he expe cted some fun


,
.

If the cat were at home sh e would have her back up ; for ,


A FAER I E R O MAN C E . 2
1

the young fairies pull the Sparks out of her tail with
bramble thorns and s h e knows whe n they are coming SO
-
,
.

do I i n another way
,
.

A t this in stant a gray cat rushed in like a d emon and


, ,

disappeared in a hole in the wall .


There I told you ! said the woman
,

.

But what of the ash tree said I returning once -

more to the subject Here however the young woman


.
, , ,

whom I had met in the morning entered A smile passed ,


.

between the mother and daughter ; and then the latte r


began to hel p her mother in little household duties .


I sh o uld like to stay here till the even n g I said ; i ,

and then go on my jo rney if you will allo w me u ,


.


Yo are welc o me to do as you please ; only it might
u

be better to stay all night than risk the dangers of the


wood then Where are you going ?
.


N ay that I do not know I replied ; but I wish to
, ,
’ “

see a l l that is to be seen and therefore I should like to ,

start j st at s nd own
u u .


You are a b old youth if you have an y idea of what ,

you are daring ; but a rash o e if you know nothing about n ,

it ; and excuse me you do n ot see m very well informed


, ,

ab o t the c ountry an d its manners However no on e


u .
,

c omes here but for some reason either known to himself or


'

t o those wh o have char g e of him ; so you shall do just as

you wish .

Accordin gly I s at down an d feelin g rather tired and , ,


2
2 P HA N TA STE S

disin clined for further talk I asked leave to look at the old
,

book which still screen ed the window The woman brought .

it to me directly but n ot before taking another look


,

towards the forest an d the n drawing a white bli n d ove r


,

the windo w I s at down Opposite to it by the table on


.
,

which I laid the g reat O ld volume and read It con ,


.

t ain ed many wondrous tales of F airy lan d and olden -


,

times and t he ! nights of ! ing Arthur s table I read on


,

.

and on ti l l the shades of the afternoo n began to deepen ;


,

for i n the midst of the forest it gl oomed earlier than j u the


O p en country At len gth I came to this passage
.


Here it chaunc ed that upon their quest S ir Galahad
, , ,

and S ir Percivale rencou n tered in the depths Of a great


forest N ew S ir Galahad was dight all i n harness of
.

silver clear and shining ; the w hich is a delight to look


,

upon b t full h asty t o tarnish and witho ten the labour of


,
u , ,
u

a ready sq ire uneath to be ke p t fai r and clean An d


'

u ,
.

yet withouten squire or page S ir Galahad s arm our shone ,


like the moon And he rode a great white mare whose


.
,

bases and other housings were black but all besprent with ,

fair lilys of silver shee n Whereas S ir Percivale bestrode


.

a red horse with a tawny mane and tale whose trappings


,

were all to smirched with mud and mire and his arm our
-

was w o ndrous rosty to behold us could he by any art f r ,


u

bish it again ; so that as the sun in his going down sh one


twixt the bare trunks Of the trees f ll up on th e knights ,
u

twain the one did s eem all shin ing with light and t he
, ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 23

other all to glow with ruddy fire N ow it came about i n .

this wise F or S ir Percivale after his escape fr om the


.
,

d emon lady whenas the cross o n the handle of his sw o rd


,

smote him to the heart and he rove himself through the


,

thigh and escaped away he came to a great wood ; and in


, ,

n owise cured of his fault yet bemoan ing the same the
, ,

damosel of the alder tree encountered him ri g ht fair to


-
,

s ee ; and with her fair words and false countenance s h e

comforted him and beguiled him until he followed he r ,

where sh e led him to a


Here a low hurried cry h om my hos tess caused me to
,
e

look up from the book and I read no more ,


.

Look there sh e said ; look at his fingers


J ust as I had bee n readin g i n the book the settin g s un ,

was shi n in g through a cleft i n the clouds piled u p i n th e


west ; an d a shadow as of a larg e distorted hand with
, , ,

thick k n obs a n d hump s on the fingers so that it wasmuch ,

wide r across the fin gers than across the undivided part of


the hand p assed slowly over the little blind a n d then as
, ,

slowly return ed in the Opposite direction .


He is almost awake m othe r ; an d greedier than usual
,

to night
- .


Hush child you n eed n ot make him more an gry with
,

us than he is ; for you do not k n ow how soo n something


may happen to oblige us to be in the fore st after nightfall .


But y ou are i n the forest said I h ow is it that ,
” “

you are safe here ? ”


24 P HA N TA STE S

He dares n ot come n eare r than he is n ow sh e re ,


plied ; for any of those four oaks at the corners o f our



,

cottage w ould tear him to pieces : they are our friends


,
.

But he stands there and makes awful faces at s some u

times and stretches ou t his long arms and fingers and


, ,

tries to kill us with fright ; for indeed that is h is favorite , ,

w ay of d o ing Pray keep out Of his way t o night


.
,
-
.

S hall I be able to s ee these beings ? said I .

That I cannot tell yet not knowing how much of ,

the fairy nature there is in you But we shall s oO see . n

whether you can discern the fairies i n my little garden ,

and that will be s ome g ide to us u .


A re the trees fai r ies too as well as the flowers ? I ,


asked .


They are o f the same race sh e replied ; though ,
” “

those you call fairies in your country are chiefly the yo ng u

children of the flower fairies They are very fond of havin g


.

fun with the thick people as they call you ; for like, ,

m ost children they like fun better than anything else


,
.


Why do you have flowers so near you then ? Do
they n ot annoy you ? ”

O h o they are very amusing with their mimicries


,
n , ,

of gr o wn people and mock solemnities


,
S ometimes they .

will act a wh ole play through before my eyes with perfect , ,

c omp osure and assurance for they are n ot afraid of me


,
.

O n ly as soo n as they have done they burst into peals of


, ,

tiny laughter as if it was such a joke to have been serious


,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 25

over anythin g T hese I Speak of however are the fairies


.
, ,

of the garden They are more staid and educated than


.

those of the fields an d woods O f course they have n ear.

r elations amongst the wild flowers ; but they patronize


them and treat them as c oun try cousins who know noth
, ,

in g of life and very little of manners N ow and then


,
.
,

however they are compelled to e n vy the grace and s1m


,

p licit
y Of the natural flowers .

Do they live i n the flowers ? I said ”


.

I cannot tell sh e replied


,


There is something i n.

it I do n ot understand S ometimes they disappear alto


.

gether even from me th ough I know they are near


, ,
.

They seem to die always with the flowers they resemble ,

and by wh ose names they are called ; but whether they ,

return to life with the fresh flowers or whether it be new , ,

flowers new fairies I cannot tell They have as many


, ,
.

sorts of dispositions as me n an d women while their moods ,

are yet mo r e variable : t wenty different expressions will


cross their little faces i n half a minute I Often amuse .

myself with watching them but I have n ever been able to


,

make personal acquaintance with any of them If I speak .

to one he or sh e looks u p i n my face as if I were not


, ,

worth heeding gives a little laugh and runs away Here


, ,
.

,

the woman started as if suddenly recollecting herself and


, ,

said in a low voice to her daugh ter M ake has t e go ,


“ w

and watch him an d see in what direction he goes


,
.

I may as well mentio n here that the con clusio n I ar ,


26 P HA N TA STE S

rived at from the Observations I was afterwards able to


,

make was that the fl owers die beca se the fairies go away ;
, ,
u

n ot that the fairies disappear because the flowers die The .

flowers seem a sort of houses for them or outer bodies , ,

which they can put on or off whe n they please J ust as .

ou could form some idea of the nature of a man from the


y
kind of house he built if he followed his own taste s o you
, ,

co ld with out seeing the fairies tell what any one of


u , ,

them is like by looking at the flower till you feel that


,

you understan d it F or just what the flower says to you


.

would the face and form of the fairy say ; only s o much
more plainly as a face and human figure can express more
than a flower Fo r the house or the clothes th ough like
.
,

the inhabitant or the wearer cannot be wrough t into a n ,

equal power of utterance Yet you would s ee a strange .

resemblan ce almost o n eness between the flower an d the


, ,

fairy which you could not describe but which described


, ,

itself to you Whether all the fl owers have fairies I can


.
,

not determine any more than I can be sure whether all


,

men and wome n have souls .

The woman and I continued the conversation for a few


minutes longer I was m ch interested by the information
. u

s h e gave me and astonished at the language in which s h e


,

was able to convey it It seemed that intercourse with


.

t h e fair ies was n o bad education in itself B t n ow the . u

da ghter returned with the news that the A s h h ad j ust


u

gon e away in a south westerly dir ection ; an d as my


-
,
28 PHA N TA STE S

were launched on a little marshy stream at the bottom i n ,

b oats chosen from the heaps of las t year s leav es that lay ’

abo t curled and withered These soon sank with them ;


u ,
.

whereupon they swam ashore an d got others Those wh o .

to ok fresh rose leaves for their boats floated the longest ;


-

but fo r these they had to fight ; for the fairy of the r ose tree -

c omplained bitterly that they were stealing he r clothes ,

and defended her property bravely


You can t wear half you ve got said some
’ ’
,
.

N ever you mind ; I don t choose you to have them ; ’

they are my property .


All for the good of the community ! said on e an d ran ,

ofl with a great hollow leaf B t the rose fairy s p ran g


'
. u -

after him ! what a beauty s he was only t oo like a drawing


room young lady ! knocked him heels over head as he ran
, ,

and rec o vered her great red leaf But i n the mean time .

twenty had hurried off in differe nt directio n s with others


just as good ; an d the little creature sat dow n and cried ,

and then in a p et sen t a perfect pink snow storm o f petals


, ,
-

from her tree leaping from bran ch to bran ch and stamp


, ,
.

ing and shakin g and pulling A t last after another good


.
,

cry sh e chose the biggest she could find an d ran away


, , ,

laughing to launch her boat amongst the rest


, .

But my attenti on was fir st and chiefly attracted by a


group of fairies near the cottage who were talking together ,

around what seemed a last dying primrose They talked .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 29

singin g ,
an d th ei r talk made a song someth in g like
,

this :

S i s t er S n o w d ro p di ed

B efo e w e w e e b orn
r r .

S h e c am e l ik e a b i d e r

In a s n o wy m o rn .

W h at s ’
a b rid e

Wh at is s n ow ?
N ev er t
ri e d .

Do n ot kn ow .

W ho to ld y ou ab o u t h er ?
Little P im o e th ere r r s

C an n o t d w ith u t h er
o o .

O h s o s w ee tly fair !
,

N ev er fe ar ,

Sh e w ill c om e ,

Prim ro s e d ear .


Is sh e du m ? b

She ll c o me b y an d b y

.

Y w i ll n ev er s e e h er
ou .


Sh w e t h m e t o di e
en o ,

T ill t h

w y e ar e ne .

S n o w dr o p! ” ’
Tis no g oo d

T o in v i te h er .


P ri mr o s e is v ery r deu .

I wi ll bite h er .

0 you gh ty P ck t !
n au o e

L k h d p h h
oo , s e ro s er ead .

S h e d es er v e d it , R ck t o e ,

A n d s h e w as n e a ly d ead
r .
30 PHA N TA STE S

T o y o u r h amm o ck O t
ff w i h y ou

A n d s w in g l a on e .

N 0 one wi ll l ghau w i h y ou t .


N O , n ot o n e.

N ow l et us m o an .

A nd co v er h er

o er.

P r im r o s e i s g on e.

A l l b u t th e fl o w er .

H ere is a l eaf .

Lay h er u p on it .

F llo ow in g ri e f.

P ck e t h as d on e it
o .

D eep e p o or creature !
r,

Win te m ay c o m e
r .

He c a o t ac h h er
nn re ,

Th t i a h m
a s u .

S h e i b i ed t h b eau ty !
s ur , e


N ow sh e is don e .

T h at w as t h e d u y t
N ow for t h e fun .

A nd with a wild laugh they sprang away most of them ,

towards the cottage D ring the latter part Of the s ong


. u

ta l k they had formed themselves into a funeral procession


, ,

t wo o f them bearing poor Primrose whose death P o cket had ,

hastened by biting her stalk upon on e of her o w great ,


n

leaves They b ore her solemnly along some distance and


.
,

then buried her under a tree Al t hough I say h er I s aw .


,

n o thing b t the withered primrose flower on its long stalk


u -
.

Pocket wh o had bee n ex p elled from the com p any by com


,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 31

mon consent wen t sulkily away towards he r hammock for


, ,

s he was the fairy o f the calceolaria and looked rather ,

wicked Whe n sh e reached its stem she stopped and


.
,

looked round I co ld n ot help Speaking t o her for I


. u ,

stood n ear he r I said Pocket how could you be


.
,

,

s o n aughty ?


I am never n aughty sh e said half crossly half ,

,
-
,

defiant ly ; only if you C ome near my hammock I will



, ,

bite you and the n you will go away


,
.

Why did you bite poor Primrose ?



Because she said we should n ever see S nowdrop ; as if
we were not good e n ough to look at her a n d s h e was t h e , ,

p roud thi n g served her right


u
0 Pocket Pocket ! said I ; but by this tim
,
e the party

which had gone towards the house rushed out again shout ,

in g and screaming with laughter Half of them wer e o n .

the cat s back an d half held on by her fur and tail or ra n



, ,

beside her ; till more coming to their help the furi ous cat
, ,

W as held fas t ; and they proceeded to pick the sparks out


of her with thorn s and pins which t hey handled like har ,

poons Indeed there were more instruments at work


.
,

about her than there could have b een sparks in her O ne .

little fellow who held on hard by the tip of the tail with ,

his feet planted on the ground at an angle of forty five -

degrees helping to keep her fast adminis te red a continuous


, ,

fl ow o f admonitions to P ssy u .

N ow Pussy be p atient You k n ow quite well it is


, ,
.
32 PHA N TA STE S

all for your good You cann ot be comfortable with all


.

those Sparks i n you ; and in deed I am charitably disp osed


, ,

to believe ! here h e became very pompous ! that they


” “

are the cause of all your bad temper ; so we must have


them all out every on e else we shall be reduced to the
, ,

p ainful n ecessity of cutting your claws an d pullin g out , ,

your eye teeth Quiet ! Pussy quiet !


- .
,

But with a pe rfect hurricane of feline curse s the poor


, ,

an imal broke loose and dashed across the garde n and


,

through the hedge faste r than even the fairies could fol
,

low. N ever min d n eve r mind we shall find her again ;


, ,

and by that time sh e will have laid in a fresh stock of


Sparks Hooray !
. An d off they s et after some n ew

,

mischief .

But I will n ot lin ger to enlarge on the amusing displays


Of these frolicsome creatures Their mann ers and habits .

are n ow so well know n to the world having been so ofte n ,

described by eye witnesses that it would be only indulgin g


-
,

self conceit to add my account in full to the rest I can


-
.

n ot help wishin g however that my readers could see them


, ,

for themselves E specially do I desire that they sh ould


.

s ee the fairy of the daisy a little chubby round eyed,



, ,
-

child with such inn ocent trust i n his look ! E ven the
,

most mischievous of the fairies would not tease h im ,

a l though he did not belon g to their s et at all but was quite ,

a little coun try bumpkin H e wan dered about alone an d


.
,
A FAER I E R O MANCE .

looked at everything with his hands in his little p ockets


, ,

and a white nightcap on ,


th e darling !
-
He was n ot so
beautiful as many o ther wild fl owers I saw afterwards but
,

so dear and loving i n his looks and little co n fident ways


,
.

3
34 P HA N TA STE S

IV .

Wh e n b al e is att h yes t, b t
oo e is n y es t .

B allad f S ir A ld i n gar
-
o .

BY this time my hostess was quite anx ious that I should


be gone S o with wa rm thanks for their hospitality I
.
, ,

to ok my leave and went my way through the little garde n


,

towards the forest S ome of the garde n flowers had wan


.

dered i nto the wood and were growing here and there
,

along the p ath but the t rees soo n became too thick and
,

shadowy for them I p a rticularly n oticed some tall lilies


.
,

which grew on both sides Of the way with larg e dazzlingly , ,

white flowers set off by the u niversal gree n It was now


,
.

d ark enough for me to see that every flowe r was shinin g


with a light of its own In de ed it was by this light that I
.

s aw them ,
an intern al

p eculiar light proceeding from
, ,

each and not re fl ected from a common sou rce of light as i n


,

the daytime This light sufliced only for the plant itself
.
,

and was n ot strong enough to cast any but the faintest


shadows arou n d it or to illumin ate any of the n eighboring
,

Objects with other than the fain test tinge O f its own individ
ual hue F rom the lilies above mentioned from the cam
.
,

an u las from the foxgloves a n d every bell shap ed flower -


p , , ,

curious little figures shot u p their heads peep ed at me and , ,


36 PHA N TA STE S

n ooks by the mossy roots of the trees or i n little tufts of


, ,

grass each dwelling i n a globe of its ow n gree n light weav


, ,

ing a network of grass an d its Shadows glowed the glow ,

worms They were just like the glowworms of o ur own


.

land fo r they are fairies everywhere ; worms i n the day


, ,

and glowworms at n ight when their own can appear an d , ,

they can be themselves to others as well as themselves .

But they had their enemies here F o r I saw great str ong .
,

armed beetles hurrying about with most unwieldy haste


, ,

awkward as ele p hant calves looking ap p arently for glow


-
,

worms ; for the moment a beetle espied one through what ,

to it was a forest of grass or an u n derwood of mess it , ,

pounced up o n it and bore it away i n S p ite of its feeble


, ,

resistance W o n dering what their object could be I


.
,

watched on e of the beetles and the n I discovered a thing ,

I could n ot account for But it is no u se trying to accoun t.

for things in F airy land ; and one wh o travels there soon


-

learns to forget the very idea of doing s o an d takes every ,

thin g as it comes ; like a child who being i n a chronic , ,

condition of wonder is surprised at n othing W hat I s aw


,
.

was this E verywhere he r e an d there ever the gr oun d


.
, ,

lay little dark lookin g lump s of something more like earth


,
-

th an anythin g else an d about the size of a chestnut The


,
.

beetles hun ted i n coup les for these ; an d having foun d on e , ,

o e of them stayed to watch it while the other hurried to


n ,

find a glowworm By sign als I p resume betwee n them


.
, , ,

the latter soon found his comp an io n agai n they the n took
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 37

t he glo wworm and held its luminous tail to the dark earthy ,

pallet ; when lo it shot up into the air like a sky rocket


,
-
,

seldom however reaching the h eight of the highest tree


, ,
.

J ust like a rocket t oo it burst in the air and fell i n a


, , ,

shower of the most gorgeously colored Sparks of every v a


riet
y Of hue ; golde n and red and p urple and green and , ,

blue and rosy fires crossed and intercrossed each other b e ,

neath the shadowy heads and bet ween the columnar stem s
,

of the fo rest trees They n ever used the same glowworm


.

twice I observed but let him go app are ntly uninjured by


, , ,

the use they had made Of him .

In other parts the whole of the immediately surroundi g


,
n

foliage was illuminated by the interwove n dances in t he


air of splendidly colored fire flies which sped hither an d ,

thither turn ed twisted crossed and recrossed en wining


, , ,
.
t

every complexity of intervo l ved moti on Here a d there . n

w h ole mighty trees glowed with an emitted phosph o r esce n t

light Yo u could trace the very course of the great roots


.

in th e earth by the faint light that cam e through ; and


every t w g and every vei n on every leaf was a streak of
i

p a l e fire .

A ll this time as I went o n through the wood I was


, ,

haunted with the feeling that other shapes more like my ,

ow in size and mien were m o ving about at a little dis


n
,

tance on all sides of me But as yet I could discer n no n e


.

of them although the m o on was high enough to send a


,

great many of her rays down betw ee n the trees and thes e ,
38 P HA N TA STE S

rays were unusually bright and Sight giving n otwith


,
-
,

standing she was only a half moon I constantly imagin ed .


,

h owever that forms were visible i n all directi ons except


.

that to which my gaze was turned ; and that they only


became invisible or r esolved themselves into other wood
,

land sh apes the moment my l ooks were directed towards


,

them However this may have been except for this feeling
.
,

o f presence the woods seemed utterly bare of anything


,

like human companionship although my glance often fell


,

on s o me object which I fancied t o be a human form ; for

I soon found that I was q ite deceived as the moment I


u , ,

fixed my regard on it it showed plainly that it was a bush


, ,

or a tree o r a rock ,
.

S oon a vague sense of discomfort possessed me W ith .

variations of relief this grad al l y increased ; as if some


,
u

evi l thing were wandering abo t in my neighborho od some


u
,

times n earer and sometimes further off but still approach ,

ing The fee l ing c ontinued and deepened until all my


.
,

pleasure in the shows of vari ous kinds that everywhere


betokened the presence of the merry fairies vanished by ,

degrees and left me f l l of anxiety and fear which I was


,
u
,

unable to associate with any definite object whatever At .

length the thought crossed my mind with horror C an ! “

it be possible that the A sh is lo oking for me ? or that ,

in his night l y wanderings his path is gradually verging


,

towards mine ? I comforted myself however by re



,
, ,

memb erin g that he had started quite in an othe r dir ectio n ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE .

on e that would lead him if he kept it far apart from me ; , ,

esp ecially as fo the last two or three ho u rs I had been


,
r ,

dilige n tly journ eying eastward I kept on my way there .


,

fore striving by direct eflort of the will against the en


,

croac h in g fear ; and to this end occupying my mind as ,

much as I could with other thoughts I was so far s uc


,
.

cess f l that
u although I was conscious if I yielded for a
, ,

moment I Should be almost overwhelmed with horror I


, ,

was yet able to walk right on for an hour or more Wh at .

I feared I could n ot tell Indeed I was left i n a state of .

the vaguest uncertainty as regarded the nature o f my


enemy and knew n ot the mode or object of his attacks ;
,

for somehow or other n on e of my questions had s cceeded


, ,
u

in drawing a definite answer from the dame in the cottage .

How then to defend myself I knew not ; n or eve n by what


Sign I might with certain ty recognize the prese n ce of my
foe ; for as yet this vag ue though powerful fear was all the
indication of danger I had To add to my distress the .
,

cl ouds in the west had r ise n n early to the t op of the skies ,

and they and the moo n were travelling slowly to wards


each other Indeed some of their advanced guard had
.
,

already met her and sh e had begun to wade through a


,

filmy vapor that gradually deepened A t length s h e was .

for a moment almost entirely obscured When s h e shone .

ou t again with a brilliancy i n creased by the c o ntrast I ,


,

s aw plainly on the path before me from around which at ,


-

this s pO t the trees receded leaving a small space o f gree n ,


40 P HA N TA STE S

sward the shad ow of a large hand with knotty j oints


,

,

and prot beranc es here and there E specia ll y I remarked


u .
,

even in the midst of my fear the b lb ous p oints of the fi ,


u n

gers I l ooked h rriedly all round but co ld s ee n othing


. u ,
u

fr om which s ch a shadow sh o l d fall N ow however


u u .
, ,

that I had a direction however ndetermined in w h ich t


,
u ,
o

pr oject my apprehension the very sense of danger and ,

need of action overcame that stifling which is the w orst


proper t y of fear I reflected in a m oment that if this
.
, ,

were indeed a shado w it was useless to lo ok fo the object


,
r

that cast it in any other directi on than between the


shadow and the m oon I looked and peered and intensi
.
, ,

fied my vision all to no p rpose ,


I c o u l d see n othing of u .

that kind n ot even an as h tree in the neighb orh o d S ti ll


,
-
o .

the shado w re mained ; n ot steady but moving t o and f o ; ,


r

and once I s aw the fingers close and grind themselves ,

close l ike the claws o f a wild animal as if in u co t olla


, ,
n n r

b l e l nging fo s ome anticipated prey There seemed b t


o r . u

o n e mode left o f discovering the s bstance o f this shadow u .

I went for ward b oldly tho gh with an inward sh dder ,


u u

which I w o ld not heed t o the Spot where the shad ow lay


u , ,

threw myself o the gro nd laid my head within the form


n u
,

o f the hand and turned my eyes t owards the mo on


,
.

G od heavens ! what did I s ee ? I w onder that ever I


o

arose and that the very shad ow of the hand did n ot ho l d


,

me where I l ay nt il fear had froz en my brain I saw the


u .

strangest figure vague shadowy almost transparent in


,

, , ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 41

the central parts an d gradually deepen ing 11 substance


,
1

towards the outside until it ended in extremitie s capable


,

o f casting such a shadow as fell from the hand thr gh ,


ou

the awf l fin gers of which I now s aw the mo on The


u .

hand was plifted in the attitude of a paw ab out t o strike


u

its prey But the face which throbbed with fluct ating
.
,
u

and pulsatory visibility not from changes in the light it


,

reflected but from changes i n its own conditions of efl ect


,
r

in g power the alterations being from within n ot from


, ,

without it was horrible I do not know how to de


,
— .

scribe it It caused a new Sensation ; just as C he cannot


.

translate a horrible odor or a ghastly pain or a fearful


, ,

sound into words so I cannot describe this new form


, ,

o f awful hideousness I can only try to describe some


.

thin g that is not it but seems s omewh at parallel to it or


, ,

at least is suggested by it It reminded me of what I had


.

heard o f vampires ; for the face resembled that of a corpse


more than anything else I can think of especially w hen I
can con ceive such a face in motion but not suggesting any ,

life as the source of the motion The features were .

rather handsome than otherwise except the mon th which , ,

had scarcely a curve in it The lips were of equal thick .

n ess ; but the thickness was not at all remarkable eve n ,

although they looked slightly swolle n They seemed .

fixedly Open but were not wide apart O f course I did


,
.
,

n ot r em ar k these l ineaments at the time ; I was too b orri


fied for that I noted them afterwards whe n the form re
.
,
42 P HA N TA STE S

turned on my i n ward sight with a vividness too intense to


admit of my doubting the accuracy of the reflex But the .

most awf l of the features were the eyes These were


u .

alive yet not with life They seemed lighted up with an


,
.

infinite greed A gnawing voracity which devoured the


.
,

devourer seemed to be the indwelling and propellin g


,

power of the whole ghastly apparition I lay for a few .

m oments simply imbruted with terror ; when an other


cl oud obsc rin g the moon delivered me from the immedi
u ,

ately paraly z ing eflect s of the presence to the vision of the


'

object of h orro r while it added the force of imagination to


.

the p ower of fear within me ; inasm ch as kn owing far u ,

worse cause for apprehension than before I remained ,

eq a l ly ignorant from what I had to defend myself o h ow


u ,
r

t o take any precautions He might be upon me in the .

dark n ess any moment I Sprang to my feet an d sped I .


,

knew n ot whither only away from the spectre I thought


,
.

n o longer o f the path and often narrowly escaped dashing


,

myse l f against a tree in my headlong flight of fear


,
.

G reat dr ops of rai n began to patter on the leaves .

Th nder began to mutter; then growl in t he distance I


u .

ran o nThe rain fell heavier A t l ength the thick leaves


. .

could hold it up n o longer ; and like a second fi mamen t ,


r
,

they po red th eir torrents on the earth I was s oon


u .

drenched ; but that was nothin g I came to a small swolle n .


,

stream that r shed thro gh the woods I had a vague


u u .

h ope that if I crossed this stream I should be in safety


, ,
44 PHA N TA STE S

h im, I may love him ; for he is a man and I am only a ,

beech tree
-
I found I was seated o the gro und leaning
.

n ,

against a human form and supported still by the arms


,

around me which I knew to be those o f a w oman wh o must


,

be rather ab ove the human si z e and largely proporti oned,


.

I turned my head but without m oving otherwise for I


, ,

feared lest the arms should untw ine themselves ; and clear ,

somewhat mournful eyes met mine At least that is how .

they impressed me ; but I could see very little of c olor or


o ut l ine as we s at in the dark and rainy shadow o f the tree .

The face seemed very l ovely and s olem n from its stillness
, ,

with the aspect of one who is quite conte n t but w aiting for ,

something I s aw my conjecture fro m her arms was cor


.

rect : she was above the human scale throughout but n ot ,

greatly .

Why do you call yourself a beech tree I said -


.

Because I am on e she replied in the same low musi


,

, ,

cal murm rin g voiceu .

You are a woman I returned ,



.

Do you think s o ? A m I very like a woman the n ? ”

You are a very beautiful wom an Is it possible you .

should n ot know it ?

I am very glad you think so I fancy I feel like a .

woman Sometimes I do so to night and always whe n


.

/
- —

the rain drips from my hair F or there is an old prophecy


.

in our w oods that on e day we shall all be men and wome n


like you Do you know anything about it i n your regio n ?
.
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 45

S hall I be very hap py when I am a woman ? I fear n ot ;


for it is a l ways in nights like these that I feel like on e .

But I long to be a woman for all that ,


.

I had let her talk o for her voice was like a s o lutio n n
,

of all m usical sounds I now t old her that I c o l d hard l y


. u

say whether w o men were happy or n ot I knew o e wh o . n

had n ot been happy ; and for my part I had o ften l onged , ,

for Fairy land as She n ow longed for the w orld Of m en


-
,
.

B t then neither of us had lived long and perhaps pe ople


u ,

grew happier as they grew older O nly I doubted it I . .

co ld not help sighing S he felt the sigh fo her arms


u .
,
r

were still ro nd me S he asked me how o ld I was


u . .

T wenty o e said I -
n ,

.

Why you baby ! said s h e ; an d kissed me wit h the


,

s weetest kiss o f winds and odors There was a c oo l faith .

fulness in the kiss that revived my heart w onderf ll y I


,
u .

felt that I feared the dreadf l A sh no more u .


What did the horrible A sh want with me ? I said ”
.

I am not quite sure but I think he wants to b ry you ,


u

at the foot of his tree But he shall not touch you my .


, .

chi l d.

A re all the ash trees as dreadful as he -

O h no They are all disagreeable selfish creatures


,
.
,

! what horrid me n they will make if it be tr e b ut ,


u

this on e has a hole in his heart that nobody kno ws of but


one or two ; and he is always trying to fil l it up b t he ,
u

cannot That must be what he wanted you for I won


. .
46 PHA N TA STE S

der if he will eve r be a man If he is I hop e they wi ll .


,

kill him .


How kind of you to save me fr om him !
I will take care that he shall n ot come n ear you again .

But there are some i n the wood more like me from whom , ,

alas I cannot protect you On ly if you see an y of them .

very beautiful try to walk round them


,
.


What then ?
I cannot tell you more But n ow I must tie some of .

my hair about you an d the n the A s h will n ot touch you


,
.

Here cut some ofl You me n have strange cutting thin g s


,

about you .

S he shook her long hai r loose over me n eve r mo vin g her ,

arms .


I cannot cut you r beautiful hair It would be a .

shame .


N ot cut my hair It will have g rown long enough
before any is wanted again in this wild forest Perhaps it .

may n ever b e o f any u se again


n ot till I am a woma n ,
.

A nd she sighed .

A s gently as I could I cut with a k n ife a lon g tress of


,

fl owing dark hair sh e han ging her beautiful head over me


, ,
.

When I had finished sh e shuddered and breathed deep as


, ,

o n e does when a n acu t e p ain steadfastly e n dured without


,

Sign of suffering is at length r elaxed S he then took the


, .

hai r and tied it round me sin ging a strange sweet song , , ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 47

which I could n ot understan d but which left i n me , a

feelin g like this



I th ep e er b efo re ;
s aw n

I s ee th e e ev er more ; n

Bu t l o v a d h e l p an d p ai
e, n b eau tif l on e
, n, u ,

H av e m ad e th ee m i n e ti ll al l m y y e a s are d o e , r n .

I cannot p ut more of it into words S he C losed her arms .

about me agai n and went on singing The rai n in the


,
.

leaves and a lig ht wind that had arisen kept her song
, ,

comp any I was wrap p ed i n a t rance of still delight It


.

told me the secret of the woods an d the flowers and the


birds A t on e time I felt as if I was wandering i n
.

childhood through sunny Spring forests over carpets of ,

primroses anemones and li ttle white starry thin g s


,
I had
, ,

almost said creatures and finding new won derful flowers


, ,

at every turn At another I lay half dreaming in the


.
,

h ot summer noon with a b o ok of old tales beside m ,


e hé ,

n eath a great beech ; or in a tumn grew sad because I ,


u ,

trod on the leaves that had Sheltered me and received their ,

last blessing i n the sweet odors of decay ; or in a winter ,

evening fro zen still locked up as I went home to a war m


, , ,

fireside through the netted boughs and twigs to the c old


, ,

snowy moon with her Opal zone around her A t last I had
,
.

fa l len asleep ; for I know nothing more that passed ti ll I ,

found myself lying under a superb beech tree in the clear -


,

light of the morning j st be fore sunrise Around me w as ,


u .

a girdle of fresh beech leaves Alas ! I brought nothin g -


.
48 P HA N TA STE S

with me out of F airy land but memories memories


-
,
-
.

The great bo ghs of the beech hung drooping around me


u .

A t my head r ose its Smo o th stem with its great s weeps


,

of c rving surface that swelled like undevel oped limbs


u .

The leaves an d branches above kept on the song which had


sung me aslee p ; only now to my mind it sounded like a
, ,

farewell an d a Speedwell I sat a long time u nw


. illing t o ,

go ; but my unfinished story urged me on I must act .

and wander With the sun w ell risen I rose an d put my


.
, ,

arms as far as they w ould reach around the beech tree and -
,

kissed it and said good by A trembli g went thro gh


,
-
. n u

the leaves ; a few of the last drops o f the night s rai n fell ’

from off them at my feet ; and as I walked Slowly a way


, ,

I seemed to hear in a whisper o n ce more the words : I “

may l ove him I may love him ; for he is a man and I am


, ,

only a beech tree-


.

A FAER I E R O MANCE . 49

V .

A n d sh e w as smo o th an d l
fu l , as if on e g u sh

l
O f ife h ad w as h e d h er , o r as if l p
a s ee

Lay on h er ey e lid , e as i er to s w ee p
T h an b ee fr o m d ai sy .

B E DD EO

S P yg ma lt on
'

c
S h e w as as w h yt as lyly e yn M ay ,

O r sno wth at s h ew eth y n w y n t ery s d ay .

R om a n ce o f S i r L au nf al .

'

I A L! E D on in the fresh morning air as if n ew born


W , ,
-
.

T he only thing that damped my pleasu re was a cloud of


'

something betwee n sorrow and delight that crossed my ,

mind with the frequently returnin g tho ght of my last u

n ight s h o s t ess

But then th ought I if sh e is sorry
.

,

,

,

I could n ot help it ; and s he has all the pleas res she ever u

had S uch a day as this is surely a joy to her as much


.
,

at least as to me And her life will perhaps be the richer


.
,

for holding now within it t h e memory of what came b t ,


u

could n ot stay And if ever she is a woman wh o knows


.
,

but we may meet somewhere ? there is plenty of room for


meeting i n the universe C omforting myself thus yet
.

,

with a vag e comp nction as if I o ght not to have left


u u ,
u

her I went on There was little to distinguish the woods


,
.

to day from those of my own lan d ; exce p t that all the wild
-
50 PHA N TA STE S

things rabbits birds squirrels mice and the numberles s


, , , , ,

o ther inhabitants were very tame ; that is they did n ot


, ,

r unaw ay fr om me but ga z ed at me as I passed freq ently


, ,
u

c oming nearer as if to examine me m ore cl osely Whether


,
.

this came from tter ignorance or from familiarity with the


u ,

h man appearance of bein gs wh o never hurt them I could


u

,

not tell A s I stoo d once looking up to the Splendid


.
,

fl ower of a parasite which hung fro m the branch of a tree


,

o ver my head a large white rabbit cantered Sl ow l y up put


, ,

o e o f its little feet


n on e o f mine and l oo ked p at me
on ,
u

w ith its red eyes j st as I had been looking p at the


,
u u

fl wer ab ove me I sto ped and str oked it ; b t when I


o . o u

attempted to lift it it banged the ground with its hind feet


, ,

a d scampered o fl at a great rate t rning h o wever to l o ok


'

n ,
u , ,

at me several times before I lost sight of it N ow and .

then t oo a dim h man fig re w o l d appear and disappear


, ,
u u u
,

at s ome distance amongst the trees moving like a sleep


, ,

wa l ker B t no one ever came near me


. u

This day I f und plen ty of food in the forest


o strange ,

nuts and fruits I had never seen before I hesitated to eat .

them but arg ued that if I could live on the air of F airy ,

land I c ould live on its food also I found my reasoning


,
.

c orrect and the res lt was better than I had hoped ; for it
,
u

not only satisfied my hunger but operated i n such a way ,

u p on my senses that I was bro ght into far more complete


,
u

relationship with the things around me The human forms .

appeared much more den se an d defined ; more tangib l y


52 PHA N TA STE S

s un . O ver this my seemed to lie and I immediately


way ,

began the ascent On reaching the t op h ot and weary I


.
, ,

looked around me and s aw that the forest still stretched as


,

far as the sight could reach on every side o f me I ob .

served that the trees in the direction which I was ab o t


,
u

t o descend did not come so near the fo ot o f the hil l as on


,

the other side and was especia ll y regretting the unexpected


,

postponement of she l ter because this side o f the hill


,

seemed more di fficult to descend than the other had been


to c l imb when my eye ca ght the appearance of a natural
,
u

path winding down through broken r ocks and alo g th e


,
n

c o rse of a tiny stream which I h oped would lead me more


u
,

easily to the foot I tried it and found the descent n ot at


.
,

al l lab o rious ; nevertheless when I reached the bottom I , ,

was very tired and exhausted with the heat Bu t just .

where the path seemed to end rose a great rock quite


o vergr own with shrubs and creeping plants s o me o f them -
,

in f ll and splendid bl ossom ; these alm ost c oncealed an


u

Opening in the rock into which the path appeared to lead


,
.

I entered thirsting for the shade which it promised What


,
.

was my de l ight to find a rocky cell all the angles r ounded ,

away with rich moss and every ledge and projection


,

crowded with lovely ferns the variety of whose forms and,

gro pings and Shades wrought in me like a p oem ; for such


u

a harm ony c o ld n ot exist except they all consented t o


u
,

s ome one end A litt l e well of the clearest water fil l ed a


mossy h ol lo w i n on e corn er I drank a n d felt as if I .
,
A FAER I E R O MANC E . 53

knew what the elixir o f life must be ; the n threw my


self on a mossy m o nd that lay like a couch along the
u ,

inner end Here I lay like a de l ici ous reverie for some
.

time ; during which all love l y forms and c olors and , ,

sounds seemed to use my brain as a common hall where ,

they could c ome and go unbidden and unexc sed I had u

never imagin ed that s u ch capacity for si m


.
,

ple happiness lay


in me as was now awakened by this assembly o f forms and
,

Spirit al sensati ons which yet were far too vague to admit
u ,

o f being translated int o any shape c ommon to my own and


another mind I had lain for a n ho r I sho ld suppose
. u ,
u ,

though it may have been far longer when the harmonious , ,

tumult in my mind having somewhat relaxed I became ,

aware that my eyes were fixed on a strange time wor n bas ,


-

r elief on the rock Opposite to me This after some pon.


,

dering I concluded to represent Pygmalion as he awaited


, ,

the quickening of his statue The Sculptor sat m Ore rigid


.

than the figure to which his eyes were turned T h at .

seemed about to ste p from its pedestal and embrace th e


man wh o waited rather than ex p ected
,
.

A lovely story I said to myself



,

This cave now .

, ,

w ith the b shes cut away from the entrance to let the light
u

in might be such a place as he w ould ch oose withdrawn


, ,

from the notice of men to set up his block of marble and


, ,

mould in to a visible body the th ought a l ready clothed with


form in the unsee n hall of the sculptor s brain An d ’
.
,

in deed if I mistak e n ot I said starting up as a sudde n



, , , ,
54 P HA N TA STE S

ray of light arrived at that mome n t through a crevice i n


t h e r oo f and lighted up a small portio n of the r o ck bare
, ,

o f vegetati o n this very rock is marble white enough and



, ,

de l icate enough for any statue even if d estined to become


,

an ideal woman in the arms o f the sculptor .


I took my knife and removed the m oss from a part of


the block o which I had been lying ; when to my s ur
n ,

prise I found it more like alabaster than ordinary marble


, ,

and soft to the edge of the knife In fact it was alabaster .


,
.

By an inexplicable though by no means unusual kind of


, ,

imp lse I went on rem oving the moss fr om the surface o f


u ,

the stone ; and soon saw that it was p olished or at least ,

smooth throughout I continued my labor ; and after


,
.
,

clear ing a Space of ab out a couple of square feet I observed ,

wha t caused me t o prosecute the w ork with more interest


and care than before F or the ray of sun l ight had n ow
.

reached the Sp ot I had cleared and under its l stre the ,


u

al abaster revealed its usual slight transparency when pol

ish ed except where m y knife had scratched the surface ;


,

and I observed that the transparency seemed to have a


definite limit and t o end upon an opaque b ody like the
,

more s o l id white marb l e I was caref l to scratch n o


. u

more And first a vag e anticipation gave way to a


.
,
u

startling sense o f p ossibility ; then as I proce eded on e , ,

reve l ation after an oth er produced the entrancing conviction ,

that under the cr st of alabaster lay a dimly visible form


,
u ,

in marble b t whether of man or woman I could n ot yet


,
u
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 55

tell I worked on as rapidly as the necessary care would


.

permit ; and when I had uncovered the wh ole mass and , ,

rising from my knees had retreated a litt l e way s o that


, ,

the e ffect of the wh ole might fall on me I saw before me ,

with sufli cient plainness though at the same time with


c onsiderable indistinctness arising fro m the limited am o nt


,
u

o f light the place admitted as wel l as from the nature o f


,

the object itself a block of pure alabaster enclosing the


form apparently in marble of a reposing woman S he lay


, ,
.

on one side with her hand under her cheek and her face
, ,

towards me ; but her hair had fal l en partly over her face ,

s o that I could not s ee the expression of the wh o le What .

I did see appeared to me perfectly lovely ; m ore near the


fac e that had been born with me in my so l than anything u ,

I had seen before in nature or art The actual outlines of


.

the rest of the form were so indistinct that the more than ,

semi opacity of the alabaster seemed insu fficient to acco unt


-

for the fact ; and I c onjectured that a light r obe added its
obscurity N u mberless histories passed through my mind
.
,

of change of s bstance fr o m enchantment and o ther causes


u ,

and of imprisonments such as this before me I tho ught of .

the Prince of the E nchanted C ity half marble and half a liv
,

ing man ; of A riel ; of N iobe ; of the S leeping Beauty i n


the Wood ; of the bleeding trees ; and many other histories .

E ven my advent re of the preceding evening with the lady


u

of the beech tree contributed to arouse the wild h o p e that


-
,

by some mean s life might be given to t his form also an d ,


56 PHA N TA STE S

that breakin g from her alabaste r tomb sh e might glo rify


, ,

my eyes with her presence F or I argued who .



,

,

can tell but this cave may be the home o f M arble and this , ,

essential Marble that Spirit of marble which p resen t


,

,

throughout makes it capable of being moulded into any


,

form ? Then if She should awake ! But how to awake


her ? A kiss awoke the S leeping Beauty a kiss cannot :

reach h er through the incrusting alabaster I kneeled .



,

however and kissed the pale c offin ; but She slept on I


,
.

bethought me of O rpheus and the following stones ; that


,

trees Should follow his music s eemed nothing surprising


n ow . M ight not a s ong awake this form that the glory ,

o f motion mig h t for a time displace the loveliness o f rest ?

S weet sounds can go where kisses may not enter I sat .

and thought .

N ow although always delighting i n music I had neve r


, ,

bee n gifted with the power of s ong until I entered the ,

fairy forest I had a voice and I had a true se n se of


.
,

so nd ; but when I tried to Sing the one w o ld not con


u ,
u

tent the other and so I remained silent This morning


,
.
,

h owever I had fo und myself ere I was aware rej o icing i n


, , ,

a s ong ; but whether it was before or after I had eaten of


,

the fr its of the forest I could n ot s atisfy myself I con


u ,
.

cl ded it was after however ; and that the i ncreased i m


u ,

pu lse to sing I n ow felt was i n part owing to having dr n k


,
u

o f the little well which shone like a brilliant eye in a


,

corne r of the cave I sat dow n on the ground by the


.
A FAER I E ROMANCE . 57


antenatal tomb lean ed upon it with my face t o wards the
,

head o f t h e fig re within and sang the wo rds and t ones


u
, ,

c ming together and inseparably c onnected as if word and


o , ,

tone formed one thing ; o as if each word c ould be uttered r

on l y in that tone and was incapab l e of distincti on from it


, ,

except in idea by an ac te ana l ysis I sang something


,
u .

like this b t the w ords are only a d ll representation of


u u

a state wh ose very elevati on prec l ded the p ossibility o f u

remembrance ; and in which I pres me the w ords really u

emp l oyed were as far above these as that state tran scen ded ,

this wherein I recall t i

M blar e w o m an , v ain ly l e p i gs e n

In t h e t o f d eam !
v ery dea h r s

W i lt th o l m b f m th w e ep i g
u s u er ro ee s n ,

A ll b t w h at w i th i i
u t m v s on ee s

H e a m y o i c c o m th o g h t h g l d n
r v e e r u e o e

Mi t f m m o y a d h p
s o e r n o e

A d w i th h d o w y m il e m b l de
n s a s e o n

M e w ith p i m al D ath t o c op ? r e e

Th e e t h e c lp t all p u i g
s u ors rs u n ,

H a e em b di d b u t th i o w ;
v o e e r n

R ou d th i v i i s fo m i d i g
n e r s on , r n u n ,

M a bl e rtm e t th o h a t t h o w
v es n s u s r n ;
B t th y elf i
u il s c e w i di g
, n s en n n ,

Th h a t k p t e t e ally ;
ou s e rn

T h ee th ey fo d t m a y fi n di g un no , n n

I h a e fo u n d th e w ak e fo m e
v e r .

A s I sang I looked ear n estly at the face


,
vaguely re so

vealed befo re me . I fancied yet believed it to be but ,


58 P HA N TA STE S

fan cy that through the dim veil of the alabaster I saw a


, , ,

motion o f the head as if caused by a sinking sigh I gazed .

more earn estly and concluded that it was b t fancy


,
u .

N evertheless I could not help singing again :

R t i s n o w fill ed f ll of b ea ty
es u u ,

A d c a gi
n th ee up I w ;
n ve , e en

C o m e t h o f th fo u th e d ty
or , r o r u

M o tion p in eth fo h r q een r e u .

O r, if n e edin gy e ar s to wa e k th e e
F rom b
th y l
s um ro u s s o l it d e
u s,

C o m e l e p w alki g a
, s e -
n , n d b t ak e th e e
e

T o t h e f i d ly le pi g w o
r en , s e n o ds .

Sw e e te r d ream s ar e in th e fo r e s ; t
R o un d th ee s t o rm s w ou d l n e v er r av e ;
A n d w h en n e e d o f r es ti s s ore s t ,

Glid th e ou th en into th y c av e .

O r, t ll th ou ch o o e t ath e
if s i s s r r

Ma b l e b it p ll o m e ;
r , e s s e n

L et t h y l m b r ou d m
s u g ath er
er n e ,

Le t a o th er d e am w ith th e e l
n r

A gain I paused and gazed through the stony shroud as


,

if by very force of penetrative sight I wou l d c l ear every


, ,

lineament of the lovely face And now I th ought the .

hand that had lain under the cheek had slipped a little
downward But then I could not be sure that I had at
.

first observed its p ositio n accurately S o I sang agai n ; .


60 P HA N TA STE S

than fl itted through its lake of beams I gazed after


.

i n a kind of despair ; foun d freed l ost ! It seemed useless


, ,

to follow yet follow I must I marked the direction s he


,
.

took and with out once looking round to the forsake n cave
,

I hastened towards the forest .


A FAER I E ROMANCE . 61

A ch , h u te si ch do h c ei n M ch w enn s ein e erfullten W


en s , un s ch e au f

ih n h er ad re g n en , u n d er s o ub er all e M aas s e fr h l i c h i s t ! o F O U QU E ,

Der Z au ber r zn g
'

A h , l et a m an b w re e a , w h en h i s w i sh e s , fu lfill ed , r ain d ow n u p on h im ,

an d hi s h a ppi e i n ss s un b ou n d ed .

Th y re d l ip lik e w orm s
s, ,

T rav e l o v er my ch e ek .

M O TH E RW E LL

BU T,as I crossed the Space between the foot of the hill


and the forest a vision of another kind delayed my step s
,
.

Through an opening to the westward fl owed like a stre am , ,

the rays of the setting s un and overfl owed with a ruddy ,

Splendor the Open place where I was And riding as it .


,

were down this stream towards me came a horseman i n , ,

what ap peared red armor F rom frontlet to tail the h orse .


,

likewise Sh one red in the sunset I felt as if I must have .

seen the knight before ; but as he drew near I cou l d reca l l , ,

n o feat re of his countenance E re he came up to me


u .
,

however I remembered the legend of S ir Percival in the


,

rusty armor which I had left unfinished in the old book in


,

the cottage it was of S ir Percival that he reminded me


: .

And no wonder ; for when he came close u p to me I saw ,


62 PHA N TA STE S

that from crest to heel the whole surface of his armor was
, ,

covered with a light rust The golden sp rs shone but . u


,

the iron greaves glowed i n the sunlight The m or n i n g .

s tar which hung from his wrist glittered a n d glowed with


, ,

its Silver and bronze His whole app earan ce was terrible ;
.

but his face did not an swer to this ap p earan ce It was .

s ad even to gloominess
. and somethin g of shame seemed,

to cover it Yet it was n oble an d high thoug h thus b e


.
,

clouded ; and the form looked lofty although the head ,

dro oped and the whole frame was bowed as with an i n ward
,

grief The horse seemed to Share i n his master s dejection


.

,

and walked Spiritless an d slow I n oticed t oo that the .


, ,

white plume on his helmet was discol ored and drooping .


He has fallen in a joust with Spears I said to myself ; ,

yet it becomes not a noble knight to be conquered i n


Spirit because his body hath fallen He appeared not to .

o bserve me for he was riding p ast without looking up and


, ,

started into a warlike attitude the m ment the first s o und o

o f my v o ice reached him The n a flush as o f Shame c ov .


, ,

ered all of his face that the lifted beave r disclosed He .

returned my greeting with distant courtesy an d passed on ,


.

But s ddenly he rein ed up s at a moment still and the n


u , ,

t rning his ho rse rode back to where I stood looking afte r


u ,

him .


I am ashamed he said to appear a k n ight and i n
,

,

,

s ch a g ise ; but it behoves me to tell you to t ake warn


u u

ing from me lest the same evil in his kin d overtake the
, , ,
A FAER I E ROMANCE .
63

singer that has befallen the k n ight H ast thou ever read .

the story of S ir Percival an d t h e here he sh ddered u ,

that his armor ran g M aide n of the A lder tree ?“ -


In part I have said I for yesterday at the en
, , , ,

trance of this forest I fou n d in a cottage the volume


,

wherein it is recorded .


Then take heed he rejoin ed ; for see my arm or ;
,
” “
,

I put it off and as it befell to him s o has it befallen to ,

me I that was p roud am humble n ow Yet is She


. .

terrib l y beautiful beware ! N ever he added raising


,
-
,

,

his head Shall this armor be furbished but by the blows


, ,

of knightly e n counter u n til the last speck has disa p peared


,

from every spot where the battle axe and sword o f evil -

doers or n oble foes might fall whe n I Shall again lift my


, , ,

head and say to my squire DO thy duty o n ce more an d


, ,

,

make this armor shine .


Before I could inquire further he had struck Spurs into ,

his horse and galloped away Shrouded from my voice in ,

the n oise of his armor F or I called after him anxi ous to


.
,

kn ow more about this fearful enchantress ; but i n vain


he heard me n ot Yet I said to myself I have n ow
.
,

,

been ofte n warn ed ; surely I Shall be well on my guard ,

and I am fully r esolved I Shall n ot be e n snared by any


beauty however beautiful Doubtless some on e man
,
.
,

may escape an d I shall be he


,
S o I went o n into the .

wood still h O ping to find in some on e of its mysterious


, ,

recesses my lost lady of the marble The sunny afternoon


,
.
64 PHA N TA STE S

died i n to the loveliest twilight Great bats began to flit .

about with their own noiseless fl ight seemingly purposeless , ,

because its obj ects are unseen The monotonous music of .

the owl issued from all u n ex p ected quarters i n the ha l f


darkness around me The glowworm was alight here and
.

there burning ou t into the great universe The night


,
.

hawk heightened all the harm ony and still n ess with his o ft
rec rring discordant jar N u mberless unk n own sounds
u .

came ou t of the unknow n dusk ; but all were o f twilight


'

kind O ppres sing t h e heart as with a condensed atmosphere


,

o f dreamy u defined l o ve and l onging


,
n The odors of night .

ar ose and bathed me in that luxurious mournfuln ess pecu


,

liar to them as if the plants whence they floated had


,

been watered with bygone tears E arth drew me towards .

her bosom ; I felt as if I cou l d fall down and kiss her I .

forgot I was in F airy lan d and Seemed to be walking in a


-
,

perfect night of our o wn old n ursing earth Great stems .

rose abo t me uplifting a thick multitudinous roof above


u , ,

me of bran ches an d twi g s and leaves


,
the bird and , ,
-

insect world uplifted over mine with its own landscap es , ,

its own thickets and paths an d glades and dwellings ; its


, , ,

ow n bird ways and insect delights Great boughs crossed


- -
.

my path ; great roots based the tree columns and mightily -

c l asped the earth stron g to lift an d strong to uph old It


,
.

seemed an old old forest perfect in forest ways and pleas


, ,

u res And when in the midst of this ecstasy I remem


.
, ,

bered that un der some close cano py of leaves by some ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 65

giant stem or i n some mossy cave or beside some leafy


, ,

wel l sat the lady of the marble wh o m my songs had called


, ,

forth into the outer world waiting ! might it n o t be to ,

meet and thank her deliverer in a twilight which w o ld u

veil her confusion the wh ole night became o e dream


,
n

realm of joy the central form of which was every where


,

present alt hough unbeheld Then r emembering how my


,
.
,

songs seemed to have called her from the marble piercin g ,

through the pearly Shroud of alabaster “


Why thought , ,

I Sho ld ot my voice reach her n ow th rough the ebo n


,
u n ,

n ight that enwraps her ? M y voice burst into son g so ”

Sp ontaneously that it seemed involuntarily

N ot a s ou n d

But , ch i g i m e
e o n n ,

Vi b r at e all a nds rou

W i th a b l i d d e l i g h t n ,

T ill it b e ak s o n th e e
r ,

Qu e e o f N igh t !
n

E v ery tree ,

O

t g l o om
er s h ad o w in g wi h ,

S eem t o c o e th e
s v r e

S e c ret d a k l o e s till e d
, r ,
v -
,

I n a h o ly o o m r

S il e c e fill ed
n - .

Let no m oo n

C re e p up t h e h e av e n t o -n i h g t .

I i n d ar k s om e n o o n ,

W alki n g ho p e fu lly ,

S ee k my sh r o u d e d l igh t ,

G p ro e fo r h ee ! t
66 PHA N TA STE S

D arker gr ow
Th e b d or of th d k!
ers e ar

Th o gh t h b a c h
r u gl o w !
e r n es

F om th e f b e
r roo a ov ,

S ta a d d iam o d p ark
r n n -
s ,

Ligh t for l o e v .

S carcely had the last sounds floated away from the hear
ing of my o wn c ars whe n I heard instead a lo w de l ici ous
, ,

la gh near me It was not the laugh of on e wh o w ould


u .

not be heard but the laugh of o e who has j st received


,
n u

something l ong and patient l y desired a laugh that ends ,


in a lo w musical moan I started and turning sideways


,
.
, , ,

s aw a dim white figure seated beside an intertwining


,

thicket Of sma l ler trees and underwood .


It is my white lady I said and flung myself o n the ,

ground beside her ; striving thro gh the gathering dark ,


u

ness t o get a gli mpse of the form which had broke n its
,

marble prison at my call .


It is your white lady said the sweetest voice in r e,

,

p l y sending a thrill of Speechless delight thro gh a heart


,
u

which al l the love charms of the preceding day and evening


-

had been tempering for this cu l minating hour Yet if I .


,

would have confessed it there was somethi ng either in the


,

s o nd of t h e voice a l th o gh it seemed sweetness itse l f r


u ,
u ,
o

e lse in this yielding which awaited o gradation of gent l e n

appr oaches that did not vibrate har moni ously with the beat
,

of my inward m sic And likewise when takin g her


u .
, ,
68 P HA N TA STE S

sion of her face The n She would retur n an d walk cl ose


.

beside me again as if n othing had happened I tho ght


,
. u ,

this stra ge ; but besides that I had almost as I said


n , ,

before give n u p the attempt to account for appearan ces


,

in Fairy land I judged that it would be very unfair to


-
,

expect from one who had Sl ep t s o long an d had been so


suddenly awake n ed a behavior correspondent to what I
,

might u nreflectin gly look for I knew not W hat s h e might .

have been dreaming about Besides it was possible that .


, ,

while her words were fr ee her se n se of touch might be ,

exquisitely delicate .

A t length after W alkin g a lon g way in the woods we


,
.

arrived at another thicket through the in tertexture of ,

W hich was glimmering a pale rosy light ,


.


Push aside the bran ch es / s he said and make room
“ ”
,

for us to e n ter .

I did as She told me .

Go in she said ; I W ill follow you


,
” “
.

I did as sh e desired an d foun d myself i n a little cave, ,

n ot very unlike the marble cave It was festoon ed and .

draperied with all kinds of gree n that cling to shady r ocks .

In the farthest corner half hidde n in leaves through which


, ,

it g l owed mingling lovely shadows betwee n them burn ed a


, ,

bright rosy flame on a little earthen lamp The lady


,
.

glided round by the wall from behin d me still keeping her ,

face t owards me an d seated herself i n the farthest corner ,

with her back to the lamp which She hid completely from ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 69

my view I the n saw i n deed a form of perfect lo veliness


.

before me A lmost it seemed as if the light of the r o se


.

lamp sh one thro gh her ! for it c ould not be reflected from


u

her ! s ch a de l icate Shade of pink seemed t o shadow what


,
u

in itse l f must be a marbly whiteness of hue I discovered .

afterwards h o wever that there was on e thing in it I did


, ,

n o t like
; which was that the W hite part O f the eye was

tinged with the same slight roseate hue as the rest of the
form It is strange that I cannot recall her feat res ; but
. u

they as well as her s omewhat girlish fig re left on me


,
u
,

simp l y and only the impressio n of inte n se loveliness I .

lay d own at her feet and gazed up into her face as I lay
,
.

S he began and told me a strange tale which likewise , , ,

I cannot recollect but which at every turn and every


, ,

p ause ,
somehow or other fixed my eyes an d thoughts upon

her extreme beauty seeming always to culmin ate i n


,

s omething that had a relati on revealed or hidd en but


, ,

always Operative with her own lo veliness I lay entranced


,
. .

It was a tale which brings back a feeling as of sn ows and


tempests ; torrents and water Sprites ; l o vers parted for

long and meeting at last ; with a g orge ous summer night


,

t o c l ose up the wh o le I listened ti ll She and I were


.

b l ended with the tale till She and I were the whole history
,
.

And we had met at last in this same cave of greenery ,

W hile the summer night hung round us heavy with l o ve ,

and the o dors that crept thr o gh the silence from the sleep
u

ing woods were the on l y Signs of an outer w orld that in


70 PHA N TA STE S

vaded our solitude What followed I can n ot clearly


.

remember The succeeding horror almost obliterated it


. .

I w oke as a gray dawn stole int o the cave The damsel .

had disappeared b t in the shrubbery at the mo th of the


u ,
u

Cave stood a strange horrible obj ect


,
It looked like an
,
.

open c offin s et up on o e end only that t h e part for the n ,

head an d n eck was defined from the Sh oulder part In - .

fact it was a ro gh representation o f the human frame o nly


u ,

h ollow as if made of decaying bark to rn from a tree It


,
.

had arms which were o nly slightly seame d do w n from the


, ,

sh o lder blade by the elb o w as if the bark had healed again


u -
,

from the c t of a knife B t the arms m ved and the


u . u o ,

hands and fingers were tearing as nder a long silky tr ess u ,

of hair The thing turned r ound ; it had for a face and


.

front those of my enchantress but n ow of a pale greenish ,

h e in the light o f the morning and with dead l stre l ess


u , ,
u

eyes In the h orror of the m oment an other fear invaded


.
,

me I p t my hand to my waist and found indeed that


. u ,

my gird l e of beech leaves was g one Hair again in her


-
.

hands She was teari g it fiercely O nce more as she


,
n .
,

t rned s he laughed a low laugh but now f ll of scorn and


u , ,
u

derision ; and then s h e said as if to a compani o n with ,

whom s h e had been ta l king while I slept There he is ; ,


y o can
u take him n ow I lay still petrified w ith.dismay

,

and fear ; for I n o w saw another figure beside her which al , ,

though vag e and indistinct I yet recogni z ed but t oo wel l


u ,
.

It was the A sh tree My beauty was the Maid of the


- .
A F AER I E R O MANCE . 71

A lde r an d s he was g ivin g me sp oiled of my o nly availing


,

defence into the han ds of my awful foe The A sh bent


,
.

his gorgon head and entered the cave I could n ot stir


-
,
. .

He drew near me His ghoul eyes an d h is ghastly face


.
-

fasci n ated me He came stooping with the hideou s han d


.
,

o utstretched like a beast o f prey


,
I had given myself up .

to a death of unfathomable horror whe n suddenly and , , ,

just as he was o n the poin t of seizing me the d ll heavy ,


u ,

blow of an axe echoed through the wood follo wed by others ,

in quick repetition The A sh shuddered and groaned.


,

withdrew the o tstretched hand retreated backwards to the


u ,

mouth of the cave then turned and disappeared amongst


,

the trees The other walking Death looked at me on ce


.
,

with a careless dislike on her beautifully moulded features ;


then heedless any more to c onceal her hollow deformity
, ,

turned her frightful back and likewise vanished amid the


green obsc rity without I lay an d wept The M aid of
u . .

the Alder t ree h ad befooled me nearly Slain me in


'

- — -
, ,

Spite of all the warnin gs I had received from those wh o


knew my danger .
72 P HA N TA STE S

VII .

Figh t on , my m en , S ir A drn ew s ay es ,
Q
A littl e Ime h t ur tt n ot sl aine ;
, b ut y e

Il e b t ly d o w n e an d b le e d e aw h il e
u e ,

A n d th en Il e i e a d fi gh t agai e
r s n n .

B ALLAD f Si r A n d r ew B art o on .

BU T I could n ot remain where I was any longe r though ,

the daylight was hateful to me and the thought of the ,


great innocent bold sunrise unendurable Here there


, ,
.

was n o well to cool my face smarting with the bitterness ,

o f my o wn tears N o wo ld I have washed in the well


. r u

o f that gr o tt o h ad it flowed clear as the rivers of Paradise


,
.

I rose and feebly left the sepulchral cave I took my


,
.

way I k n e w n ot whither but still t owards the sunrise


,
.

The birds were singin g but not for me All the creat res
,
. u

Spoke a language of their o wn with which I had nothing ,

to do and to which I cared n ot to fin d the key any more


,
.

I walked listlessly along What distressed me most .

more even than my ow n folly W as the perplexing ques -

tion How can beauty an d ugliness d well so near ? E ven


,

with her a l tered comp l exion and her face of dislike ; dis en
chanted of the belief that cl ng aro nd her ; known for a u u

living wa l king sepulchre faithless deluding traitorous


, , , , ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 73

I felt n otwithstanding all this that she was beautiful


, ,
.

Upon this I pondered with undiminished perplexity th o ugh ,

not with out some gain Then I began to make surmises as .

t o the m o de o f my delivera n ce and c o ncluded that some ,

hero wandering in search of adventure had heard h ow the


, ,

forest was infested and kn owing it w as useless t o attack


, ,

the evil thing in person had assailed with his batt l e axe ,
-

the b ody in which he dwelt and on which he was depend ,

ent for his p ower of mischief in the wood V ery likely .


,

I thought the repentant knight who warned me Of the


,

,

evi l which has b efalle n me was busy retrieving his lost ,

h on or while I was sinki n g into the same s orr w with him


,
o

self ; and hearing of the dangerous and mysteri o s being


,
u ,

arrived at his tree in time to save me from bei g dragged n

to its r o ots and buried like carrion to no rish him for yet
, ,
u

deeper insatiableness I fou n d afterwards that my con


.

ec t u e was correct o dered h o w he had far e d whe n


j r I w . n

his blows recalled the A s h himself and that too I learned , , ,

afterwards .

I walked on the whole day with intervals of rest but ,

with out food for I could n ot have eaten had any been
,

,

offered me till i n the aft ernoon I seemed to app roach the


,

, ,

outskirts of the forest an d at length arrived at a farm ,

h ouse A n unspeakable joy arose in my heart at behold


.

ing an abode of human beings once more and I haste n ed ,


'

up to the do or and knocked A kind looking matron l y


,
.
-
,

woman still handsome made he r app earan ce ; wh o as


, , ,
74 PHA N TA STE S

soon as sh e saw me said kin dly A h my poor boy you


, ,

, ,

have come from the wood Were you in it last night ?


I sh ou ld have ill endured the day before to be called , ,

boy but n ow the motherly ki n dness of the word went to


my heart ; and like a boy indeed I burst into tears S he
, ,
.

soothed me right ge n tly ; and leading me i n to a room , ,

made me lie dow n on a settle while s h e went to find me ,

some refreshment S he soo n returned with food ; bu t I


.

could not eat S he almost comp elled me to swallow some


.

wine when I revived s ufli cien tly to be able to an swer some


,

of her ques t ions I told her the whole story


. .

It is j ust as I feared s h e said ; but you are n ow



,
” “

for the night beyond the reach o f any of these dreadful


creatures It is n o wonder that they could delude a child
.

like you But I must beg you when my h sban d comes


.
,
u

in n ot t o s ay a word about these things ; for he thi nks me


,

even half cra zy for believing anything of the sort But I .

must believe my senses as he cannot believe beyond his


, ,

which give him n o intimations of this ki n d I think he .

could Spend the wh ole of M idsummer eve i n the wood an d -


,

come back with the re p ort that he s aw nothing worse tha n


him self Indeed good man he would hardly find anything
.
, ,

better than himself if he had seve n more senses given him


,
.

But tell me how it is that She could be SO beau tiful


with out any heart at all W ith out any place eve n for a
,

heart to live in .

I cannot quite tell she said ; but I am sure She


“ “
,

PHA N TA STE S

enter the house A jolly voice whose slight huskin ess


.
,

appeared to proceed from overmuch laughter called ou t , ,


Betsy the pigs trough is quite empty and that is a
,

,

pity Let them swill lass They re of no s e b t to get


.
,
.

u u

fat Ha ! ha ! ha ! Gluttony is n ot forbidden in their


.

c omman dments Ha ! ha ! h a ' The very voice kind


.
,

and j ovial se emed to disrobe the room of the stran ge look


,

which all new places wear to disenchant it ou t of the ,


realm of the ideal into the actual It began to look as if .

I had known every corner of it for twe n ty years ; and


when soon after the dame came and fetched me t o partake
, ,

o f their early supper the gras p of his great b an d and the


, ,

harvest moon of his benevolent face which was needed to ,

light up the rotundity of the globe beneath it p roduced ,

such a reaction i n me that for a moment I could hardly


, , ,

belie ve that there was a F airy land ; and that all I had -

passed through since I left home had ot been the wander


, ,
n

ing dream of a dise ased imaginati on operating on a too ,

mobile frame not merely causing me i ndeed to travel but


, ,

peop l ing for me with vague phantoms the regi ons through
which my actual steps had led me But the n ext m oment .

my eye fell upo n a little girl who was sitting i n the chim
ney c orner with a little book open on her knee fr om which
-
, ,

s h e had apparently just lo oked up to fix great inq iring , ,


u

eyes up on me I believed i n Fairy land again S he


.
-
.

went on with her readin as s oon as she saw that I ob g


D 7

served her looking at me I went near and peeping over .


, ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 77

her sh o ulder saw that she was reading The History of


,

G raci osa and Per ci et n .


V ery improving book s ir remarked the old farmer



, , ,

with a good h mored laugh-


u W e are in the very hottest .

corner of F airy land here Ha ! ha ! S tormy night last


-
.

night s ir
,
.

Was it indeed ? I rejoined


,

It was n ot so with

me A lovelier night I never s aw .

Indeed ! Where were you last night ? ”

I spent it in the forest I had lost my way . .

A h ! then perhaps y u will be able t o c onvince my


,
o

go od woman that there is nothing very remarkable about


the forest ; for to tell the tr th it bears b t a bad nam e
,
u ,
u

in these parts I dare s ay you saw n oth ing worse than


.

yo rself there ?
u

I h ope I did was my inward reply ; b t for an


“ ”

,
u ,

a dib l e on e I c ontented myse l f with saying Why I


u , ,

,

certainly did s ee so m e appearances I cou l d hard l y acco unt


fo ; but that is n o thing to be w o ndered at in an nknown
r u

wild forest and with the uncertain light of the moon alon e
,

to go by .

V ery true ! you speak like a sensibl e man S r W e ,


i .

have but few sensible folks round ab o t us N ow you u .


,

w o ld hardly credit it but my wife believes every fairy


u ,

tale that ever was written I cannot account for it She . .

is a m ost sensib l e woman in everything else .


But sh ould n ot that make you treat he r beli ef with



78 PHA N TA STE S

something of resp ect though you cann ot share in it your


,

self
Yes that is all very well in theory ; b t when you
,
u

come to live every day in the midst of absurdity it is far ,

less easy to behave respectfully to it Why my wife act .


,

u al ly believes the sto ry of the White C at You kno w ‘ ’


.

it I dare s ay .

I read all these tales whe n a child an d k n ow that on e ,

especially well .


But father i n terp osed the little girl i n the chimney
, ,

corner you k n ow quite well that mother is descended


,

from that very p rincess who was changed by the wicked


fairy into a white cat Mother has told me so a many .

times and you ought to believe everything s h e says


,
.


I can easily believe that rejoined the farmer with ,

,

another fit of la ghter ; for the other night a mouse


u , ,

came gnawing and scratchin g beneath the floor and would ,

n ot let us go to sleep You r mother sprang out o f bed


.
,

and going as n ear it as she could mewed s o infernally like


, ,

a great cat that the noise ceased instantly I believe the


,
.

p oor mouse died of the fright for we have never heard it ,

again Ha ! ha ! ha !
.

The son a n ill looking youth wh o had entered durin g


,
-
,

the conversation joined in his father s laugh ; but his


,

la gh was very different from the old man s it was polluted


u

,

with a sneer I watched him an d s aw that as soon as it


.
, ,

was over he looked scared as if he dr eaded s o me evil con


, ,
A F AER I E R O MANCE . 79

sequences to follow his presumption The woman stood .

near waiting till we should seat ourselves at the table and


, ,

listening to it all with an amused a r which had something 1 ,

in it of the lo ok with which on e listen s to the sententious


remarks of a p ompous child W e sat down to supper and
.

I ate heartily M y bygo ne distresses began al ready to


.

look far off .


In what directio n are you goin g ? asked the Old ”

E astward ,

I replied ; n or could I have give n a more
definite answer .

Does the forest exte n d much further in
that direction ?

O h ! for miles an d miles ; I do not know h ow far ;
for although I have lived on the borders of it all my life
.
,

I have been t oo busy to make j o rneys of disc o very into it


u .

N or do I see what I could discover It is only trees and .

trees till o e is sick of them By the way if you follow


,
n .
,

the eastward track from here you will pass close t o what
,

the children s ay is the very house O f the ogre that He p o -


my Thumb visited and at e his litt l e daughters with the


-
,

crowns of gold .

O father ! ate his little daughters ! N 0 ; he only


changed their go l d crow n s for nightcaps an d the great ,

long toothed ogre killed them in mistake ; but I do n ot


-

think even he ate them for you know they were his o wn
,

little egresses .


Well well child ; you k n ow all about it a g reat deal
, ,
80 PHA N TA STE S

better than I do However the ho se has Of c ourse i n


.
,
u , ,

s ch a fo o lish n eighborh ood as this a bad en o gh name ;


u ,
u

and I must c onfess there is a w oman living i n it with teeth ,

l ong en o gh and white e n ough t oo for the line al descendant


u , ,

Of the greatest ogre that ever was made I think you had .

better not go near her .


In such talk as this the night wor e on When s p per . u

was finished which lasted s ome time my h ostess conducted


, ,

me to my chamber .


If yo h ad not had enough Of it already she said
u ,

,

I w o uld have p t you in another ro om which looks t O


u ,

wards the forest ; and where you wo ld most likely have u

seen something more of its inhabitants F or they fre .

q ent l y pass t he windo w and even enter the room some


u ,

times S trange creat res Spend wh ole nights in it at cer


. u

tain seasons Of the year I am sed to it and do not mind


. u ,

it N O m o re d es my little girl wh o sleeps in it al ways


. o , .

B t this roo m l o ks southward towards the Open co ntry


u o u
,

and they never show themselves here ; at least I never s aw


any .

I was somewhat sorry not to gather any experience that


I might have of the inhabitants O f F airy land ; b t the - u

e ffect of the farmer s company and of my ow n later adven



,

t res was suc h that I chose rather an undisturbed n ight


u , ,

in my m ore h m an quar ters which with their C lean


u , , ,

w hite c rtains and white li n e n were very i n viting to my


u
,

weariness .
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 81

In the morning I awoke refresh ed after a profound and


, ,

dreamless sleep The su n was high when I looked ou t of


.

the windo w shinin g over a wide undulating cultivated


, , ,

country V arious garden veg etables were gro wing beneath


.

my window E verything was radiant with c l ear s n l ight


. u .

The dew drops were sparkling their busiest ; the cows in a


-

near by field were eating as if they had ot been at it all


- n

day yesterday ; the maids were singing at their w ork as


they passed to and fro between the ou t h ouses : I did n ot -

believe in F airy land I went down and found the family


-
.
,

alre ady at breakfast But before I entered the r oo m where


.

they s at the little girl came to me and l ooked up in my


, ,

face as th ough sh e wanted to s ay something to me I


,
.

stooped towards he r ; s h e put her arms round my n eck ,

and her mouth to my ear and whispered ,

A white lady has bee n flitting about the house all


n ight .

N O whispering behind doors ! cried the farmer ; and


we entered together Well h ow have you s l ept ? N O
.

,

bogies eh ? ,

N o t one thank you ; I slept u ncommon ly well


,
.

I am glad to he ar it come and breakfast ,


.

After breakfast the farmer and his s o went out and I n


,

was l eft a l o ne with the m other and da ghter u .


When I looked out of the wind ow this morning I ,

said I felt alm o st certain that F airy land was all a de l u


,
-

sion of my brai n ; but whenever I c ome near yo o your u r


82 PHA N TA STE S :

little da ghter I feel differently Yet I could p e rsuade


u .

myself after my last adventures to go back an d have


, , ,

nothing more t o do with s ch strange beings u .


How wil l you go back ? said the woman .

N ay that I do not k n ow
,
.

Because I have heard that for th ose who ente r F airy


, ,

land there is n o way O f going back They m st go o


,
. u n,

and go through it Ho w I do ot in the least know


.
,
n .

That is quite the impressi on o my o wn mind S ome n .

thing compels me to go on as if my only path was on ,

ward but I feel less i n clin ed this morning to continue my


adventures .

Will you come an d s ee my little child s r o om ? Sh e ’

sleeps in the on e I told you Of looking towards the forest ,


.

Wi l ling l y I said
,

.

SO we went together the little girl running before to


,

Openthe door fo us It was a large room full of old


r .
,

fashi oned furnit re that seemed to have once bel onged to


u ,

some great h o se The window was b ilt w ith a low a ch


u . u r ,

and filled with lozenge shaped panes The w a l l was very


-
.

thick and built of solid stone I c o uld s ee that part o f


,
.

the h ouse had been erected against the remains of some O l d


cas tle or abbey o other great building the fa l len stones
,
r ,

O f which had pr o bably served tq complete it B t as s oo n . u

as I l oo ked o t of the window a gush of wonderment and


u
,

longing fl owed over my soul like the tide of a great sea .

F airy land lay before me an d drew me towar ds it with an


-
,
84 P HA N TA STE S

V III .

Ich b in ein l
T h e i d e s T h eil s , d er an fan g ll
s a es w ar .

G ETHE O . M ep h i s t op h eles i n F au s t .

I am a p t ar of th e p t ar , w h i h at c fir s t w a s th e W ho le .

M Y Spirits rose as I went deeper into the forest ; but I


c ould not regai n my former elasticity Of mind I fo nd . u

cheerfu l ness t o be l ike life itse l f n ot to be created by ,


-

any argument Afterwards I learned that the best way


.

to manage s ome kinds o f painf l thoughts is t o dare them u

t o do their w o rst ; to let them lie and gnaw at yo r heart u

til l they are tired ; and yo find you still have a resid e u u

Of life they canno t ki ll SO better and w orse I went o.


, ,
n,

till I came t o a l itt l e c l earing i n the forest In the middle .

of this c l earing st d a long low h t b i l t with o e end


oo ,
u ,
u n

against a S ngle tall cypress which rose like a spire t the


i ,
o

b ilding A vague misgiving crossed my mind when I


u .

s aw it ; b t I m st nee ds g cl o ser and lo ok thro gh a


u u o
,
u

litt l e ha l f Ope n door near the Opposite end fro m the


,
-
,

cypress Windo w I s aw n one O n peeping in and look


. .
,

ing to wards the f rther end I s aw a lamp burning with a


u , ,

dim reddish flame and the head O f a woman bent dow n


,
.

wards as if reading by its light I c ould see n othing


, .

more for a few moments A t length as my eyes got used .


,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 85

to the dimness of the place I s aw that the p art of the


,

rude bui l ding near me was used for h ouseh old p rposes ; u

fo several r o ugh utensils lay here and there and a bed


r ,

stood in the c orner A n irresistible attracti o n caused me


.

to enter The w oman never raised her face the upper


.
,

part of w hich al one I c ould s ee distin ctly ; but as s oo n ,

as I stepped within the threshold s h e began to read aloud


, ,

in a low and n ot altogether unpleasing voice from an ,

ancient little volume which s h e held Ope n with on e hand


, ,

on the table upon which stood the lam p What she read .

was something like this :


SO then as darkness had n o begin nin g neither will
, , ,

it ever have an end SO then is it eternal The n ega


.
,
.

tion o f aught else is its afli rmat ion Where the light .

cannot c ome there abideth the darkness The ligh t do th .

but h ollo w a mind out of the infinite extension Of the


darkness A nd ever upon the steps Of the light treadeth
.

the darkn ess ; yea springeth in fountai n s and we l ls amidst


,

it fro m the secret channels Of its mighty sea Tr ly man


,
. u ,

is but a passing flame moving u n q ietly amid the s ur


,
u

r o nding rest Of night without which he yet co ld not


u
,
u

be and whereof he is in part compounded


,
.

A S I drew nearer and sh e read on s he moved a little


, ,

to t rn a leaf of the dark Old volume an d I saw that her


u
,

face was sallow and slightly forbiddin g Her forehead w as .

high and her black eyes repressedly quiet B t Sh e took


,
. u

n o n otice of me T his e n d Of the cottag e if cottag e it


.
,
86 PHA N TA STE S

could be called was destitute of furn iture exce p t the table


, ,

with the lamp and the chair on which the w oman s at


, .

In on e corner was a door apparently Of a c pb oard in the ,


u

wall but w hich might lead to a room b eyon d S till the


'

.
,

irresistible desire w hich h ad made me enter the building


urged me : I must Open that d oor and s ee wha t was ,

beyond it I approached and laid my hand on the rude


.
,

latch The n the woman spoke b t without lifting her


.
,
u

head or looking at me : You had better not open that “

door .This was uttered quite quietly and s he went on



,

with her reading partly in silence p artly aloud ; but b oth


, ,

modes seemed equally i n tended for herself al one The .

pr ohibition however on ly i n creased my desire to see


, , ,

and as She took no further n otice I gently ope ned the door
,
.

to its f ll width and lo oked i n At first I s aw n othing


u ,
.
,

worthy Of attention It seemed a common cl oset with


.
,

shelves on each hand on which stood vario s little n eces


,
u

s aries for the humble uses of a c o ttage In on e corner .

stoo d on e or two brooms in another a hatchet and other ,

common to ols ; showing that it was in u se every hour of


the day for household purposes But as I looked I s aw .
, ,

that there were no shelves at the back an d that an empty ,

Space went in further ; its termin ation appearing to be a


fai n tly glimmering wall or curtai n somewhat less , ,

however than the width and height of the doorway where


,

I stood But as I continued lookin g for a few secon ds


.
, , ,

towards this faintly luminous limit my eyes came in to ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 87

true relatio n with their Object All at on ce with s ch a .


,
u

Shiver as whe n on e is sudde n ly con scious of the p resenc e .

of another i n a roo m where he has for hours co n sidered , ,

hi m self alone I saw that the seemingly lumin ous ex


,

t emity was a s ky as of n ight beheld thr o ugh the l o n g


'

r , ,

perspective Of a n arrow dark p assage through what or


, , ,

b ilt Of what I c ould n ot tell A s I gazed I clearly


u
,
.
,

discerned two or three stars glimmering faintly in the


distant bl e But suddenly an d as if it had bee n run
u .
, ,

n ing fast fro m a far distance for this very point an d had ,

t rned the corner without abating its swift ness a dark


u
,

fig re sped into an d alon g the p assage from the blue


u

Opening at the remote end I started back and shuddered.


,

b t kept l o oking for I could n ot help it


u ,
On and on it .

came w ith a speedy appro ach but delayed arrival ; till at


, ,

last thro gh the many gradations of approach it seemed


. u , ,

t o come withi n the Sphere o f myself rushed up to me a n d , ,

p assed me into the cottage A ll I could tell Of its appear


.

ance was that it seemed to be a dar k human fig ure Its .

motio n was entirely noiseless a n d might be called a ,

gliding were it n ot that it appeared that of a run n er but


, ,

with ghostly feet I had moved back yet a little to let


:

him pass me an d looked roun d afte r him instan tly I


,
.

co ld not see him


u .


Where is he ? I Said i n some alarm t o the woman

, , ,

wh o still s at reading .

There on the fl oor behind you she said p oi n ting



, , ,

,
88 P HA N TA STE S

with h er arm half outstretched but n ot lifting her eyes


-
,
.

I turn ed and looked but saw n othing Then w ith a ,


.
,

feeling that there was yet something behind me I looked ,

aro und over my shoulders ; and there on the ground lay , ,

a black shadow the size of a m ,


an It was SO dark that .

I could see it in the dim light Of the lamp which sh one ,

f ll p on it apparently without thi nn ing at all the in ten


u u ,

s it
y o f its hue
I told you said the woman you had better n ot look
, ,

into that closet .


What is it ? I said with a gr owin g sens e Of horror



,
.


It is only y o r shadow that has fo nd you she re
u u ,

plied . E verybody s shadow is r anging up and dow n


“ ’

looking for him I believe you call it by a difl re t name


.
'

e n

in yo r world : yours has fo und you as every pers on s is


u ,

almost certai n to do wh o looks into that closet especially ,

after meetin g on e in the forest whom I dare s ay you have ,

met .

Here for the first time she lifted her head and l ooked
, , ,

full at me : her mouth was full of long white shinin g ,

teeth ; and I knew that I was i n the house of the ogre .

'

I could n ot speak but turned an d left t h e house with the


, ,

shadow at my heels A n ice sort of valet to have


.

I ,

Said to myself bitterly as I stepped into the sunshin e and


, , ,

looking over my shoulder saw that it lay yet blacker i n ,

the f ll blaze of the sunlight Indeed only whe n I stood


u .
,

betwee n it and the sun was the blackn ess at all diminished .
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 89

I was SO bewildered stunn ed b oth by the event itself


and its sudden ness that I could not at all realize to myself
,

what it would be to have such a constant and strange


attendance ; but with a dim convictio n that my p rese n t dis
,

like would soon grow to loathi ng I took my d reary W ay


,

through t he wood .
90 PHA N rA e S

IX .

0 l ady ! we rec eiv e b ut w h a w e t gi v e,

A nd in our life l
a on e d o es n a u re t l iv e
O r
u s i s h er w eddin gg arm en t , o ur s h er sh r ou d !

A h ! fro m t h e so u
l it s el f mu s t i s s u e fo th r
g
A li h t , agl y or , a fair lumin ou s cloud ,

E nv e l pi g th
o n th ; e e ar

A n d from t h e s o u l i t el f m u s t th ere b e s ent


s

A s w ee t a d p o t en t v e c e o f i t o wn birth
n i , s ,

O f all s w ee t s ou n d s t h e life an d ele men t !


C O L ERIDGE .

F R O M th i s time until I arr ived at the p alace of F airy


,

land I can attempt n o co ns ecutive account Of my wande r


,

in gs an d adventures E verything he n ceforward existed


.
, ,

for me in its relati on to my attendan t What infl uence he .

exercised u p o n everything into contact with which I was


brought may be unders tood from a few detached in s ta n ces
,
.

To begi n with this very day on which he first joined me


after I had walked heartlessly along for two or three hours ,

I was very weary an d lay dow n to rest in a most delightful


,

part Of the forest carpeted with wild fl owers I lay for


,
-
.

half an hour i n a dull repose and the n got up to pursue ,

my way T he fl owe rs on the sp ot whe re I had lai n we re


.
92 PHA N r A e S

seeming to lengthe n infinitely u n til it smote the g reat su n


,

o n the face which withered an d darkened be n eath the bl o w


, .

I turned away and went on The shadow retreated to its .

former p osition ; and whe n I looked again it had draw n in


all its sp ears of dark n ess an d followed like a dog at my
,

heels .

O nce as I p assed by a cottage the r e came ou t a lovely


, ,

fairy child with two wondrous toys one i n each hand


, ,
.

T he one was the t be through which the fairy gifted poet


u -

l ooks whe n he beh olds the same thing everywhere ; the


other that th ro gh which he looks whe n he combines into
u

n ew forms Of loveliness those images of beauty which his


o wn choice h as gathered from all r egions wherein he has

travelled R ound the child s head was a n aureole of


.

emanating rays A s I looked at him in wonder and


.

de l ight round crept from behind me the something dark


, ,

and the child stoo d in my Shado w S traightway he was a .

comm onplace boy with a ro ugh broad brimmed straw hat


, ,
-
,

thro gh which brim the sun shone frombehind The toys


u .

he carried were a multi p lyin g glass an d a kaleidoscop e I -


.

sighed and de p arted .

O ne evening as a g reat flood Of weste r n gold flo wed


,

thro gh an avenue in the woods down the stream just as


u , ,

when I saw him first came the sad knight riding on his
, ,

chestnut steed But his armor did n ot shine half s o red as


.

whe n I saw him first M any a blow of mighty sword and


.

axe turn ed aside by the strength O f his mai l a n d glancing


, ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 93

adown the sur face had swept from its path the fretted r st
,
u
,

and the glorio s steel had answered the kindly blow with
u

the thanks o f returning light These streaks and spots .

made his armor look like the floor of a forest i n the sun
light His forehead was higher than before for the con
.
,

tracting wrinkles were nearly gone ; and the sadn ess that
remained on h is face was the sadness of a de wy summer
twilight not that Of a frosty autum n m o rn He too had
, .
, ,

met the Alder maide n as I ; b t he had pl nged into the


-
u u

t orrent o f mighty deeds and t h e stain was nearly washed


,

away N O shad o w followed him H e had n ot entered the


. .

dark ho se ; he had not had time to Open the closet door


u -
.


Will he ever look in ? I said to myself ”
M us t h is .

shado w find him so me day ? But I could not answer my


o wn q esti o ns
u .

We travelled together for t wo days and I b egan to love ,

him It was plai n that b e susp ected my story i n some de


.

g ree ; and I saw h im once or twice lo oking c urious l y and


anxiously at my atte n dant gloom which all this time had ,

remained very obsequiously behind me ; but I offered n o


explan ation and he asked n one S hame at my n eglect o f
,
.

his warning and a horror which Shrunkfrom even all din g


,
u

to its cause ke p t me silent till on the evening of the


, , ,

second day some n oble words fro m my companio n ro used


,

all my heart and I was at the point of falling on his n eck


, ,

and telling him the whole story seeking if n ot fo r hel p ful , ,

advice for of that I was hop eless yet for the comfor t Of
, ,
94 P HA N TA STE S

sympathy when roun d slid the shadow and enwrapt my


,

friend and I c ould not trust him The glory O f his br ow


,
.

vanished ; the light of his eye grew cold ; and I held my


p eace The next morning we parted
. .

B t the m ost dreadful thing Of all was that I now began


u ,

t feel s o mething like satisfacti o n in the presence o f the


o

shadow I began to be rather vain of my attendant say


.
,

i g t o myself
n In a land like this with so many ill si ons
, ,
u

every where I need his aid t o disenchant the things aro nd


,
u

me He d oes a way with all appearances and sho ws me


.
,

things in their true c olor and fo rm And I am n ot o e to . n

be f o l ed with the vanities Of the common crowd I will


o .

n o t see beau t y where there is none I will dare to beh ld . o

things as they are And if I live in a waste ins tead o f a


.

paradise I wi l l l ive kn owing where I live


,
B t o f this a .

u

certain exercise of his p ower which soo foll wed q ite ,


n o ,
u

c red me t rning my feeling t owards him once more into


u ,
u

loathing and distrust It was thus .

O ne bright noon a little maiden j o ined me c omin g


, ,

through the w o od i n a direction at right a gles t o my path n .

S he came al ong Singing and dancing happy as a child , ,

th o gh s he seemed almost a woman In her hands n ow


u .

in one ow in another s h e carried a sma l l globe bright


,
n ,

and cl ear as the p urest crystal This seemed at once her .

p l aything and her g reatest treasure A t o e moment . n

o u wo ld ha v e thought her utterly care l ess o f it and at


y u ,

another overwhelmed with a nxiety for its safety But I .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 95

believe s he was taking care of it all the time p erhaps n ot ,

least when least occupied ab o t it S he stopped by me u .

with a s mi le and bade me good day with the sweetest voice


,
-
.

I felt a wonderful liking for the child for She prod ced ,
u

on me m ore the impression of a chi l d though my under ,

stand ing to ld me differently We talked a little and the n


.
,

walked on together in the directio n I had bee n p ursuin g .

I asked her ab out the globe s he carried but getting no defi ,

nite ans wer I held ou t my hand to take it Sh e drew


,
.

back and said but smilin g almost invitingly the while


, , ,

“You must not to ch it then after a moment s pause


u

; , ,

or if o u do it must be very gently I touched ”


y ,
i t .

with a finger A s l ight vibratory motion arose i n it ac


.
,

companied or perhaps manifested by a faint sweet sound


, , ,
.

I t o ched it again and the sound increased I touched it


u , .

the third time ; a ti y torrent of harmony rol l ed ou t O f the


n .

little globe S he would n ot let me touch it any more


. .

We travelled on together all that day S he left me .

when twilight came on ; but next day at noon s h e met me , ,

as befo re and again we travelled till evening The third


,
.

day sh e came once more at n oon and we walked o n to ,

gether N ow though we had talked about a great many


.
,

things connec ted with F airy lan d a n d the life s he had led
-
,

hitherto I had n ever bee n able to learn anything about the


,

globe This day however as we we n t on the shadow


.
, , ,

glided round and e nwrapt the maiden It could n ot .

change he r But my desire to k n ow about the globe


.
,
96 PHA N TA STE S

w hich i n his gloom beg an to wave r as with an in war d light ,

a n d to shoot o ut flashes o f many colored flame gr ew irre -


,

s is t ib le I put Out both my hands and laid hold of it It


. .

began to so nd as before Th e sound rapidly increased


u .
,

till it grew a low temp est of harmony and the globe trem ,

bled and quivered an d throbbed betwee n my hands I


, ,
.

had not the heart to pull it away from the maiden though ,

I held it in Spite Of her attempts to take it from me ; yes ,

I shame to s ay in spi te of her praye rs an d at last he r


,

tears T he music went on g ro wing i n inten sity an d com


.

plicatio n Of tones and the globe vibrated an d heaved till


, ,

at last it burst i n our han ds and a black vapo r broke up


,

wards fr om out of it ; the n tu rn ed as if blown sideways , ,

an d e n veloped the maiden hidin g eve n the Sh adow in its


,

blackness S he held fast the fragments which I aban


.
,

don ed a n d fled from me into the forest in the directio n


,

w hence s he had come wailin g like a child and cryi n g


, , ,


You have broke n my globe ! my globe is broken ! my
globe is broke n ! I followed her i n the h O pe Of comfort ,

ing her ; but had n ot p u r sued her far before a sudde n ,

cold gust of wind bowed the tree top s above us an d swept -


,

through their stems aroun d us ; a great cloud overspre ad '

the day and a fierce temp est came on i n which I lost Sight
, ,

Of her It lies heavy on my heart to th is hou r A t n ight


. .
,

ere I fa ll aslee p Often whatever I may be thinki ng about


, , ,

I suddenly hear her voice crying out You have broke n


, ,

my globe my globe is b r oke n ah my g lob e ! ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 97

H ere will mention one more strange thing ; but


I
whether this peculiarity was owing to my shadow at all I
am not able to assure myself I came to a village the in .
,

habitants Of which could not at first sight be distinguished


from the dwellers i n our own land They rather avoided .

than sought my com p any though they were very pleasant


,

when I addressed them But at last I Observed that.


,

whenever I came withi n a certai n distan ce Of any on e of


them which distan ce however varied with difleren t in
, , ,
'

dividuals the whole ap p e ar ance of the person began to


,

change ; and this change i ncreased in degree as I ap


p roach ed . W he n I receded to the former distance the ,

former app earance was restored The nature of the change .

was grotesque following no fixed rule


,
The n earest re .

semblan c e to it that I know is the distortion p roduced i n,

your countenan ce whe n you look at it as reflected i n a


con cave or con vex surfac e s ay either side Of a bright
, ,

Sp oo n
. O f this p he n omeno n I first became aware in rather
a ludicrous way M y host s daughter was a very pleasant
.

,

p retty girl W h o made herself more agreeable to me than


,

most of those about me F or some days my companion


.

shadow had bee n less obtrusive than usual ; and such was
the re action Of Sp iri ts occasioned by the Simple mitigation
Of torment that although I had ca se enough besides to
, ,
u

be gloomy I felt li g ht and comparatively happy My


,
.

impressi on i s that sh e was quite aware of the law o f ap


,

pearances that existed between the people of the place and


98 PHA N TA STE S

myself and had resolved to amuse herself at my expense ;


,

for o e evening after some jesting and raillery s h e s ome


n , , ,

h o w o o ther prov ked me to attempt to kiss her


r ,
o B t . u

s h e was well defended from any assa lt Of the kind Heru .

c ountenance became of a sudden abs rd l y hide us ; the


, ,
u o

pretty m outh was el ongated an d otherwise amplified s fli


,
u

c ie t l
n
y to have all o wed Of s ix simultane o us kisses I .

started back in bewi ldered dismay ; She b rst into the u

merriest fit O f laughter and ran from the room I soon


,
.

found that the same definable law of change Operated


un

between me and all the o ther villagers ; and that t o feel I ,

was in pleasant c ompany it was abs olutely necessary for


,

me t o di sc over and observe the right focal distance betwee n


myself and each o e with wh om I had to do This d one
n .
,

a l l went pleasant l y eno gh Whe ther when I happened


u .
,

t o neglect t his preca tion I presented to them an eq ally


u ,
u

ridicul us appearance I di d not as certain ; but I pres me


o ,
u

that the alteration was c ommo n t o the approximating


parties I was likewise nable to determine whether I was
. u

a necessary party t o the pr od cti on of this strange trans


u

formati on or whether it took place as well nder the


, ,
u

given circumstances betwee n the inhabitan ts themselves


,
.
10 0 PHA N TA STE S

cool from the heart of a s n heated rock flowed somewhatu -


,

s o thwards fro m the direction I had been taking I drank


u .

o f this Spring and f und myself wonderful l y refreshed


,
o .

A kind of l ove t o the cheerf l little stream ar ose in my u

heart It was b orn in a desert ; but it seemed to say t


. o

itself I wil l fl ow and Sing and lave my banks ti l l I


,

, , ,

make my desert a paradise I th ought I c o ld not do ”


u

better than foll ow it and see what it made Of it SO


,
.

d own with the stream I went o ver rocky lands b rning , ,


u

with sunbeams B t the riv let flowed n ot far before a


. u u ,

few blades Of grass appeared on its banks and then ,here ,

and there a st nted bush S ometimes it disappeared


,
u .

altogether under ground ; and after I had wandered some


distance as near as I c ould guess in the direction it
, ,

seemed t o take I w o ld s dden l y hear it aga n Singing


,
u u l
, ,

s o metimes far away to my right or left amongst new r ocks , ,

over which it made new cataracts of watery melodies .

The verdure on its banks increased as it flow ed ; other


streams joined it ; and at last after many days trave l I ,

,

fo nd myself on e gorgeous summer evening resting by


u , ,

the side of a broad river with a glorio s horse chestnut


,
u -

tree t owering ab ove me and dropping its blossoms milk


, ,

white and ro sy red all about me A s I sat a gush of j oy


-
.
,

Sprang forth in my heart and ove flowed at my eyes ,


r .

Thr o gh my tears the whole landscape glimmered in s ch


u
,
u

be witching loveliness that I felt as if I were enter ng


,
i

F airy land for the first time and so me loving hand were
-
,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 10 1

waiting to cool my head an d a lovin g word to warm my ,

heart R os es wild roses everywhere ! SO plentif l were


.
, , u

they they n ot only p erfumed the air they seemed to dye


, ,

it a faint rose hue The color floated abr oad with t h e


-
.

scent and climbed and spread until the whole west bl shed
, , , u

and glowed with the gathered incense of roses A nd my .

heart fainted with longing i n my bosom C ould I but see .

the S pirit of the E arth as I s aw Once the indwelling ,

woman o f the beech tree and my beauty of the pale -


,

marble I Sh o ld be content C ontent


,
u O h how gladly .
,

wo ld I die of the light Of her eyes ! Yea I would cease


u ,

to be if that would bring me on e word of love from the


,

on e mouth The twilight sank ar ound and infolded me


.
,

with slee p I slept as I had n ot slept for months I did


. .

n ot awake till late i n the morning ; when refreshed in ,

body an d mind I rose as from the death that wipes out the
,

sadness of life and the n die s itself in the n ew morrow


,

Again I fo llowed the stream ; now climbing a steep rocky ,

bank that hemmed it in now wading through l on g grasses


and wild fl owers i n its path n ow through meadows and , ,

an on through woods that cr owded dow n to the very li p


of the water .

At length in a n ook of the river gloomy with t h e


, ,

weight of overhanging foliage and still and dee p as a so ul ,

in which the torrent eddies Of pai have ho l lowed a great n

gulf and then subsiding in violence have left it full Of a


, , ,

motion less fathomless sorr ow


,
I saw a little boat lyin g ,
— .
102 PHA N TA STE S

SO still was the water here that the boat n eeded n o faste n
ing It lay as if s ome o e had j st stepped ashore an d
. n u
,

w ould in a m oment return B t as there were no signs Of . u

presence and n o track through the thick bushes and , ,

moreover as I was in F airy land where on e does very


,
-
,

m ch as he pleases I forced my way to the brink stepped


u , ,

into the boat pushed it with the help of the tree branches
, ,
-
,

out into the stream lay dow n i n the bottom and let my
, ,

boat a d me float whither the stream would carry us I


n .

seemed to loSe myself i n the great flow Of s ky above me ,

unbroken i n its i fin itu de exce p t when n ew and then


n , , ,

coming n earer the shore at a bend in the river a tree ,

w o ld sweep its mighty head Sile n tly above mine and glide
u ,

away back into the p ast never more to flin g its Shado w ,

Over me I fell asleep in this cradle in which mothe r


.
,

N ature was rocking her weary chi l d ; and whi l e I s l ept ,

the s n slept not but went ro nd his arched way When


u ,
u .

I awoke he slept in th e waters and I went o n my silent


, ,

path beneath a round silvery moon And a pale m oon


,
.

looked p from t h e floor Of the great blue cave that lay i n


u

the abysmal Silence beneath .

Why are all reflections lovelier than what we call the


reality ? n ot s o grand or so strong it may be but

, ,

a l ways lovelier ? F air as is the gliding Sloop on the shin


ing s ea the wavering trembling unresting sail below is
, , ,

fairer sti l l Yea the reflecting ocean itse l f reflected in the


.
, ,

mirror has a wondr ousness about its waters that some


,
1 04 P HA N TA STE S

her pale eye into the charmed Slumber san k into my s o l


, , u ,

and I felt as if I had died i n a dream and should neve r ,

more awake .

F rom this I was partly aroused by a glimmering of


white t hat through the trees on the left vaguely crossed
, ,

my vision as I g a z ed u p wards But the trees again hid .

the Object ; and at the moment some stran g e melodious


, ,

bird took up its song and sang n ot an ordinary bird song


, ,
-
,

with constant re p etitions of the sam e melody but what ,

sounded like a continuous strain in which on e thought was ,

expressed deepening i n intensity as evolved in p rogress


,
.

It sounded like a welcome already overshadowed with the


comin g farewell A s in all sweetest music a tinge Of sad
.
,

n ess was in every n ote N or do we know how much Of.

the pleasures even Of life we owe to the intermingled sor


rows J oy cannot unfold the deepest truths although
.
,

deepest truth must be deepest joy C ometh white robed .


-

S orrow sto op in g an d wan a n d flin geth wide the doors She


, ,

may n ot e n te r Almost we lin ger with S orrow for very


.

love.

A s the song co n cluded the stream bore my little boat


,

with a gentle swee p round a bend of the r iver ; and lo o n


a broad lawn which r ose from the water s edge with a long
,

gree n slope to a clear elevation from which the trees re


ceded on all Sides stood a stately palace glimmering
,

ghostly in the m oonshine it seemed to be built througho t u

Of th e whites t marble There was n o reflection Of moon


.
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 1 05

light from windows there seemed to be n one ; so there


,

was n o cold glitter ; o n ly as I said a ghostly shimmer , ,


.

N umb erless shadow s tempered the shi n e from colum n an d ,

balc ony an d tower : for everywhere galleries ran along


the face Of the buildin g s ; win gs were extended i n many
directions ; and numbe rless Openings through which the ,

moonbeams vanished into the interior an d which served ,

both for doors and windows had their se p arate balconies in ,

front commun icatin g with a commo n gallery that rose on


,

its own pillars O f course I did n ot discove r all this fro m


.
,

the river and i n the moonlight But though I was there


.
, ,

for man y days I did n ot succeed i n mastering the inner


,

to p ography of the building so exten sive and complicated ,

was it .

Here I wished to land but the boat had n o C ars o n ,

board However I fo nd that a plank serving for a seat


.
,
u ,
,
,

was unfastened and with that I brought the boat to the


,

ban k and scrambled on sh o re Deep soft turf sank beneath


,
.
,

my feet as I went u p the ascent towards the p alace Wh en


,
.

I reached it I saw that it stood on a great platform Of


,

marble with an ascen t by broad stairs Of the same all


, , ,

ro nd it A rrived on the platform I found there was a n


u .
,

extensive outlook over the forest which however was , , ,

rather veiled than reve aled by the m oon light E ntering .

by a wide gateway b t without gates in to an inner court


,
u , ,

surrounded on all Sides by great marble pillars supporting


galleries above I s aw a larg e fountai n O f p orphyry in the
,
10 6 PHA N TA STE S

middle throwing up a lofty column Of water which fell , ,

with a n oise as of the fusion of all Sweet sounds into a ,

basi n beneath ; overflowin g which it ran i n a Single ,

channel towards the interior of the building Altho gh . u

the moon was by this time so low i n the west that not a
ray of her light fell into the court over the height O f the ,

surrounding buildings yet was the cou rt lighted by a


,

sec ond reflex from the sun of other lands For the top O f .

the column of water just as it spread to fall caught the


, ,

moonbeams and like a great pale lamp hung high in the


, , ,

n ight air thre w a dim memory of light ! as it were over


, !
the court below This cou rt was p aved i n diamonds Of
.

white and red marble A ccording to my custom since I.

e n tered Fairy land of taking for a guide whatever I first


-
,

found moving in any direction I followed the stream fro m ,

the basin of t h e fountain It led me to a great Ope n door


.
, ,

beneath the asce n din g ste p s of which it ran thr ough a low
arch and disappeared E nterin g here I found myself in a
.
,

great hall surrou n ded with white p illars an d p aved with


, ,

bl ack and white T his I could s ee by the moonlight


.
,

w hich from the other side streamed through Ope n windo w s


, ,

into the hall Its height I could n ot distinctly s ee A S


. .

soon as I en tered I had the feeling SO common to me i n the


,

woods that there were others there besides myself th o ugh


, ,

I could see no on e and heard no sound to indicate a p res


,

ence S ince my visit to the C hurch of Darkness my


.
,

power of seeing the fairies of the higher orders h ad


1 08 P HA N TA STE S

itself the letters formed the words Th e C h amber of S ir


, ,

A n o d os A ltho gh I had as yet n o right to the ho n o r s Of


. u

a knight I ventured to conclude that the chamber was


,

indeed intended for me a n d openin g the door without , ,

hesitati on I entered A n y doubt as to whether I was right


,
.

in s o doing was soo n dispelled What to my dark eyes .

seemed a blaze of light burst upon me A fire of large pieces ,


.

o f s o me swee t scented wood supported by dogs Of Silver was


-
, ,

burning on the h earth and a bright lamp stood on a table , ,

in the midst of a plentiful meal apparently awaiting my arri ,

val But what sur p rised me more than all was that the room
.

was i every respect a C opy of my own room


n the room ,

whence the little stream from my basin had led me into Fairy
land There was the very carpet O f grass and moss and
.

daisies which I had myself designed ; the curtains Of pale


,

bl e Si l k that fell like a cataract over the windows ; the old


u ,

fashi oned bed with the C hin tz furniture on which I had


, ,

slept fro m boyhood N ow I shall slee p I said to my


.
,

self . My shadow dares not come here



.

I sat down to the table and began to help myself to the ,

good things before me with confidence And n ow I foun d .


,

as in many instances before how true the fairy tales are ; ,

f r I was waited on all the time of my meal by invisible


o , ,

hands I had scarcely to do more than look towards any


.

thing I wanted when i t was brought me just as if it had


, ,

c ome t o me of itself My glass was kept filled with the .

wine I had chosen until I looked towards another bot tle o r


,
A FAER I E ROMANCE . 1 09

ecant er , when a fresh glass was substituted an d the other ,

supplied When I had eaten and drunk more heartily


.

and j oyfully than ever Since I entered F airy land the -


,

whole was removed by several attendants O f whom some ,

were male and some female as I thought I could dis


,

t i g ish from the way the dishes were lifted from the table
n u ,

and the motio n with which they were carried ou t O f the


r oom A S soon as they were all take n away I heard a
.
,

sound as Of the shuttin g Of a door an d k n e w that I was


,

left alone I sat lon g by the fire meditating an d wonder


.
, ,

ing h ow it would all en d ; and when at length wearied ,

with thinking I betook myself to my o wn old bed it was


, ,

half with a hope that when I awoke i n the morning I


, ,

should awake not only i n my own room but in my own ,

castle also ; and that I should walk out upon my o wn


native soil and find that F airy land was after all only a
,
-
, ,

vision Of the n ight The sound of the falling waters of


.

the fountain fl oated me i n to Oblivi on .


11 0 PHA N TA STE S

XI

l
A w i d ern es s of buil di g n , s inki n gfr a

A nd lf wi th dr aw in to a w o drou s d ep th
se -
n n ,

F ar i ki g in to s p l e d o
s n n w i th u t en d !
n r o

Fab i c it e m d o f diam d a d o f go l d
r s e e on n ,

Wi th al ab as ter d m e a d i l er p i e s
o s, n s v s r ,

A n d b l azi g t e rac e p o t e ac e h igh


n r u n rr ,

Up lifted . W O R D SW O R T H .

BU T when after a sleep which although dr eamless yet


, , , ,

left behind it a sense Of past blessedness I awoke in the f ll ,


u

morning I found indeed that the roo m was sti l l my o w


, ,
n,

b t that it lo o ked abroad up on an unknow n landscape Of


u

forest and b ill and dale on the one side ; and on the othe r
up on the marble co rt with the great fountain the crest
u , ,

Of which n ow flashed glorious in the su and cast on t he n,

pavement beneath a shower of faint Shad ows from the


waters that fe l l from it into the marb l e basin below .

A greeably to all authentic accounts of the treatment of


trave ll ers in F airy land I found by my bedside a complete
-
,

s it of fresh clothing just such as I was in the hab it of


u ,

wearing for th ough varied sufficiently from the o e re


,
n

moved it was yet in c omplete accordan ce with my tastes


,
.

I dressed myse l f in this and went out The wh o l e palace .

s ho ne l ike si l ver in the s un The marble W as partly dull


.
112 P HA N TA STE S

shado w O f darkness ! Here I may find a blessin g which


will fall on thee as a curs e and damn thee to the blackness,

whence th o u hast emerged unbidden I said this .



,

stretched at length on the Slope Of the lawn ab ove the river ;


and as the hope arose within me the s un came forth fro m a
light fl eecy clo d that swept across his face and b ill and
,
u ,

dale and the great river winding on through the still


, ,

mysteri o s forest flashed back his rays as with a silent


u ,

shout Of j oy ; all n ature lived and glowed ; the very earth


grew warm beneath me ; a magnificent dragon fly went -

past me like an arrow from a bow and a whole concert Of ,

birds burst into choral song .

The heat of the s n soon became too intense even for


u

passive s pp ort I therefore rose and s ought the shelter


u .
,

Of on e of the arcades Wandering along from one to .

an other o f these wherever my heedless steps led me and


,
.

wondering every where at the simple magnificence O f the


building I arrived at another hall the roof of which was
, ,

Of a pa l e blue Spangled with constellations of Silver stars


, ,

and s pp orted by porphyry pillars of a paler red than


u

ordinary In this house ! I may remark in passing !


.


.

silver seemed everywhere preferred to gold ; and such was


the purity of the air th at it showed n owhere signs of tar
x

n is h i
n
g The

wh o le Of the floor of this hall except a
,

narrow path behind the pillars p aved with black was hol , ,

lowed into a huge bas n many fee t deep an d filled with


i , ,

the purest most liquid and radian t water The sides o f


, .
A FAER I E ROMANCE . 113

the basin were white marble and the bottom was paved ,

with all kinds Of ref lgent st ones Of every shape and h e


u
, u .

In their arrangement you would have supp osed at first


, ,

sight that there was no design for they seemed t o lie as if


, ,

cast there fro m careless and playful hands but it was a


m ost harmonious confusion ; and as I looked at the p l ay
o f their colors especial l y when the waters were in m o ti o n
, ,

I came at last to feel as if n ot one little peddle could be


disp l aced without inj ring the effect of the whole Be
,
u .

neath this floor Of the water lay the reflection Of the blue
inverted roof fretted with its silver stars like a second
, ,

deep er sea clasping and upholding the first This fairy .

bath was probably fed from the fo n tain in the court Led u .

by an irresistible desire I undressed and p lunged into the


,

water It clothed me as with a n ew sense and its Object


.

both in on e The waters lay so close to me they seemed


.

t o enter and revive my heart I rose to the surface Shook .


,

the water from my hair and swam as in a rainbow amid , ,

the coruscations of the gems below seen though the agita


tion caused by my moti on Then with Open eyes I dived .
, , ,

and swam beneath the surface A nd here was a n ew .

wonder F o the basin thus beheld appeared to extend


. r , ,

on all Sides like a s ea with here and there groups as o f


,

ocean rocks h llowed by ceaseless bi l lows into wondrous


,
o

caves and grotesq e pinn acles A round the caves grew


u .

s ea weeds Of al l h es
- and the corals glowed betwee n ;
u ,

while far off I saw the glimmer of what seemed to be


, ,

8
1 14 P HA N TA STE S

creature s Of human for m at home in the waters I thought .

I had bee n e n chanted ; and that whe n I rose to the s ur ,

face I should find myself miles from land swimming alone


, ,

u p o n a hea ing s ea ; but whe n my eyes emerged from the


v ,

waters I saw above me the blue Sp angled vault and the


, ,

red p illars around I di ved ag ain and found myself on ce


.
,

more i n the heart of a great s ea I the n arose and swam .


,

to the edg e where I got ou t easily for the water reached


, ,

the very brim and as I drew n ear was hed i n tiny waves
, , ,

over the black marble border I dressed an d went out .


, ,

deeply refreshed .

A nd now I began to discern faint gracious forms here ,

and there throughout the buildin g S ome walked together .

in earnest conversation O thers strayed alone S ome stood


. .

i n grou p s as if looking at and talking about a pict re or a


,
u

statue N one Of them heeded me ; n or were they plainly


.

visible to my eyes S ometimes a group or single individ


.
,

ual would fade entirely out of the realm of my vision as


,

I g azed When evenin g came an d the moo n arose clear


.
,

as the roun d Of a horizon sea whe n the sun hangs over it i n


-

the west I began to s ee them all more plainly especially


, ,

whe n they came betwee n me and the moon and yet more ,

especially when I myself was i n the Shade But eve n .


,

then I sometimes s aw o n ly the passing wave of a white


,

robe ; or a lovely arm or n eck gleamed by in the moon


shin e ; or white feet w ent walking alon e over the moony
sward ; n or I grieve to say d id I ever come much n earer
, ,
1 16 PHA N TA STE S

had never seen and which were I to make the attem pt I


, , ,

c o ld ill describe All aro nd the walls in front of the


u . u ,

b ooks ran galleries in rows c ommunicating by stairs


, ,
.

These galleries w ere built of all kinds of colored stones ;


.

all sorts of marble an d granite wi th porphyry jasper , , ,

lapis la z uli agate and various others were ranged i n won


, , ,

derf l mel o dy of successive col ors


u Although the material .
,

then O f which these galleries and stairs were built ren


, ,

dered n ecessary a certai n degree of massiveness in the con


str cti on yet such was t he si z e of the place that they
u ,

seemed t o run along the wal l s like cords O ver some parts .

O f the library descended curtains o f silk o f various dyes ,

n one Of which I ever saw lifted w hile I was there ; an d I


felt somehow that it would be p resumptuous in me to ve n
ture to look within them But the use Of the o ther books .

seemed free ; and day after day I came to the library ,

thre w myself on on e of the many sumpt o s eastern car u u

pets which lay here and there on the floor and read and
, , ,

read until weary if that can be designated as weariness


, ,

,

which was rather the faintness of rapt rous delight Or u


,

u ntil sometimes the failing of the light invited me to go


, ,

abr oad in the hope that a cool gentle breeze might have
, ,

arisen t o bathe with an airy invigorating bath the limbs


, , ,

w hich the g l ow O f the burning spirit withi n had withered

no less than the gl ow of the blazing s un without .

O ne peculiarity O f these books or at least most of those , , ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 1 17

I lo ked into I must make a somewhat vai n attempt to de


o ,

scribe .

If for instan ce it was a book Of metaphysics I Opened


, , ,

I had scarcely read two pages before I seemed to myself


to be p ondering over discovered truth and constructing the ,

intellectual machine whereby to communicate the discovery


to my fe l low men With some books however Of this
- .
, ,

nature it seemed rather as if the process was removed yet


,

a great way f rther back and I was trying to find the


u ,

root Of a manifestation the Spiritual truth whence a mate


,

rial vision sp ran g ; O r to combine t wo p epos itio s b oth r n ,

apparently true either at once or in di fferent remembered


,

m oods and to find the point in which their invisibly co n


,

verging lines would unite in on e revealing a truth higher ,

than either and differing from both though so far from ,

being Opp osed to either that it was that whence each de,

rived its life and power O r if the bo ok was on e of trav


.
,

els I found myself the traveller N ew lands fresh expe


,
. .
,

riences n ovel customs rose around me


,
I walked I dis
,
.
,

c overed I fought I suffered I rejoiced in my success


, , ,
.

Was it a history ? I was the chief actor therein I s uf .

fered my o wn blame ; I was glad in my o wn praise With .

a fiction it was the same M ine was the whole story ; for .

I took the place of the character who was most like myself ,

and his story was mine ; until grow n weary with the life ,

Of years co n densed i n an hour o arrived at my death bed ,


r -
,

or the end of the volume I would awake with a sudde n ,


1 18 P HA N TA STE S

bewilde rment to the consciousn es s of my presen t life rec


, ,

o n
g izi
n
g t he walls a n d roof around me and findin g I joyed
,

or sorrowed only in a b ook If the book was a poem the


.
,

words disap p eared or took the subordinate p osition of a n


,

accompanime n t to the succession of forms and images that


r ose an d van ished with a soundless rhythm an d a hidde n
r hyme .

In o n e with a mystical title which I can n ot recall I


, , ,

r ead of a world that is n ot like ours The won drous


.

account i n such a feeble fragmentary way as is possible to


, ,

me I wo ld willingly impart Whether or n ot it was all


,
u .

a poem I cannot tell ; but from the impulse I felt when I


, ,

first contemp lated writing it to break i n to rhyme to


, ,

which impulse I shall give way if it comes u p on me again ,

I thi nk it must have been p artly at least i n verse


, ,
.
120 PHA N TA STE S

th ose of science an d p oetry N o shining belt or gleaming .

moon n o red and green glory in a self encircling twin star


,
- -
,

but has a relati on with the h idden things Of a man s s o l ’


u ,

and it may be with the secret history Of his body as well


, , .

They are portions of the living house wherei n he abides .


T h r o u gh l m s o f th e m o ar ch S
th e r ea n un

C eep s a w l d w h o s e c o u e h ad b e gun
r or , rs ,

O n a w e a y p ath w i th a w e a y p ac e
r r ,

B ef e th e E a th sp a g fo th on h er rac e
or r r n r

Bu t m a y a ti m e t h E art h h ad s p d
n e e

A ou d th e p ath h e till m t tread


r n s s us ,

E re t h e l d p l a et o l eaden w i g
e er n , n n ,

O c e c i cl e d t h e c o u t o f th e p l a e t s ki g
n r r n

n .

T h ere , in h a t t l on e ly a nd di s tan t s tar ,

Th e s e as o n s are n o t as o u r s e as o n s ar e
;
Bu t m an y a y e ar p th A ta u umn t o d r es s

The t r ee s t
t o l li es s ;
in h eir m a r n ov e n

A s l o g h ath O ld Wi t er i n t i mp h t o g o
n n r u

O

b a ti e d ead i n h i s a lt b e l ow ;
er e u s v u s

A d m a y a y ar t h e Sp in g d o th w ea
n n e r r,

C o mb in g th e i ci cl s f o m h h ai ; e r er r

A d S mm e d a S um mer h ath y e ars o f J u n e


n u r, e r , ,

W i th l a g e w hi t cl ou d a d c o o l s h ow e s at o o
r e s, n r n n ;
A d a b ea ty th at g o w s t o a w ei gh t l ik e g i ef
n u r r ,

T ill a bu rs t O f t ea s i s t h e h e a t elie f r r

s r .

l
C hi dr en , b orn w h e n Wi n t er is ki g n ,

M ay n e v er r e oi c e

j i n t h e h o in p g Sp rin g;
T h o u ghth eir ow n h a t b u d a e bu ti g w ith j e r -
s r rs n oy ,

A d t h e chi l d h at h g w t o t h e g i l or b oy ;
n ro n r

B t m ay di e wi th c l d a d i cy h o u rs
u o n

W atch i g th em e er in p l ac e O f fl o w e s
n v r .
A FAER I E R O MANCE .

A nd s om e w h o aw a k e fr o m h e ir t p im l l p
r a s ee ,

W h en th e si gh s of S u mm er th r ou gh f t c p or e s s re e ,

Li v e , an d l o v e , an d are l o v e d a ain g ;
S eek fo a r pl
e a d fi e s ur , n nd its p i a n ;
S i k t t h i l a t t h ei f
n o e r s , r ors a k l pin g
en s e e ,

W i th t he am e w e t d o
s s e o rs ar o u n d th m c e ree pi g n .

N ow the children there are n ot b orn as the children are


, ,

b orn in worlds nearer to the s un ; for they arrive n o on e


kn ows h o w A maiden walking alone hears a cry ; for
.
, ,

even there a cry is the first tterance ; and searching u ,

ab o t s h e fi det h under an o verhanging rock o within a


u ,
n , ,
r

cl mp Of b shes o it may b e b et wixt gray stones on the


u u ,
r, ,
'

side of a hill or in any other sheltered and nexpected


,
u

spot a little chi l d This s h e taketh tender l y and beareth


,
.
,

home with joy calling o t Mo ther ! m o ther


,
if s o u ,

be that her m other lives I have got a baby I have —

found a child ! A ll the household gathers r ound t o


see : W h er e i s it ? W h at i s i t like ? Wh er e d i d

yo u fi nd and s ch like q estion s abo nding And


it ? ”
u -
u u .

thereup on sh e relates the wh ole story of the discovery ; for


by the circumstances s ch as seas o n Of the year time O f ,
u ,

the day condition Of the air and such like and especially
, , , , ,

the peculiar an d never repeated aspect O f the heavens and -

earth at the time and the nature Of the place Of Shelter


,

wherein it is found is determined or at least indicated the


, , ,

nat re o f the child thus discovered Therefore at certai n


u .
,

seasons and in certain states Of the weather according i n


, , ,
12
2 P HA N TA STE S

p art to their own fancy the you n g women go


, ,
to look ou t

for children They generally avoid seeking them th o gh


.
,
u

they cannot help sometimes finding them in places and ,

w ith circ mstances unc o ngenial to their pec liar likings


u u .

B t no s o oner is a child fo nd than its claim fo pro te c


u u r

t iOn and nurture obliterates a l l fee l ing o f choice in the

matter C hiefly h owever in the seas on of s mmer


.
, ,
u ,

which lasts s o l ong c o ming a s it d oes after such l ong inter


,

vals and mostly in the warm evenings about the middle


,

of t wilight and principally in the woods and along the ‘

river banks do the maidens go lo oking for chi l dren j st as


-
, ,
u

chi l dren l ook fo fl owers A nd ever as th e chi l d grows


r .
,

yea more and m ore as he advances in years w ill his face


, ,

indicate t o those wh o understand the spirit of nature and ,

her tterances in the face of the world the nature of the


u
,

p lace of his birth and the other circ mstances there o f ;


,
u

whether a clear morning sun guided his mother to the nook


whence issued the b oy s low cry or at eve the l onely ’
,

maiden ! for the same woman never finds a second at least ,

while the first lives ! disc overs the girl by the glimmer of
her white skin lying in a nest like that of the lark amid
, , ,

long encircling grasses and the upward ga z ing eyes of the


,
-

l owly daisies ; whether th e storm b ow ed t he forest trees - .

around or the sti l l frost fixed in silence the else flowi n g


,

and babbling stream .

After they grow p the men and women are but little
u ,

together There is this p eculiar di fference between them


.
,
12
4 P HA N TA STE S

castin g crimson along a broad sea path into a little cave on -

the shore where a bathing maiden saw her lying


,
.

But tho gh I Speak of s n and fog and sea and shore


u u ,

the world there is in some respects very di fferent from the


earth where on men live F or instance the waters reflect .
,

n o fo rms To the naccustomed eye they appear if undis


. u ,

t u b ed
r like the surface O f a dark meta l only that the
, ,

latter wo ld reflect indistinctly whereas they reflect n ot at


u ,

all except light which falls immediately upon them This


,
.

h as a great e ffect in ca sing the landscapes to di ffer from


u

those on the earth O n the stillest evening no tall Ship


.
,

on the sea sends a l o ng wavering reflecti o n almost to the

feet of him on the Shore the face of no maiden brightens


at its o wn beauty i n a still forest well Th e s un and moon -
.

al one make a glitter on the surface The sea is like a sea .

Of death ready to in g l f and never to reveal : a visib l e


,
u

shadow of Oblivion Yet the wome n Sport in its waters like


.

gorgeous s ea birds The me n more rarely enter them


- . .

But on the contrary the sky reflects everything beneath


, ,

it as if it were built of waters like ours O f course from


,
.
,

its con cavity there is some distortio n Of the reflected O h


j e c t s yet wondrous combinations Of forms are Often to be
seen in the overhanging depth And the n it is n ot Shaped .

S O much like a round dome as the s ky of the earth but , ,

more Of an egg shap e rises to a great towering height i n


-
, ,

the middle appearing far more lofty than the other W he n


,
.

the stars come out at n ight it shows a mi ghty cup ola


°

, ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 12
5


fretted with gold en fires wherein there is room for all ,

'

tempests to rush an d rave .

O ne evening in early summer I stood with a group Of ,

men and women on a steep rock that o verh ng the sea u .

They were all questioning me about my w orld and the


ways thereof In makin g reply to one Of their questions
.
,

I was compelled to say that children are not born in the


E arth as with them Upon this I was assailed with a
.

whole battery Of in qu i ies wh ich at first I tried to avoid ;


'

r ,

but at last I was compelled in the vag est manner I c o ld ,


u u

invent to make s ome approach to the s bject in question


,
u .

Immediate l y a dim notion of what I meant seemed to


daw n in the minds Of most of the women S ome of them .

folded their great wings all around them as they generally ,

do when in the least offended and stood erect and m otion ,

less O ne spread o t her rosy pinions and flashed from


. u ,

the promontory into the g lf at its fee t A great ligh t u .


shone in the eyes of on e maiden wh o t rned and walked ,


u

sl owly away w ith her p rple and white wings h alf dis
,
u

pread behind her S he was found the next morning dead


.
,

beneath a withered tree on a bare hil l side some miles


,
-
,

inland They buried her where s h e lay as is their c s


.
,
u

tom ; for before they die they instinctively search for a


, ,

sp ot like the place Of their b irth and having fo nd on e , ,


u

that satisfies them they lie down fold their wings aro nd
, ,
u

them if they be women o r cross their arms over their


, ,

breasts if they are me n just as if they were goin g to Slee p


, ,
12
6 P HA N TA STE S

and so Sleep i ndeed The Sign or cause of coming death is


.

an indescribable longing for something they know n ot


what which sei z es them an d drives the m
,

,
into solitude con ,

su m in g them within till the body fails When a youth .

and a maide n look too deep into each other s eyes this ’
,

longing seizes and possesses them ; but instead O f drawi n g


nearer to each other they wan der away each alone into
, , ,

s olitary places and die of their desire But it seems to


,
.

me that thereafter they are born babes upo n our earth ;


w here if when grown they find each other it goes well
, , ,

with them ; if n ot it will seem to go ill But of this I


,
.

k n ow nothing Whe n I told them that the wome n on the


.
l

E arth had not wings like them but arms they stared and , , ,

said how bold and masc line they must look not knowing
u

that their wings glorious as they are are but undeveloped


, ,

arms .

But see the p ower of this book that while r ecou ntin g , ,

what I can recall of its contents I write as if myself had ,

visited the far O fl planet learned its ways and appearances


-

, ,

and conversed with its men and women An d s o while .


,

writin g it seemed to me that I had


,
.

The book goes on with the story of a maiden wh o born , ,

at the close Of aut mn and living in a l ong to her endless


u , , ,

winter s et out at last to find the regions of Spring ; for as


, ,

in our earth the season s are divided over the globe I t


,
.

begins somethin g like this


12
8 PHA N TA STE S

W h en up t o t h e l ip t h e w ate r g o es ,

It n eeds b ut a d ro p , an d it o v er fl ow s .

O h ! m an y an d m an y a d re ary y e ar

M tp us as s aw ay e r e th e b u ds a pp ear ;
M y an a ni gh t of d ar k s o m e s o rr o w .

Y i l d t o th e l igh t o f a j y l m o ow
e o es s rr ,

E e b i d agai
r r o st h e cl th ed t ees
n, n o r ,

S h all fill t h b a c h e w i th m l o di s
e r n s e e .

S h e w i ll d re am f m e ad o w w i th w ak eful s tream s ;
o s

O f w a y g as in t h e s
v r y b ea sms ; un n

O f h i dd w ll th at o
en d l s sp in g
e s s un es r ,

H a di g th ei j oy as a h oly thi g ;
o r n r n

O f fo t th at t ll i t all d ay l o g
un s e n

T O t h e l i t en i g w s d w i th e xu lt a t o n g ;
n oo s, n s

S h w i ll d e am o f e e i g th at d i e i t
e r igh t s
v n n s n o n ,

W h e e e ach r i s fill d w i th i t
s en s e w d l igh t s e s o n e ,

A d th
n ul i e sotill a t h e au lted ky s s s v s ,

L ll d w i th a i n er h a m o y ;
u e n n r n

A d th e fl o w
n gi e o t t t h e d ewy i gh t
er s v u o n ,

C h a g d i t p e fum e t h e g ath
n e n o d ligh t ;
r , ere

A d th e da k
n i k rp on al l th ei h o s t
ness s n s u r ,

T i ll t h e ai l p sun s th a te coa t ;
u on e e s rn s

S h w i ll w ak a d s
e t h b a c h es b a e
e n ee e r n r ,

W e av in g a n et i n t h e fr o z en air .

The story g oes on to tell how at last weary with , ,

wintriness she travelled t owards the southern regions o f


,

her gl obe to meet the spring on its sl ow way northwards ;


,

and how after many s ad advent res many disappointed


,
u ,

h opes and many tears bitter and fr itless s h e found at


, ,
u ,

last one stormy aftern oon in a leafl ess fo rest a single


, , ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 129

betwixt the bor ders of the winter and


d o wn beside it and died I almost
.

pale and peacef l as a snow drop was


u -
,

withi n a fixed season fr om that stormy


130 PHA N TA STE S

X III .

I s aw a s h i p
l i g p o n th e s e a
s ai n u ,

D eep ly l ad as s h ip c ou ld b e ;
en

B t ot s o d eep a i l e I am
u n s n ov ,

F o I c a e o t w h e th er I i k o r s w i m
r r n s n .

O LD B ALLAD .

Bu t Lov e i s s u ch a My t s ery

I cat fi d it o t
n no n u :

F o r w h e I th i k I m b es t r e s o l v e d

n n ,

I th e a m i m o t d o ubt
n n s .

S IR J HNO Suc me .

O NEsto ry I will try to reproduce But alas ! it is .


,

like trying to reconstruct a forest out Of broken branch es


and withered leaves In the fairy book everything was
.
,

just as it sho ld be though whether i n words or s omething


u ,

else I cannot tell It gl owed and flashed the thoughts


,
.

upon the soul with such a power that the medium dis ap
,

pear ed from the consciousness and it was occupied o nly ,

with the things themselves My representation Of it must.

resemble a translation from a rich and powerful lan guage ,

capable O f embodying the thoughts O f a Splendid l y devel


Oped people into the meagre and half articulate Speech of
,
-

a savage tribe O f course while I read it I was C osmo


.
, , ,
13 2 P HA N TA STE S

besides those subjects n ecessary to his course at the Univer


s it
y,
embraced some less c o mm o nly kn o wn and approved
;
for in a secret drawer lay the w o rks O f A lbert s M agnus u

and C orneli s Agrippa al ong with others l ess read and


u ,

more abstr se A s yet however he had followed these


u .
, ,

researches only from cu riosity and had turned them to n o ,

practical purpose .

His l odging consisted of on e large low ceiled room ,


-
,

singularly bare of f rniture ; for besides a c ouple of


u

wooden chairs a couch which served for dreaming on both


,

by day and night and a great press Of black oak there


, ,

was very little in the r oo m that c o ld be called f rniture u u .

But curious instr ments were heaped in the corners ; and


u

in o e stood a skelet n h a
n lf leaning against the wall half
o ,
-
,

supp orted by a string ab o t its neck O ne O f its hands u .


,

all Of fingers rested o the heavy pommel of a great sword


,
n

that stood beside it V ari ous weapons were scattered ab out


.

over the floor The walls were utterly bare Of adornment ;


.

for the few stran ge things such as a large dried bat with ,

its wings dispread the skin of a porc pine and a stu ffed
,
u
,

s ea mouse
-
,
could hardly be reck oned as s ch But u .
,

although his fancy delighted in vagaries like these he ,

indulged h is imagination with far different fare His mind .

had never yet been fil l ed with an absorbing passion ; but


it lay like a still twilight Open to any wind whether t he ,

low b reath t h at wafts but odors or the storm that bows


i '

the great trees till they strain and creak He saw every .
A FAER I E ROMANCE . 1 33

thing as thro gh a rose colored glass When he lo oked


u -
.

from his window on the street below not a maiden passed ,

b t s h e m o ved as in a st o ry and drew his tho ghts after


u ,
u

h e til l She disappeared in the vista


r When he w alked in .

the streets he always felt as if reading a tale into w hich


, ,

he so ght t o w eave every face of interest that went by ;


u

and every sweet vo ice swept his so l as with the wing Of a u

passing angel He was in fact a poet with out words the


.

more absorbed and en dangered that the Sprin ging waters ,

were dammed back into his s oul where finding no utter , ,

ance they grew and swelled and undermined He used


, , ,
.

to lie on his hard couch and read a tale or a p o em ti l l the


,

b ook dr opped from his hand ; b t he dreamed o he kne w u n,

n ot whether awake or asleep ntil the opp osite r oof grew


,
u

upon his sense and turned go l den in the sunrise Then


,
.

he arose too ; and the impulses of Vigorous yo uth kept


him ever active either in st dy or in Sport until again t h e
,
u ,

close of the day left h im free and the world o f night , ,

wh ich h ad lain drowned in the cataract of the day rose p ,


u

in his soul with all its stars and dim seen phantom
,
-

shapes B t this could hardly last long S ome one form


. u .

m st sooner or later step withi n t he charmed circle enter


u
,

the house O f life an d compel the bewildered magician to


,

k neel and worship .

O ne afternoon towards dusk he was wandering dreamily


, ,

in o e of the principal streets wh en a fel low st dent


n
,
-
u

r oused him by a Slap o the sho lder and asked him to


n u
,
134 PHA N TA STE S

acc ompany him into a little back alley to lo ok at some Old


armor which he had taken a fancy to possess C osmo was .

c onsi dered an authority in every matter pertaining to arms ,

ancient or modern In the u s e of weap ons none of the


.
,

st dents could come near him ; and his p ractical acq aint
u u

ance with some had principally contributed to establish his


authority in reference to all He acc ompanied him will
.

They entered a narrow alley and thence a dirty


,

i gly
n .
,

little court where a low arched door admitted them into a


,

heterogeneous assemblage of everything musty and dusty , ,

and O ld that could well be imagined His verdict o the


,
. n

armor was satisfactory and his companion at o nce con


,

cluded the p rchase A s they were leaving t h e place


u .
,

C osmo s eye was attracted by an Old mirror o f an elliptical



,

Shape which leaned against the wall covered with dust


, ,
.

A round it was some curious carving which he could s ee ,

b t very indistinct l y by the glimmering light which the


u

owner o f the s h O p carried in his hand It was this carving.

that attracted his attention ; at least so it appeared t o him .

He left the plac e however with his friend taking no


, , ,

f rther notice of it They walked together to the main


u .

street,where they parted and took Op p osite direction s .

N o sooner was C osmo left alo n e than the tho ght o f the u

c rious Old mirror returned to him A strong des re to


u . i

s ee it more plainly arose within him and he directed his ,

steps once m ore towards the shop The owner Opened the .

d oor when b e knocked as if he had exp ected him : He was


,
1 36 PHA N TA STE S

C osmo who proceeded to replace the mirro r whe r e it had


,

stood before .

You think the price too high ? said the Old ma n



.

I do n ot kn ow that it is too much for you t o ask


replied C osmo but it is far too much for me to give

.

The o l d man held up his light towards C osmo s face ’


.

I like your look said he ,



.

C osmo could n ot return the compliment In fact now .


,

he looked closely at him for the first time he felt a kind o f ,

repugnance to him mingled with a strange feeling Of doubt


,

whether a man or a woman stood before h im .

What is your name ? he con tinued .

C osmo von W ehrst ahl .

Ah ah I thought as much I s ee your father i n


,
.

you I knew your father very w ell yo ng sir I dare


.
,
u .

sa
y in
,
some O dd corners Of my h o se you might find some
u ,

Old things with his crest and cip her upo n them still Well .
,

I like you ; you shall have the mi rror at the fourth p art of
what I asked for it but upon one condition .

What is that ? said C osmo ; for although the price


“ ”
,

w as still a great deal for him to give he could j st manage ,


u

it ; and the desire to possess the mirror had increased to an


altogether unaccoun table degree since it had seemed b e


yond his r each .

That if you Should ever wan t to g et rid of it ag ain



,

you will let me have the first offer .



A FAER I E R O MANCE . 137

C ertainly ,
replied C osmo with a smile ; addin g a

, ,

m oderate condition indeed .


O n your honor ? insisted the seller .

O n my honor said the buyer ; an d the barg ai n was


concl ded u .


I will carry it home for you said the Old man as , ,

C osmo to ok it in his hands .

N o no ; I will carry it myself said b e ; for he had a


, ,

peculiar dis l ike to revealing his residence t o any on e and ,

more especially to this person to whom he felt every mo ,

ment a greater antipathy .

J ust as you please



said the Old creature and mu t
, ,

t ered to himself as he held his light at the door t o Show

him ou t Of the court : S old for the sixth time I wonder


what will be t he upshot of it this time I Should think my .

lady had enough Of it by now


C osmo carried his prize carefully h o me But all t h e .

way he had an uncomfortable feeling that he was watched


and d ogged R epeatedly he lo oked ab out but s aw nothing
.
,

t o j stify his suspicions


u Indeed the streets were too
.
,

ill lighted to expose very readi l y a careful spy if such


-
,

there sho ld be at his heels He reached his lodg ng i n


u . i

safety and leaned his p rchase against the wall rather


,
u ,

relieved strong as he was to be rid Of its weight ; then


, , ,

lighting his pipe threw himself on the couch and was so on


, ,

lapped in the folds of one Of his hauntin g dreams .

He returned home earlier than usual the n ext day and ,


1 38 PHA N TA STE S

fixed the mirror to the wall ove r the hearth at one en d of


, ,

his l ong room H e then caref lly wiped away the dust
. u

fro m its face and clear as the water of a sunny spring the
, , ,

m irror shone out fr o m beneath the envio s covering But u .

his interest was chiefly occupied with the curi ous carving
o f the frame This he cleaned as well as he could with a
.

brush ; and then he proceeded to a minute examinatio n o f


its various p arts in the hope O f discovering s ome index to
,

the intentio n o f the carver In this however he was .


, ,

unsuccessful ; and at length pausing with some weariness


,

and disappointment he ga z ed vacantly for a few moments


,

into the depth of the reflected room But ere long he said .
,

half aloud What a strange thing a mirror is and what


,

a wondrous affinity exists between it and a man s imagi ’

nation ! F or this room of mine as I beh old it in the glass


, ,

is the same and yet not the Same It is not the mere rep
,
.

r e s e t at ion of the room I l ive in but it lo oks j st as if I


n ,
u

were reading about it in a story I like Al l its comm on .

ness has disappeared ! The mirror has lifted it out of the


regi on Of fact into the realm of art ; and the very represent
ing Of it t o me has clothed with interest that which was
otherwise hard and bare ; j st as on e sees with delight
u

up on the stage the representation of a character from which


o e wo l d escape in life as fr o m something u nendurably
n u

w e aris ome . B t is it uo t rather that art rescues nature


n

from the weary a d sated regards of O ur senses and the


n ,

de gradin g injustice of our an xious eve ry day life an d -


, ,
140 PHA N TA STE S

the beauty He stood without the power of motion f r


. o

some momen ts with h is eyes irrecoverably fixed up on her ;


,

and eve n after he was con scious of the ability to move he


, ,

could n ot summon u p courage to turn an d look on h er face ,

t o face in the veritable chamber i n which he stood


,
At .

length with a sudde n effort in which the exercise of the


, ,

will was so p ure that it seemed i n vol untary he turn ed his ,

face to the couch It was vacant In bewilderment


. .
,

mingled with terror he turned agai n t o the mirror there


, ,

on the reflected couch lay the exquisite lady form S he ,


-
.

lay with closed eyes whence two large tears were just well
,

ing f bm be n eath the veiling lids ; still as death save fo r


r ,

t h e co n vulsive moti o n Of her bosom .

C osmo himself could n ot have described what he felt .

H is emotions were Of a kind that destroyed conscio snes s u


,

an d could never be clearly recalled He could n ot hel p .

s tanding yet by the mirror and keepi n g his eyes fixed o n ,

the lady though he was p ainfully aware of his rudeness


, ,

an d feared every mome nt that she would Ope n hers and


meet his fixed regard But he was ere long a little re
.

lieved ; for after a while her eyelids Slowly rose and he r ,

eyes remained uncovered but unemployed for a time ; and ,

when at length they began to wan der ab out the room as


, , ,

if languidly seeking to make some acq aintance with her u

environment they were n ever directed towards him it


,
:

seemed nothing b t what was in the mirror could affect her


u

vision ; an d therefore if sh e saw h im at all it could only


, , ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 141

be his back which of necessity was turn ed towards her in


,

the glass The two figures in the mirror could n ot meet


.

face to face except he turned and looked at her p resent in


, ,

his room ; and as She was not there he con cluded that if
, ,

he were to turn towards t h e p art i n his room correspon ding


t o that i n which Sh e lay his r eflecti o n would either be in
,

visible to her altogether or at least it must ap p ear to her to


,

gaze vacantly towards her and no meeting of the eyes


,

would produce the impression of spiritual p roximity By .

'

and by her eyes fell upon the Skeleton and be saw her ,

shudder and close them S he did not Open them again but
.
,

signs Of repugnance continued eviden t on her countenance .

C osmo w o uld have removed the obnoxious thing at once ,

but he fe ared to discompose her yet more by the assertion


Of his p rese n ce which the act would involve S o he stood
,
.

an d watched her The eyelids yet Shrouded the eyes as a


.
,

costly case the jewels withi n ; the troubled ex p ressio n


gradually faded from the countenan ce leaving only a faint ,

sorrow behind ; the features settled i nto an u n changing ex


p ression of rest ; an d by these sig n s and the slow regular
, , ,

motion Of her breathing C osmo kne w that She slept He


,
.

could n ow gaze on her without embarrassment He saw .

that h er figure dressed in the sim plest robe of white was


, ,

w orthy of h er face ; and so harmonious that either the


o
,

delicately moulded fo ot or a y finger of the eq ally deli


,
n u

cate hand w as an index to the w hole A S s h e lay her


,
.
,

whole form manifested the r elaxatio n of p erfect re p ose He .


142 P HAN TA SI E S '‘

gazed till he was weary and at last seated himself near


,

the new foun d shrine and mechanically to ok up a book



, ,

like o e wh o watches by a sick bed But his eyes gathered


n

- .

no thoughts from the p age before him His intellect had .

bee n stun n ed by the bold contradiction to its face of all , ,

its experience an d n ow lay passive without assertion or


, , ,

speculation or eve n co nscious aston ishme n t ; while his


,

imagin atio n sen t one wild dream O f blessedn ess after an other
c ours i n t h rou h his soul How lon g he s at he knew not
g g .

but at length b e reu sed himself rose and trembling i n , , ,

every p ortio n Of his frame looked again into the m ir ror


, .

S he was gone The mirror reflected faithfully wha t h is


.

room p resented an d nothing more It stood there like a


,
.

golde n settin g whe n ce the central jewel has been stole n


away ; like a night s ky without the glory o f its stars
-
.

S he had carried with her all the strangeness of the reflected


room It had sunk to the level O f the one without But
. .

when the first pangs Of his disappointment had passed


C osmo began to comfort himself with the h O pe that s h e
might return p erhaps the next evenin g at the same ho r
, ,
u .

R esolving that if s h e di d s h e should not at least be scared


, ,

by the hateful skeleto n he removed that and several other


, ,

articles Of question able appearance into a recess by the side ,

o f the hearth whence they could n ot possibly cast any


,

reflection into the mirror and havin g made his poor room ,

as tidy as he could sought the solace O f the Ope n s k and


, y
o f a n i g ht wind tha t had begu n to blow
; for he could not
14
4 PHA N TA STE S

absorbing that a fasci n atin g re p ose seemed to p as s con


t ag ious ly from h er to him as he gazed u p o n her ; a n d he

started as if awakin g from a dream whe n the lady moved


, , ,

a n d without Opening her eyes rose


, ,
an d p as sed fr om the
,

room with the gait O f a somnambulist .

C osmo was n ow i n a state of extravagan t deli ght M ost .

men have a secret treasure somewhere The miser h as his .

golden h eard ; the virtuoso his p et ring ; the student his


rare book ; the poet his favorite haunt ; the lover his sec r et
drawer ; but C osmo h ad a mirror with a lovely lady i n it .

And now that he knew by the Skeleto n that She was


affected by the things around her he had a n ew object i n
,

life : he would turn the bare chamber in the mirror into a .

room such as no lady need disdain to call her own This .

he could eflect only by furnishing and adorni ng his A nd


'

C osmo was poor Yet he possessed accomplishments that


.

Could be turned to accou n t although hitherto he had p re


, ,

ferred living on his slender allowan ce to i n creasin g his


mean s by what his pride considered unworthy of h is ran k .

He was the best swordsman in the Un iversity ; and n ow he


Offered to give lesson s i n fencing an d Similar exe rcises to
such as chose to p ay him well for the trouble His p ro .

posal was heard with surprise by the stude nts but it was ,

eagerly accepted by many ; and s een his instruction s were


not confined to the richer st dents but were an xiously
u ,

sought by many of the young nobility Of Prague and its


n eighborhood ; so that very soo n he had a good deal of
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 145

money at his command The first thing he did was to re


.

move his apparatus and oddities i nto a closet in the room .

Then h e placed his bed an d a fe w other necessaries o each n

side Of the hearth and parted them from the rest Of the
,

room by two Screens of India n fabric The n he pu t an ele .

gant couch for the lady to lie upon i n the corner where his ,

bed had formerly stood ; an d by degrees every day adding, ,

some article of luxury con verted it at length into a rich


, , ,

boudoir .

E very night about the same time the lady en tered


, ,
.

The first time s he s aw the n ew couch sh e started with a .

half smile the n her face grew very s ad the tears came to
-
,

her eyes and s h e laid herself u p on the couch an d pressed


, ,

her face into the silken cushions as if to hide from every ,

thing S he took n otice O f each addition and each change


.

as the work proceeded ; and a look of acknowledgment as ,

if she knew that some one was ministerin g to her,and was


grateful for it mingled with the constant loo k O f sufferihg
, .

At length after sh e had lai n down as usual on e evening


, ,

her eyes fell upon some p aintings with which C osmo had
j st finished adornin g the walls S he rose and to h is
u .
, ,

great delight walked ac ross the room an d proceeded to ex


, ,

amine them carefully testifyi ng much p leas ure in her look s


,

as s h e did SO But ag ai n the sorrowful tearful expressio n


.
,

returned an d agai n she buried her face i n the pillo ws Of


,

her couch Gradually however her coun tenance had


.
, ,

grow n more composed ; much O f the sufferin g m an ifest o n


10
146 PHA N TA STE S

her first appearance had van ished and a kind of quiet , ,

hopef l expression had take n its place ; which however


u , ,

frequently gave way to an anxious troubled look mingled , ,

with somethin g of sympathetic pity .

M eantime how fared C osmo ? A s mi ght be ex p ected i n


, ,

o n e o f his temperament his interest had blossomed into


,

l ove and his love shall I call it r ip en ed or w i ther ed


, , ,

into passion ? But alas ! he loved a Shadow He could


,
.

not come near her could n ot Speak to her could not hear a
, ,

sound fro m those sweet lip s to which his longing eye s ,

would cling like bees to their ho n ey fou nts E ve r an d -


.

anon he san g to himself :


I sh a ll d ie for l ov e O f th e m aiden ,

and ever he looked again and died n ot though his heart , ,

seemed ready to break with i nte n sity of life an d longing ;


and the more he did for her the more he loved h er ; and ,

he hoped that although She n ever appeared to s ee him yet ,

She was pleased to think that one unknown would give his
life to her He tried to comfort himself over his separation
.

from her by thinki ng that p erhaps some day She would


,

s ee him and m ake sig n s to him and that would satisfy


, ,

him ; for thought he is n ot this all that a loving



,

,

soul can do to enter into commun ion with another ? N ay ,

how many wh o love n ever come nearer than to behold each


o ther as in a mirror
; seem to know a n d yet never kno w
the inward life ; never e n te r the other soul ; an d p art at
148 P HA N r A e s

colors of a rainbow O f lightnin gs as she lifted her snowy ,

hands to cover her bu rning face But her beauty shone .

dow n all its adornment If I might have but on e of her


.

feet to kiss thought C osmo ,


”“
I should be content ,
.

A las ! b e deceived himself for p assio n is never content ,


.

N or did he k n ow that there are two ways ou t of her


e n chan ted house But suddenly as if the pang had bee n
. .
,

driven into his heart from without revealing itsel f first in ,

pain an d afterwards i n defin ite form th e thought dar ted


, ,

in to his mi n d S he has a lover somewhere R emembered


,
.

words of his bring the color on her face n ew I am no .

where to her S he lives in another world all day and all


.
,

n ight after Sh e leaves me Why does she come and make


, .

me love her till I a strong man am too fain t to look u pon


, , ,

her more He looked again and her face was pale as a ,

li l y A sorrowful com p assio n seemed to rebuke the glitter


.

Of the restless jewels and the slow tears rose in her eyes
,
.

S he left her room soo n er this evening than was her wont .

C osmo remained alone with a feeling as if his bosom had


,

been suddenly left emp ty and hollo w and the weight O f ,

the whole world was crushin g i n its walls The next .

evening for the first time since she beg an to come sh e


, ,

came n ot .

An d now C osmo was i n wretched plight S ince the .

thought of a rival had occurred to him he could not rest


for a moment M ore than ever he longed to see the lady
.

face to face He persuaded himself that if he but kne w


.
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 149

the worst he would be satisfied ; for then he could aband o n


Prague and find that relief i n c onstant moti on w h ich is
,

the h ope of all active minds when invaded by distress .

M eantime he waited with unspeakable anxiety for the next


n ight hoping Sh e would ret rn ; but s h e did not appear
,
u .

A nd n ow he fell really ill R alli ed by his fellow st dents .


-
u

on his wretched looks he ceased to attend the lect res


,
u .

His engagements were neglected He cared for n othing . .

The sky with the great su n i n it was to him a heartl ess


,
-
, ,

burning desert The men and women in the streets were


.

mere puppets with out motives in themselves o interest to


, ,
r

him He saw them all as on the ever changing field of a


.
-

c amer a o bs cu r a S he s h e alone and alto gether


. was
— —

his universe his well of life his incarnate good F or six


, ,
.

even ings sh e came n ot Let his absorbing passion and the


.
,

slow fever that was co n sumin g hi s brain b e his excuse for ,

the resol tion which he had taken and begun to execute


u ,

before that time had expired .

R eason ing w ith himself that it must be b y som e


enchantment connected with the mirror th at the form of
the lady was to be see n i n it he determined to attempt to ,

turn to account what he had hitherto st died principally u

from curiosity F or said he to himself


.

if a Spell
,

,

ca n fo rce her presence in that glass ! and she came unwill

i gly at first! may not a stronger spell s ch as I know


n , ,
u ,

especia ll y with the aid O f her ha l f presence in the mirro r —


,

if ever Sh e appears again compel her livin g form tocome ,


1 50 P HA N TA STE S

to me here If I do he r wrong let love be my excuse


?
,
.

I want only to know my doom from her o w lips He n .


n ever doubted all the time that sh e was a real earthly ,

woman ; or rather that there was a woman who some


, , , ,

how or other thre w this r eflection of he r form into the


,

magic mirror .

He O p en ed his secret drawer took out his books of,

magic li ghted his lamp and read an d made n otes from mid
, ,

n ight till three in the morn in g for three successive n ights


,
.

The n he replaced his books an d the n ext night went out


,

i n quest of the materials n ecessary fo r the conjurati on .

These were n ot easy to find ; for in love charms and all ,


-

incan tations of this n ature ingredien ts are empl oyed


,

scarcely fit to be mention ed and for the tho ght even of


,
u

which i n con n ectio n with her he could only excuse him


, ,

self O n the score Of his bitter need A t length he suc .

c eeded in procuring all b e required and on the seventh ,

eve n ing from that on which s h e had last appeared he

found himself p re pared for the exercise Of unlawful and


tyrannical p ower .

He cleared the centre of the room ; stooped and drew a


circle O f red on the floor around the Spot where he sto od ;
wrote i n the four quar ters mystical signs a n d numbers ,

which were all powers Of seve n or n ine ; examined t h e


whole ring carefully to see that no smallest break had o c
,

curred in the circumfere n ce and then rose from his bend


in g p osture A s he rose the church clock struck seven
.
, ,
152 P HA N TA STE S

wave the blood washed all its banks with its crimso n tide
, ,

and Sh e hid her face in her hands Then he passed to a .

c onjuration stronger yet The lady rose a n d walked u n .

easily to and fro in her r oom A nother spell ; and sh e .

seemed seeking with her eyes for some Object on which


they wished to rest A t length it seemed as if she s ud .

'

den ly espied him ; for her eyes fixed themselves f ll an d u

wide upon his and s h e drew gradually and somewhat u n


, ,

w illingly close to her Side of the mirror just as if his eyes


, ,

had fascinated her C osmo had n ever seen her SO near .

before N ow at least eyes met eyes ; but he could n ot


.
, ,

q ite understand the expression of hers They were f ll


u . u

o f tender entreaty but there was something more that he


,

co ld n ot interpret Though his heart seemed to labor in


u .

his throat he wo ld allow no de l ight or agitation to tur n


,
u

him fro m his task Looking still i n her face he passed o n


.
,

to the mightiest charm he knew S uddenly the lady .

t rned and walked out o f the door Of her reflected


u

chamber A m oment after She entered his room with


.
,

veritable presence ; and forgetting all his precautions he , ,

Sprang from the charmed circle and knelt before her ,


.

There sh e stood the living lady of his passionate visions


, ,

alone beside him i n a thundery twilight and the glow of


, ,

a magic fire .


Why said the lady with a trembling voice didst
,

, ,

th o u brin g a p oor maide n through the rainy streets


alo n e ? ”
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 153

Because I am dying for love of thee ; but I only


brought thee fro m the mirror there .

A h the mirror !
,
and She looked up at it and shud

,

dered . A las ! I am but a slave while that mirr o r


exists But do n ot think it was the power of thy spell


.

that drew me ; it was thy longin g desire to see me that


beat at the door Of my heart till I was forced to yield .

C anst thou love me then ? said C osmo in a voice ”


,

calm as death but almost inarticulate with emotion


,
.


I do not k n ow sh e re p lied sadly ; that I cannot
,
’ “

tell so long as I am bewildered with enchantments It


,
.

were indeed a joy too great to lay my head o thy b osom ,


n

and w eep to death ; for I thin k thou lovest me though I ,

do not know ; but


C osmo rose from his kn ees .

I love thee as nay I k n ow n ot what ; for Since I



,

loved thee there is nothin g else


,
.

He sei z ed her hand : she withdrew it .

N O better n ot ; I am in thy power an d therefore I


, ,

may n ot .

S he burst into tears an d kneelin g before him i n her , ,

turn said
,

C osmo if thou lovest me s et me free eve n from thy


, , ,

self break the mirror .


A nd shall I s ee thyself instead ?


That I cannot tell I will n ot deceive thee ; we may .

n eve r meet ag ai n .

154 P HA N TA STE S

A fierce struggle arose in C osmo s bosom N ow sh e ’


.

was i n his p ower S he did not dislike h im at least and he


.
,

could see her when he w ould To break the mirror would


.

be to destroy his very life to banish ou t of his universe


,

the only glory it possessed! The whole world wo ld be u

b t a prison if he annihilated the on e window that lo oked


u ,

into the paradise Of love N ot yet p ure in love he hesi


.
,

t at ed .

With a wail of sorrow the lady rose to her feet


,
Ah .

he loves me n O t he loves me not even as I love him ; and ,

alas I care more for his love than even for the freedom I
ask
I will not wait to be willing cried C osmo and , ,

Sp rang to the corner where the great sword stood .

M eantime it had grown very dark ; o n l y the embers cast


a red glow thro gh the ro om He seized the sword by the
u .

steel scabbard and stood before the mirror ; but as he heave d


,

a great blow at it with the heavy pommel the blade slipped ,

half way out o f the scabbard and the pommel struck the
-
,

wal l above the mirror A t that moment a terrible clap Of


.

thunder seemed to burst in the very room beside them and


ere C osmo c ould repeat the bl o w he fell senseless on the
hearth When he came t o himself he found that the lady
.

and the mirror h ad both disappeared He was sei z ed with .

a brain fever which kept him t o his couch for weeks


,
.

When he recovered his reason he began to think what ,

could have become of the mirror F or the lady he hop e d .


,
156 PHA N TA STE S

fu rniture o get any informatio n out of hi m as to what had


,
r

become Of it He express ed the utmost surprise at hearing


.

it had been stolen a surprise which C osmo saw at once to


,

be counterfeited ; while at the same time he fancied that


, ,

the Old wretch was not at all anxious to have it mistake n


for genuine F ll Of distress which he c oncealed as we l l
. u ,

as he c o ld he made m an y searches but with no avail


u , ,
.

O f course he could ask no questions but he kept his ears


awake for any rem o test hint that might s et him in a direc
tion of search He never went out without a short heavy
.
,

hammer Of steel about him that he might shatter the mirror


,

the m oment he was made happy by the sight Of his lost


treasure if ever that blessed moment should arrive
,
.

Whether he should s ee the lady agai n was now a thought


altogether secondary and postponed to the achievement of
,

her freedom He wandered here and there like an anxious


. .

gh ost p ale and haggard gn awed ever at the heart by the


, ,

thought of what she might be su ffering all from his —

fault
.

O ne n ight he mingled with a crowd that filled the ro oms


Of one of the mos t distinguished mansions i n the city ; f r o

he accepted every invitatio n that he might lose no cha ce ,


n ,

however poor O f Obtaini ng some information that might


,

expedite his discovery Here he wandered ab out listen


.
,

ing to every stray word that he co ld catch in the h O pe Of u ,

a revelat ion A s he approached some ladies wh o were


.

talk ing quietly in a corner on e said to another Have“


, ,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 1 57

you heard of the strange illness of the Princess von Hohe n


weiss
Yes ; sh e has bee n ill for more than a year n o w It .

is very sad for s o fine a creature to have such a terrible


malady S he was better for some weeks lately ; but withi n
.

the last few d ays the same attacks have r etur n ed appar ,

e ntly accompan ied with more suffering than eve r It is .

altogether an i n explicable story .


IS there a story con n ected with her illnes s ?


I have only heard imperfect reports of it ; but it is
Said th at sh e gave O flen Ce some eightee n months ago to an
'

old woma n wh o had held a n O ffice of trust in the family ,

an d wh o after some i n coherent threats disappeared


,
This
,
.

p eculiar affectio n followed soo n after But the strangest .

p art of the storyis its associatio n with the loss of a n a n tique


mirror which stood in her dressing room a n d Of which s h e
,
-
,

constantly madeuse .

Here the Speaker s voice san k to a whis p er ; an d C osmo



,

altho gh his very soul s at listening in his ears co ld hear


u
,
u

n o more He trembled too much to dare t o address the


.

ladies eve n if it had bee n advisable to exp ose himself to


,

their curiosity The n ame of the prin cess was well k n ow n


.

to him but he had n eve r see n her ; except indeed it was


,

s h e which n ow he ha r dly doubted wh o had knelt befor e


, ,

him on that dr eadful n ig ht F earful of attracting atten


.

tion for from the weak state of his health he could not
, , ,

recover an app earan ce of calmn ess he made his way to t he


,
1 58 PHA N TA STE S

Open air and reached his lodgings ; glad in this that he at


, ,

least knew w here sh e lived although he n ever dreamed Of ,

approaching her O p enly even if he should be happy eno gh


, u

t o free her fr o m her hateful b ondage He hoped t oo that .


, , ,

as he had unexpectedly learned so much the other and far ,

more important part might be revealed to him ere long .

Have y u seen S tei n wald lately ?


o

N O I have not seen him for s o me time He is almost


,
.

a match for me at the rapier and I supp ose he thinks he ,

n eeds no more less ons .



I wonder what has become of him I want to s ee him .

very much Let me see the last time I s aw him he was


.
,

coming o ut Of that Old broker s den to which if you remem ’

, ,

ber you accompanied me once to look at some armor That


, ,
.

is f l l y three weeks ago


u .

This hint was eno gh fo C osmo Von S teinwald was a


u r .

man of infl ence in the court well k n own for his reckless
u ,

habits and fierce passions The very possibility that the .

mirro r sh o ld be in his possession was he l l itse l f to C osmo


u .

But vi olent or hasty measures of any sort were m ost


unlikely t o s cceed Al l that he wanted was an O pportu
u .

n it o f breaking the fatal glass ; and t o Obtain this b e


y , , .

must bide his time He revolved many plans i n his mind


.
,

b t without being ab l e t o fix upon any


u .

A t length o ne evening as he was passing the h ouse O f


, ,

Von S teinwald he saw the windows more than usually


,
1 60 PHA N TA STE S

fright by disappearing for a whole hour an d r eturn in g ,

drenched with rain and almost dead with exhaustion and


,

fright But even then sh e wo ld give no accou n t of what


. u

had happened .

A scarce a dible murmur from the yet motionless lips


u

Of the lady here startled her attendants After several .

ine ffectual attempts at articulation the wOrd C os m o ! ,

burst from her Then She lay still as before but on l y for
.

a moment With a wild cry She Sprang fro m th e co ch


.
,
u

erect o n the floor fl ng her arms above her head with


,
u ,

clasped and straining hands and her wide eyes flashing , ,

with light called aloud with a voice exultant as that Of a


, ,

Spirit burstin g from a sepulchre I am free ! I am free ! ,


I thank thee Then she flung herself on the c ouch and ,

sobbed ; the n rose and paced wildly up and down the


,

room with gestures of mingled delight and anxiety ; the n


,

turning to her motionless atten dants : Quick Lisa my



, ,

cloak and hood ! Then lower : I must go to him


” “
.

M ake haste Lisa You may come with me if you will


, ,
.

In another moment they were i n th e street hurrying ,

along t owards on e O f the bridges over the Moldau The .

moon was near t h e zenith and the s treets were almost ,

empty The princess soon outstri pped her atte n dan t and
.
,

was half way over the bridge before the other reached it
-
.


A re you free lady ? The mirror is broken ; are you
,

free ? ”

The words were s p oke n clos e beside he r as s he hu rried ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 1 61

on . S he turn ed
an d there lean i ng o n the p ar ap et in a
, ,

recess of the bridge stood C osmo i n a S p len di d dress but


, , ,

with a white and quiverin g face .

C osmo I am free a n d thy servan t foreve r I


— —
.

was coming to you n ow



.


An d I to you fo r death made me b old ; but I could
,

g et n o furthe r H ave I ato n ed at all ? Do I love you a


.

little truly

A h I kn o w n ow that you love me my C osmo ; but
, ,

what do you say about death ?


H e did not reply His han d was p ressed agai n st his
.

side S he looked more closely ; the blood was welling


.

fr om betwee n the fingers S he flung he r arms arou n d him “

with a faint bitter w ail ,


.

Whe n Lisa came u p she found her mistress k n eelin g ,

ab ove a wan de ad face which smiled on i n the Sp ectral


, ,

moonbeams .

And now I will say no more about these wondrous vol


umes though I could tell many a tale out Of them and
, ,

could perhaps vaguely re p resent some entrancing thoughts


, ,

of a deeper kind which I f u n d within them F rom many


o .

a sultry n oon till twilight did I Sit i n that grand hall , ,

buried and risen again in these old books And I trus t I .

have carried away i n my soul some O f the exh alations of


their undying leaves In afte r h ours of dese r ved or n eed
.

ful sorrow portion s of what I read the r e have ofte n come


,

11
1 62 PHA N TA STE S

to me again with an u n ex pected comforting which was


, ,

n ot fruitless even though the comfort might seem i n itself


,

g roundless an d vai n
.
164 P HA N rA e S

N ow , on eve n i ng befo r e I had bee n a week i n the


an ,

p alace I was wan derin g through on e li g hted arcade and


,

corridor after another A t len g th I arrived through a


.

'
,

doo r that closed behind me i n another vas t h all of the ,

p alace It was filled with a subdued crimson light ; by


.

which I saw that slender p illars of black built close to ,

walls of white marble r ose to a great hei ght and the n


, , ,

dividing i nto inn umerable diverg ent arches supp orted a roof , ,

like the walls of white marble u p on which the arches i nter


, ,

s ect ed i n tricately formin g a fretting of black upo n the white


, ,

like the n etwork of a skeleton leaf T he floor was black -


. .

Betwee n several p airs of t h e p illars upon every side the


p lace of the wall behind was occupied by a crimso n curtai n
Of thick silk han gin g i n heavy and rich folds Behi n d
,
.

each of these curtains burned a powerful light an d these ,

were the sources of the glow that filled the b all A .

p eculiar delicious Odor pervaded the p lace A s soo n as I .

e n tered the old in spiration seemed to return to me fo r I


, ,

felt a stron g imp ulse to sing ; or rather it seemed as if ,

some on e else was sing ing a son g in my soul which wan ted ,

to come forth at my lips embodied i n my breath But I,


.

kept Silence ; and feeling somewhat overcome by the red


.

light an d the p erfume as well as by the emotion withi n me


, . ,

an d seein g at on e end of the hall a great crimson chair ,

more like a thron e than a chair beside a table of white ,

marble I went to it an d throwi ng myself in it gave my


, , , ,

s elf up to a successio n O f imag es of bewilderin g beauty


'

,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 165

which p assed before my in ward eye i n a long an d occasion


ally crowded train Here I sat for hours I suppose ; till
.
, ,

returning somewhat to myself I saw that the red light had ,

p aled away an d felt a cool ge n tle breath glidin g over my


, ,

forehead I rose and left the hall with unsteady steps


.
,

fi ndin g my way with some di fficulty to my own chamber ,

an d faintly r emembering as I went that only i n the , ,

marble cave before I foun d the slee p in g statue had I ever


, ,

h ad a similar ex p erience .

A fter this I re p aired every morn ing to the same hall ;


,

where I sometimes sat i n t h e chair an d dreamed deli ,

ciousl
y a n d
,
sometimes walked u p a n d dow n over the black
fl oor S ometimes I acted withi n myself a whole drama
.
,

duri ng one of these p erambul ation s ; sometimes walked de


lib erat ely through the whole epic of a tale ; sometime s ve n
t ur ed to sin g a so n g thou g h with a shrinking fea r o f I
,

k n ew n ot what I was aston ished at the beauty of my own


.

voice as it r an g through the p lace or rather crept un dulat ,

ing like a serpen t Of soun d along the walls an d roof of thi s


, ,

superb music hall E ntrancin g verses arose withi n me as


- .

Of their o wn accord chan tin g themselves to their own mel


,

odies and r equirin g n o additio n of mu s ic to satisfy the


,

inward sense But eve r i n the p auses of these whe n the


.
, ,

singing mood was u p o n me I seemed t o hear somethin g ,

like the distant sou n d Of multitudes of dancers an d felt as ,

if it was the unheard music moving their rhythmic motio n , ,

that withi n me blossomed i n verse an d song I felt too .


, ,
1 66 P HA N TA STE S :

that could I but see the dan ce I should from th e h ar mon y , ,

Of comp licated movements not Of the dan cers i n relation to ,

e ach o ther merely but of each dancer individually i n the


,

manifested p lastic power that moved the consen tin g har


mon ious form u n ders t an d the whole of the music on the
,

billows Of whic h they floated an d swung .

A t le ng th on e n ig ht suddenly whe n t h is feeli ng of


, , ,

dan cing came u p o n me I bethou g ht me of lifting one of the


,

crimson curtain s an d looking if p erchan ce behi n d it there


, , ,

might n ot be b id some other mystery which might at least ,

r emove a ste p further the bewilderment of the p rese n t o n e .

Nor was I altog ethe r disapp ointed I walked to on e O f .

the magnificent drap eries lifted a corn er an d peep ed i n , , .

T here burn ed a great c r imson g lobe shap ed light high i n


, , ,
-
,

the cubical centre of an other hall which mi ght be larger or ,

less than that i n which I stood for its dimen sions were not ,

easily perceived seein g that fl oor an d roof an d walls were


,

entirely of black marble The roof was supported by the .

same arrangeme n t o f pillars radiatin g in arches as that of ,

the first hall ; only here the p illars and arches were Of
, ,

dark red But what absorbed my delighted ga z e was a n


.

in n umerable assembly of white marble statues of every ,

form an d i n multitudin ous p osture filling the b all through


, ,

ou t
. These stood i n the ruddy glow of the great lamp
, ,

upon pedestals Of jet black A round the lamp shone i n .

g olde n lett ers p lain ly le g ible fro m whe re I stood the two
, ,

wo r ds
168 P HA N TA STE S

feet calm I had the susp icio n that they had an tici p ated
.

my appearance and had s p rung each from the living joy


, , ,

of the da n ce to the death silence an d blackness of its


,
-

isolated p edestal just before I e n tered I walked across


,
.

the ce n tral hall to the curtai n O pp osite the on e I h ad lifted ,

and e nterin g there found all the appearan ces similar only
, , ,

that the statues were differe n t an d differ en tly g rou p ed ,


.

N either did they p roduce on my mind that im p ression O f —

motion just expired which I had ex p erienced from the —

others I found that behind every one Of the crimson


.

curtains was a similar hall similarly lighted an d Similarly , ,

occupied .

The next night I did not allow my thoughts to be ab


sorbed as before with inward images but crept stealthily ,

al ong to the furthest curtain i n the b all from behind which , ,

likewise I had formerly seemed to hear the sound of danc


,

ing I drew aside its edge as sudden ly as I could and


.
, ,

looking in saw that the utmost stillness pervaded the vast


,

place I walked in and passed through it to the other


.
,

e n d There I found that it communicated with a circular


.

corridor divided from it only by two rows Of r ed column s


, .

This corridor which was b l ack with r ed niches holdin g


, ,

statues ran entirely about the statue halls forming a com


,
-
,

mu n icat ion betwee n the further ends Of them all ; further ,

that is as regards the central hall of white when ce they all


, ,

diverged like radii finding their circumferen ce in the ,

corridor R ou n d this corridor I now we nt e ntering all the


.
,
A FAER I E R O MAN C E . 1 69

b alls , ofwhich there were twelve an d finding them all ,

similarly constructed b t filled with quite various statue s


,
u

of what seemed b oth ancient and modern sculpture Afte r .

I had simply walked th rough them I fou n d myself sufli ,

cien t ly tired to long for rest an d went to my o wn room


,
.

In the night I dreamed that walking close by on e of the


,

curtains I was suddenly seized with the desire to enter


, ,

and darted in This time I was too q ick for them A ll


. u .

the statues we re in motion statues n o longer but men and


, ,

women ; al l shapes of beauty that ever Sprang from th e


brai n Of the sculptor mingled i n the convolutions of a com
,

plicated dance Passing through them to the further end


.
,

I almost started from my slee p on beholding n ot takin g ,

p art in the dance with the others n or seemingly endued ,

with life like them but stan ding in marble coldness an d


,

rigidity upo n a black pedestal i n the extreme left corne r


my lady of the cave ; the marble beauty wh o s p rang fro m
her tomb or her cradle at the call of my son gs While I .

ga z ed in speechless astonishment an d admiration a dark ,

Shado w desce n ding from ab ove like the curtai n of a stage


, ,

gradually hid her entirely from my view I felt with a .

shudder that this shadow was p erchan ce my missing demo n ,

whom I had not see n for days I awoke with a stifled cry
. .

O f cou rse the n ext evenin g I began my journey throug h


,

the halls ! for I kne w not to which my dream had carried


me! in the h O pe Of proving the dream to be a true one by
, ,

discovering my marble beauty u p o n he r black p edestal At .


1 70 PHA N TA STE S

len gth on reachi n g the tenth hall I thought I r ecogn ized


, ,

some of the forms I had seen dancing in my dream ; and to


my bewilderment when I arrived at the extreme corner on
,

the left there stood the only on e I had yet seen a vacant
, , ,

p edestal It was exactly in th e positio n occupied in my


.
,

dream by the pedestal on which the white lady stood


,
.

Hope beat violentl y in my heart .


N ow said I to myself if yet an other part Of the
,

,

dream wo ld but c ome true and I should succeed in sur


u ,

p rising these fo rms in their nightly dan ce it might be the ,

rest wo ld follow and I should see on the pedestal my


u ,

marble queen The n surely if my songs sufli ced to give


.

he r life before when s he lay in the bonds of alabaster


, ,

much more wo ld they be su fficient then to give her volitio n


u

and m oti on when sh e alone Of assembled crowds of marble


,

forms woul d be standing rigid and cold .


B t the difli cu l ty was t o surprise the dancers


u I had ,
.

found that a premeditated attemp t at s rprise though exe u ,

c ut ed with the u tmos t care and rapidity was Of n o avail ,


.

A n d in my dream it was e ffected by a sudden tho ght


, , u

sudden l y executed I saw therefore that there was no


.
, ,
.

pla n of Operation offering any probability Of success but


, ,

this to a l low my mind to be o ccupied with other thoughts ,

as I wandered around the great centre hall, an d so wait ‘

till the impulse to enter on e of the others should h appen to


arise in me just a t the moment when I was close to on e of

the crims on curtains F or I hop ed that if I e ntered any


.
1 72 P HA N TA STE S

toward s the bottom of the hall ; whence entering the cor ,

ridor I turned towards the tenth I s oon arrived at the


'

,
.

corner I wanted to reach for the co rridor was compara


,

t ively empty ; but alth ough the dancers here after a little
, ,

c onfusion altogether disregarded my presence I was dis


, ,

mayed at beholdin g eve n yet a vacant pedestal But I


, ,
.

had a con viction that s h e was n ear me And as I looked .

at the p edestal I thought I s aw pon it vag ely revealed


,
u ,
u

as if through overlapping folds Of drapery the indistinct ,

outlines of white feet Yet there was n o sign Of drapery


.

or concealing shad o w whatever But I remembered the


.

descending shadow i n my dream A nd I h oped still in the


.

power Of my songs ; thinking that what c ould dispel ala


b as ter might likewise be capable O f dispelling what con
c eal ed my beauty no w even if it were the demo n whose
,

darkness had ove r shadowed all my life .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 1 73

XV .

A lexan d er . W h en ll y o u fi ni sh C am p a p e
wi s

A p elles . N ev er fi i h ; for al w ay s in ab o l t e b e au ty th e r e
n s s u is s om e

wh at abov e ar t .

LYLY S C amp

asp e .

AN D what son g Should I sing to unveil my Isis if


n ow, ,
.

indeed s he was p resent unseen ? I hurried away to the


white hall of Phantasy heedless Of the innumerable forms
,

of beauty that crowded my way ; these might cross my


eyes but the unsee n filled my brai n I wandered long up
,
.
,

and down the sile n t Space ; n o songs came My soul was .

not still enough or songs nly in the silence a d dark


f O .n
n ess Of the soul s night do th ese stars Of the i nward firma

ment sink to its lower surface from the Singing realms


beyon d an d shine upo n the conscious S p iri t Here all
,
.

effort was unavailing If they came n ot they could not


.
,

be fou n d .

N ext night it was j ust the same I walked through .

the red glimmer of the silent hall ; but lonely as there I .

walked as lon ely trod my soul u p and down the halls of


,

the brain A t last I e n tered one of the statue halls The


.
-
.

dan ce had just commenced and I was delighted to fin d that


,

I was free of their assembly I walked on till I came to .


1 74 P HA N TA STE S

th e sacred corn e r There I found the pedesta l just as I


.

had left it with the faint glimmer as of white feet still


,

resting on the dead black A s so on as I saw it I seemed .


,

to feel a presence which lon ged to become visible and as it , ,

were called to me to gift it with self manifestation that it


,
-
,

might shine on me The power of song came to me B t


. . u

the moment my voice though I sang low an d soft stir red


, ,

the air of the hall the dancers starte d; the quick in ter
,

weavin g crowd sho ok lost its form divided ; each figure


, ,

spran g to its pedestal and stood a self evolving life no


, ,
-

more but a rigid life like marble Shap e with the whole
, ,
-
, ,

form composed into the expression Of a single state or act .

S ilence r olled like a Spiritual thunder through the gran d


space My song had ceased scared at its own influences
.
,
.

But I s aw in the hand Of on e of the statues close by me a


, ,

harp whose c ords yet quivered I r emembered that as s he .


,

bounded past me her harp had brushed against my arm ;


,

s o the spell of the marble had no t enfo lded it I sprang to .

her and with a gesture of entreaty laid my hand on the


,

harp The marble hand probably from its contact with the
.
,

u n charmed harp had strength enough to relax its hold


, ,

and yield the harp to me N O other motion indicated life .

Instinctively I str ck the cords and sang A nd not to


u .

break upon the record of my song I mention here that as , , ,

I sang the first four lines the loveliest feet became clear ,

u po n the black pedestal ; and ever as I sang it was as if a ,

veil were being lifted u p from before the form but a n in vis ,
176 PHA N TA STE S 2

B an ds an d s w ee p s , an d hi ll a nd ho ll ow ,

L e ad t ed ey ;
m y fas i n a c e

S o m e ap o c aly p w i l l f ll w se o o ,

S m e n ew w o d O f d ei ty
o r .

Z ed u s an d o tw a d w lli g
on n e en , u r s e n ,

W i th ew th ou gh t a d w o d rs rife
n s n n e ,

Qu ee ly m aj ty fo etelli g
n es r n ,

S e e t h e exp a di n g h o e of l ife ! n us

S u d d en h e av i n g , u n fo r b idd en
Si h s g l s till th e s ame ;
t
e er n a ,

M ou t o f ow h a e su m m i ts h idd en
n s sn v

I n t h e mi t s o f u tte e d fl am e
s r .

B t t h e s p i i t d aw i g e a ly
u r , n n n r ,

Find o s p eech f ea e t p ain ;


s n or rn s

Fin ds a s o d le s s s ighi g m e ly
. un n re ,

B uil d s it s tair a d m o u t s ag ain


s s, n n .

H ear t , t h e q u een , w i h t s e re c t h op i g n ,

S en d e h t ou t h er w ai in t g p air ;
Han d s , bli nd h an d s , h al f b li d ly g rop i g
n n ,

Ha f l cl a pin g i io ra e ;
en s v s ns r

A n d t h e g eat a m s h e art iay b en di g ;


r r , vr s n

Migh t o f B a ty d awi g h om e ; e u , r n

T h ere re t u in g a d rebl e di g
rn , n n n ,

Wh e fr o m ro o t s o f l o v e th ey r o am
er .

l
Bu i d t h y s o l p e s o f r ad i an c e b eamy ,

p t
S i ri , t
fair w i h w o m anh o o d !

T o w er th y p cip i c
re e, wh i te gl eamy
-
,

l b u to t h e h ou of g o o d
C im n r .

D m b p ac w il l b e e t a de
u s e r n s un r,

N w t h e h i in g Co l m s t a d s
o s n u n n

R e ady t o b e c o wn e d w i th w o d er
r n

By th e b ui l d er s j oyo u s h an ds

.
A FAER I E R O MANCE .

A l l t h e in es l b
a ro ad ar e s p di g r ea n ,

L ik t i fa
e a fo u n
a e a n s

il i g
n c r .

L t h e ch i
O , fi t f at e t e adi gn, rs e ur , r n ,

A i y f t t re t t h e f c !
r oo o s a e

Sp e ch i igh ;
e h ee t h
s n blu h i g O , s e s n

S w t app ac h f lip a d b e ath !


ee ro o n r

Ro d th e m
un th di m il e c e b u h ing
ou s n , s ,

W ait t o di c t ati c d ath


s e e s e .

S p an a r o s s c in t ble c
re u r v in g ,

Bo w of p ro mis e, u pp lip ! er

t
S et h e m fr ee , w i th g ci w i g; ra ou s s e rv n

Le t t h e w i n g w d fl t d d ip
-
or s oa an .

Du m b art t h o u 2 0 Lo v e i m m o r
. tal ,

M ore th a n w or ds t h y s p e ch m t b e ;
e us

C hi d l le ss y et t h e te n d er p tal
or

O f th e h o m e of me l o dy .

N ow t l pe f a le s
th e n o s ri s O n e r s ,

P o d i c al m
r u c o ci n e s un ns ou s n s .

S it m t b
ur e m e th i g p e l e s
us e so n e r s

Th at t h g eat P a w o u l d xp e s
e r n e r s

D e p e c ow d o m m a i g t e d e r
e ns , r s s e e n n n ,

I t h e p u e d a l ady fac e
n r , e r -
.

L o a bl i d i g b u t f p l
, n d n ! rs o s en or

Ti t h e f ee s o u l i i g g ac e
’ ’
s r s s su n r .

Two c al m l ak e O f m olten gl o r y s

C ir cl i g r o d fath o m d d e ep s !
n un un e

Ligh t i g fl a h e t an i t y
n n - s s, r s or ,

C t h e gu l f w h re d a k n es s s l e ep s
ro s s s e r .

T hi t h e g ate at l a t f g l ad e s s
s , s , o n ,

T t h e o tw a d tri i g m
o u r -s
v n e

In t h e r ai o f l igh t a d ad e
n n s n ss,

O t it s l o v e an d l o n gi g fl ee !
u s n s
17 8 PHA N TA STE S

W i th a p
c e I am mitten
r es en s

D m b w ith a f ek w s rp i ;
u , . or no n u r se

P re e c e g e at er y e t th a w i tt
s n r n r en

E e i th e gl i
v n n ye o r ou s e s.

T h o gh t h g l f w i th i w a d g az e s
r u e u s, n r ,

I m ay l o o k ti ll I am l t ; os

W a d e i g d p in pi i t m az e
n r n ee s r - s,

I n a s e a w i th o u t a c o a t s .

Win d o w s O p e n t o t h e g l o r i o u s
T i m e an d s p ac e O h far b ey o n d ! , ,

W o m an ah ! th o u art v i ct o ri o u s
, ,

I pe i h o f d
A nd r s , v er on .

Sp i g al o ft t h e y e t U
r n s p oke ns n

I t h e fo eh ad e d l s g ac

n r e s n e s r e,

F ll o f il e c
u b ok e ;
s n es un r n

I fi i t e u featu d fa c
n n , n re e.

D b
om e s a o v e ,th e m o t f w de ; un o on r

H i gh t an d h ll w w ap t i n n i gh t ;
e o o r

Hi di g i i t c a e s u d
n n s v rn n er

Wom a ti o in th eir m igh t


n -n a ns .

P a i g f m th e h igh e t H m an
ss n or s, s u

F ai t aw ay t th e D i i e
n s o v n

F e atur es n on e f m an o w o m a , o r n,

C an u e i l t h h li es t h i n e
nv e o s .

S id ew ay s , g ro ov e d p chor e s on ly
Vi s ibl e to pas s i n f
g y e e,

S ta nd l t d o l es s l on ely
th e s i en , o r ,

E n tr a c e g t e o f m e l dy
n -
a s o .

B u t all s o u n d fl y in a b l d ly s s o ,

G r o an an d s o n g , an d ki s s an d c ry ,

t
A t h eir g ll e ie l ifted c l d ly
a r s, o ,

D a kly tw ixt t h e earth a d


r ,

n s ky .
PHA N TA STE S

XV I .

Se lb s t d er S ty x d e n eu fach s ie u m wi n d et
, r n ,

W eh t di R u kk eh C e e T o ch te i ch t ;
r e c r r s r n

N ach d em A p f l g ift i d e s b i d et
e re s e, un n

E wi g i e d O k P fii h t
s es r us c .

S C HILLE R . Da s Id ea l und d as L eben .

E v n

t
t h e S y x, w hi h c °

n in efo ld h er in fo ld eth ,

H em s n o t C er e s

d au h g t er i n it s fl o w ;

Bu t sh e g p r as s th e a pp l e e v er l t
h o de h

Her , s ad O c
r us , d own b l
e ow .

E VER as sang the veil was uplifted ; ever as I san g


I , ,

the sign s of life grew till when the eyes dawned upon me , ,

it was with that sunrise o f Splendor which my feeble song


attempted to re embody The wonder is that I was n ot
-
.

altogether overc ome but was able to complete my s ong as


,

the unseen veil contin ed to rise This ability came sole l y


u .

from the state of mental elevation i n which I found myself .

O nly because uplifted in song was I able t o endure the ,

blaz e of the dawn B t I cannot tell whether she looked


. u

more of stat e or more of woman ; s he seemed removed into


u

that regio n of phantas y where all is intensely vivid but ,

n othing clearly defined A t last as I s ang of her descend .


,

in g hair the glow of soul faded away like a dying su nset


,
.
A F A E R IE R O MANCE . 1 81

A lamp ithin had been exting ished and the house o f li fe


w u ,

sh one blank in a winter morn S he w as a stat e once . u

m ore but visible and that was mu h ga ned Yet the



,
c i .

revulsion from h O pe and fruition was s ch that unable to u , ,

restrain myself I sprang to her and in defiance of the law


, , ,

o f the place flung my arms around her as if I wo ld tear


, ,
. u

her from the grasp of a visible death and lifted her from ,

the pedestal down to my heart B t n o sooner had her . u

feet ceased t o be i n con tact with the black pedestal tha n .

s h e shuddered and trembled all over ; then writhing fr o m ,

my arms befo re I could tighten their hold she Sprang into


, ,

the corrid or w ith the reproachful cry Yo sho ld n ot


, ,
u u

have touched me ! darted behind one of the exterior


pillars of the circle and disappeared I follo wed almost as
,
.

fast ; but ere I could reach the pi llar the so nd of a closing u

d oor the saddest of all sounds sometimes fell on my ear ;


, ,

and arriving at the spot where s he had vanish ed I s aw , ,

lighted by a pale yellow lamp which hung above it a


, ,

heavy rough door altogether unlike any o thers I h ad see n


, ,

in the palace ; for they were all of ebony or ivory or ,

c overed with silver plates or o f some odorous wood and very


, ,

ornat e whereas this seemed of old oak with heavy nails


, ,

and iro n studs N otwithstan ding the precipitation of my


.

p rs it I could not help reading in silver letters beneath


u u
,

the lamp N o o n e en ter s h e e w ith ou t th e leave of th e


, r

But what was the q u een to me wh en I followed



q u een

.
,

my white lady ? I dashed the door to the wall and s p rang ,


18 2 PHA N TA STE S

through Lo ! I stood on a waste wi ndy hill G reat


. .

sto nes like tombston es stood all about me N o door no .


,

p alace was to be see n A white figure gleamed p ast me


,
.
,

wringing her hands an d cryin g A h ! you should have



, ,

sung to me you should h ave sung to me ! and dis



appeared behind on e of the ston es I followed A cold


. .

gust of w ind met me from behin d the ston e ; an d whe n I


looked I saw nothing but a great hole i n the earth into ,

which I could find no way of entering Had s h e falle n in ?


.

I could n ot tell I must wait for the dayli g ht


. I sat down .

and wep t fo r there was n o hel p


,
.
1 84 P HA N TA STE S

descen t It was very difficult In some parts I had to


. .

cling to the rocks like a bat In one place I dropped fr om


.

the track down upon the next return ing spire of the stair ,

which being broad i n this p artic ular p ortion and stan ding
,
'

ou t fr o m the wall at right angles received me u p o n my


,

feet safe though somewhat stupefied by the shock After


,
.

descending a great way I found the stai r ended at a narro w


Opening which entered the r ock horizontally In to this I .

crept and having entered had just room to turn r ound I


, , ,
.

put my head out into the shaft by which I had come down

,

and surveyed the course of my descent Looking up I .


,

s aw the stars ; although the su n must by thi s time have

been high in the heavens Looking belo w I s aw that the


.
,

sides of the shaft we n t sheer dow n smooth as glass ; and


,

far ben eath me I saw the reflectio n of the sam e stars I had
seen i the heavens when I lo oked up I turned again and
n .
,

crept inwards some distance whe n the p assage widened and


, ,

I was at length able to stand and walk upright Wide r .

and loftier gre w the way ; n ew paths branched O ff on every


side ; great Ope n halls appeared ; till at last I found my
self wandering o n through a n u n dergroun d c ountry i n ,

which the sky was of rock and instead Of trees and flowers
, , ,

t here w ere o n ly fantastic rocks and ston es An d ever as I .

went darker grew my thoughts till at last I had no h O pe


, ,

whatever O f finding the white lady ; I no longer called her


to myself my white lady Wher ever a choice was n eces
'

.
A FAERI E R O MANCE . 185

sary I always chose the p ath which seemed to lead dow n


,

W ards .

A t length I began to find that these regions were in b ah


i t ed F ro m behind a rock a peal Of harsh grating laugh
.
,

te r full Of evil humor rang through my ears and looking


, , , , ,

r ou n d I saw a queer g obli n creature with a great head


, , ,

and ridic lous features just such as those described i n


u , ,

German histories and travels as ! obolds “


What do ,
.

ou wan t with me ? said He ointed at me with a ”


y . I p .

long forefinger very thick at the root and sharpe n ed to a


, ,

point and answered He ! he ! he ! what do you wan t


, ,

h ere ? Then changing his tone h e con tinued with



, , ,

mock humility Ho nored sir vouchsafe to withdraw :



,

from thy slaves the lustre Of thy august prese n ce for thy ,

slaves cannot support its brightness A second app eared ,

and struck in : You are so big you keep the sun from “
,

us We can t see for you and we re s o cold


.

Thereupo n ,

.

arose on all sides the most terrific uproar Of laughter


, , ,

from voices like those of children in volume b t scrannel ,


u

and harsh as those of decrepit age though unfortunately , , ,

without its weakness The whole p andemonium of fairy .

devils of all varie t ies O f fantastic ugliness both in form


, ,

and feature and of all sizes from on e to four feet seemed


, ,

t o have suddenly assembled about me A t len gth after a .


,

great babb l e Of talk among themselves i n a language un ,

known to me an d after seeming l y endless gesticulation


,
.

consultation elbow n udg i n g a n d un miti g ated peals of


,
-
,
18 6 P HA N TA STE S

laughter they formed i n to a circle about on e of thei r n um


,

ber wh o scrambled upo n a ston e and much to my sur


, , ,

prise and somewhat to my dismay began to sin g i n a


, , ,

v oice corresponding in its nature to his talking on e from ,

begin n in g to e n d the son g with which I had brought the


,

light i nto the eyes of the white lady He sang the same .

air too an d all the time maintained a face of mock en


,

treaty and worship accompanyin g the song with the


,

travestied gestures of on e playin g on the lute The whole .

assembly kept silence except at the close of every verse


, ,

when they roared an d dan ced and shouted with laughter


, , ,

and flun g themselves o n the ground in real or pretended ,

co n vulsions of delight Whe n he had fin ished the singe r


.
,

threw himself fr om the top of the ston e turnin g heels ove r ,

head several times in his descent ; and when he did ali ght it
was on the top of his head on which he h O pped about, ,

making the m ost grotesque gesticulations with his legs i n


the air Inex p ressible laughter followed which broke u p
.
,

in a shower Of tiny stones from inn merable han ds They u .

could not materially injure me alth ough they cut me on ,

the head and face I attempted t o run away but they all
.
,

r shed up on me and lay ing hold of every part that


u , ,

afforded a grasp held me tight C rowding about me like


,
.

bees they sh outed an insect swarm of exasperatin g speeches


,
-

up into my face among which the most frequently recur


,

r in g w ere : You shan t hav e he r ; you s han t have her ;


“ ' ’ ’
18 8 P HA N TA STE S

F or if lo ve b il d
u s up th e h o me ,

W h ere t h e h e ar i s fr ee , t
H l y et t h e h e a t m t
om e e s s . r us r o am ,

T h at h as o t fo d th e e n un .

O ne mu s t s u fier ‘

: I , fo r h er ,

Yi el d in h er my p art .

T ak e h th ou a t w o thi er ;
er , r r

S til l ! b e s till m y h e art ! ,

Gift un g tt
l a ge s hi gh
o en ! r s

O f af t ate w ill !
ru s r

B t t o y i e l d i t l i n g ly
u ov

I s a o m ethi n g s till
s .

T he n a little song arose of itself i n my soul ; an d I felt


for the moment while it sang sadly withi n me as if I was
, ,

once m ore walking up and dow n the white hall of Phantasy


in the Fairy Palace But this lasted n o long er than the
.

song as will be seen


,
.

DO n ot v e x th y v io e l t
P er fu m e t o affo rd ;

E lse no O t
d o r h o u w il t g et
F r om it s l ittle h o a d r .


l ady g faci ou eyes
In t h y

s s

L k o t th o t o l g ;
oo n u o on

E l f m th em t h e g l y fl i
se ro or es,

A d t h ou d s t h e w o g
n o r r n .

C ome n ot th ou too n e ar th e m ai d ,

C la p h
s er n o t t o o wi d ; l
E lse th e s pl en d o r is all ay ed ,

A n d t h y h ear t b eguil ed .
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 189

A crash Of laughter more discordant and deriding tha n


,

any I had yet heard invaded my ears L o oking on in the


,
.

direction Of the sound I saw a little elderly woman much


, , ,

taller however than the gob lins I had just left seated
, , ,

u pon a stone by the side of the p ath S he rose as I dre w .


,

n ear an d c ame forward to meet me S he was very plain an d


,
.

commonplace in appearance without be i n g hideously ugly


,
.

Lookin g up i n my fac e with a stupid sneer she said , ,

Isn t it a pity you have n t a p retty girl to walk all alone


’ ’

with you through this sweet country ? Ho w different


everything would look ! wouldn t it ? S trange that on e ’

can never have what one would like best How the roses
would bloom and all that eve n i n this i n fern al hole !
,

would n t they Anodos ? He r eyes would light u p the O ld



,

cave wouldn t they ?


,
’ ”


That de p ends o n wh o the p retty g irl should be re ,

plied I .


N ot s o very much matter that sh e a n swered ; look ,

here !
I had turned to go away as I gave my reply but n ow I ,

stopped and looked at her A s a rough unsightly bud .


,

might suddenly bl o ssom into the most lovely flower ; or


rather as a sunbeam bursts through a shapeless cloud and
, ,

t a s fig res the earth ; so burst a face


r n u f res p le n de n t o

beauty as it were thr ou gh the unsightly visage o f the


,

woman destroying it with light as it dawned through it


,
.

A summe r sky arose above me gray with heat ; ac r oss a ,


190 PHA N TA STE S

shin ing slumbrous lan dscape looked from afar t he p eaks


,

of snow capped mountains ; and dow n from a great rock


-

beside me fell a sheet Of water mad with its own delight .

S tay with me sh e said lifting up her exquisite face


,

, ,

an d looking full in mine .

I drew back Again the infern al laugh grated upon my


.

ears ; again the ro cks closed in around me and the ugly ,

W oman looked at me with wicked mocking hazel eyes ,


.


You shall have your reward said sh e You shall ,

.

s ee your white lady again



.


That lies n ot with you I re plied and turned and
,

,

left he r .

S he followed me with shriek u p on shriek of laughter as ,

I went on my way .

I may mention here that although there was always


, ,

light enough to s ee my path and a few yards on every side


of me I never could find out the source of this sad sepul
,

chral illumination .
1 92 P HA N TA STE S

Besides being delighted and proud that my son gs had called


the bea tiful creature to life the same fact caused me to
u ,

feel a tenderness unspeakable for her accompanied with a ,

kind of feeling Of property in her ; for s o the g oblin Selfi h s

n ess would reward the angel Love When to all this is .

added an overpowering sense of her beauty and a n u ,


n

questioning c onvicti on that this was a true index to inward


l o veliness it may be understood how it came to pass that
,

my imagination filled my wh ole soul w ith the play of its


o wn m ltit din o us c o lors and harmonies around the form
u u

which yet sto o d a graci o s marble radiance in the midst


,
u
,

o f i ts white hall Of phan tasy The time passed by u n


.

heeded ; for my th o ughts were b sy Perhaps this was u .

also in part the cause of my n eeding n o food and never ,

thinking how I sh ould find any during this subterraneous


'

part Of my trave l s Ho w long they endured I could ot


. n

tell for I had n o means Of measuring time ; and whe n I


,

looked back there was such a discrepancy between the


decisions of my imagination and my judgment as to the ,

length O f time that had passed that I was bewildered and


, ,

gave up all attempts to arrive at any conclusi n on the o

p oint .

A gray mist c ontinually gathered behind me When I .

looked back towards the past this mist was the medium
,

through which my eyes had to strain for a visi on of what


had gone by ; and the form o f the white lady had receded
into a n unk n ow n region A t length the country Of rock
.
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 1 93

began to close agai n around me grad ally and slowly ,


u

n arrowing till I fo und myself walking in a gallery o f r ock


,

o nce m o re b oth sides Of w hich I c o ld t o uch with my ou t


,
u

stretched hands It narrowed yet ntil I was forced to


.
,
u

move care f ll y in order to avo id striking against the pro


u
,

j ecn t i g pieces Of rock The ro of sank lo wer and l ower .


,

until I was compelled first to stoop and then to creep on, ,

my hands and knees It recalled terrible dreams of chi l d


.

hood ; but I was not much afraid because I fe l t s re that ,


u

this was my path and my only hO peof leaving F airy land


,
-
,

Of which I was n ow almost weary


.
.

A t length on getting past an abrupt t rn in the passage


,
u ,

thro gh which I had to force myse l f I s aw a few yards


u , ,

ahead of me the long forgotten daylight shining thr ough


,
-

a smal l Opening to which the path if path it c ou l d now be


, ,

ca l l e d l ed me With gre t diffic lty I accomplishe d these


,

. a u

last few yards and came forth to the day I stood o the . n

sh ore of a wintry s ea with a wintry sun just a few feet,

ab ove it s hori z on edge It was bare and waste and gray


-
.
, ,
.

Hundr eds Of h ope l ess waves rushed constantly shorewards ,

falling exh austed upo n a beach of great loose stones that ,

seemed to stretch miles and miles in b oth directi ons There .

was nothing for the eye but ming l ing shades Of gray n o th
ing for the ear but the r sh Of the c oming the roar of the u ,

breaking and the m oan of the retreating wave N 0 roc k


,
.

lifted up a she l tering severity ab ove the dreariness around ;


even that fro m which I had myse l f emerged rose scarcely
13
194 P HA N TA STE S

a foo t above the Opening by w hich I had reached the dismal


day m ore dismal eve n than the tomb I had left A cold
,
.
,

dea th like wind swept across the sh ore seemin g to issue


-

from a pale mouth Of cloud u pon the hori z on S ign of life .

was n owhere visible I wandered over the stones up and


.
,

d ow n the beach a human embodiment Of the nature around


me The wind increased ; its kee n waves flowed through
.

my so l the foam rushed higher up the stones a few dead


u

stars began to gleam in the east ; the sound of the waves


g re w louder and yet more despairing A dark curtain Of .

cl oud was lifted up and a pale bl ue rent shone betwee n its


,
-

foot and the edge O f t h e s ea ou t from which rushed an icy


,

storm of fro z en wind that tore the waters into spray as it


,

passed and flung the billows in raving heaps upon the


,

desolate sh ore I co ld bear it n o l onger


. u .

I will not be tortured t o death I cried ; I wi ll meet ,


it half w ay The life within me is yet eno gh to bear me


-
. u

up to the face Of Death and then I die nconquered


,
u .

Before it had grown s o dark I had Observed tho gh ,


u

W itho t any particular interest that on o e part of the


u ,
n

sh ore a low platform Of rock seemed to ru n ou t far into the


mi dst Of the breaking waters Towards this I now went .
,

scrambling o ver smooth stones to which scarce eve n a ,

particle of s ea weed clung ; and having found it I g t on


-
, ,
o

it and f llowed its direction as near as I co ld g ess ou t


,
o ,
u u ,

int o the tumbling chaos I could hard ly keep my feet


.

against the wind and s ea T he W aves rep eatedly all but


.
1 96 PHA N TA STE S

however n one Of that stormy motion which the s ea had


,

manifested when I beheld it from the sh ore I Opened my ,

eyes and l ooking first up s aw ab ove me the deep vi olet


, , ,

sk O f a warm s o uthern night and then lifting my head


y , ,

s aw that I was sailing fast upon a summer s ea in the last ,

border O f a s o thern twi l ight The aureole Of the sun yet


u .

shot the extreme faint tips Of its l ongest r ays above the
hori z on waves and withdre w them n ot It was a perpet al
-
. u

twilight The stars great and earnest like chi l dren s ey es


.
, ,

,

bent down l oving l y towards the waters ; and the reflected


stars within seemed t o fl oat p as if longing to meet their
u ,

embraces B t when I l ooked down a new w nder met my


. u ,
o

view ; for vaguely revealed beneath the wave I fl oated


, ,

above my wh ol e Past The fields O f my chi l dho od fl it ted


.

by ; the hall s of my y outhf l lab ors ; the stree t s o f great


u

cities where I had dwelt ; and the assemblies O f men and


.

women where in I had wearied myse l f seeking for res t .

But so indistinct were the visi ons that s ometimes I tho g h t


,
u

that I was sailing on a shallo w s ea and that strange ro cks ,

and forests O f s ea plants beg iled my eye s ufli cien tly to be


- u ,

transformed by the magic Of the phantasy into wel l know n -

Objects and regions Yet at times a beloved form seemed


.

t o lie close beneath me in sleep and the eyelids w o uld


.

tremb l e as if about to forsake the c onscio s eye and the u ,

arms wo ld heave upwards as if in dreams they so ght for


u u

a satisfying presence But these motions might come only


.

fr om the heaving O f the waters betwee n those for ms a n d me .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 1 97

S oon I fell asleep overc ome with fatigue and delight


, . In
dreams of nspeakable j oy
u ,
O f rest o red friendships

; Of
revived embraces of love which said it had never died of
faces that had vanished long ago yet said with smi ling l ips
,

that they knew nothing of the grave of pardons implored ,

and granted with such bursting fl oods of love that I was


,

almost glad I h ad sin n ed ,


thus I passed through this

wondro s tw ilight I awoke with the feeling that I had


u .

been kissed and loved to my heart s content ; and found that


my boat was floatin g motion less by the grassy shore Of a


little islan d
.
1 98 PHA N TA STE S

X IX .

In s til l er R uh e , in w ech s el l o s er E infa lt fuh r i ch un un terb roch er f


d as B e wu s s t s ey n d er g ze M
an n en s ch h i t i
e n mi r .

S C HL E IE R M AC HE R . M on o log en .

In s till rest , ch an gel e ss s imp l i city I b ear uninterrup ted


in , , , th e c on

s c io u s n es s o f t h e w h o l e o f H m a i ty w i thi n m e
u n .

su ch t ch a grac e
a sw ee n es s , s u

I al l t h y p e c h app ar
n s e e ,

T h at w h at t th y e a b e a te o u s fac e
o

e u ,

T h at t hy t o g ue i s t o t h e e ar
n .

C O W LEY .

THE water was deep to the very edge a n d I spran g ,

from the little boat upon a soft g rassy turf The island ,
.

seemed rich with a profusion of all grasses an d low fl owers .

A ll delicate lowly things were most plentiful ; but no trees


,

rose skywards ; n ot even a bush overtop p ed the tall grasses ,

except in on e place near the cottage I am about to describe ,

where a few plants Of the gum cistus which drops every -


,

night all the blossoms that the day brings forth formed a ,

kind Of natural arbor The whole island lay Open to the


.

sky and s ea It rose nowhere more than a few feet abo ve


.

the level Of the waters which flowed deep all around its
,

borde r Her e there seemed to be neithe r tide n or storm


. .
P HA N TA STE S

ing in the centre of the pyramidal roof O ver the fire hung .

a l ittl e pot and over the pot bent a w oman face the most
,
-
,

w onderf l I th ought that I had ever beheld F or it was


u , ,
.

Older than any co ntenance I had ever looked upon


u .

There was n ot a sp ot in which a wrin kle could lie where a l


,

wrinkle lay not And the skin was ancient and brown
.
,

like old parchment The woman s form was tall and.


Spare and whe n s h e stood p to welcome me I saw that


,
u ,

s he was straight as a n arrow C o ld that voice Of sweet . u

ness have iss ed from those lips Of age ? M ild as they


u

were could they be the po rtals whe n ce flowed such mel


,

od
y ? But the moment I s aw her eyes I no l o nger won ,

dered at her voice ; they were absolutely young those Of ,

a woma n of five and t wenty large and Of a clear gray


- -
, ,
.

Wrinkles had beset them all ab o t ; the eyelids themselves u

were old and heavy and worn ; but the eyes were very
, ,

incarnati ons of soft light S he held out her hand t o me .


,

and the voice Of sweetness agai n greeted me with the s in ,

g l e w ord Welcome !,

S he set an old woode n chair for
me near the fire and went on with her cooking A won
, ,
.

d o us sense O f refuge and repose came upo n me


r I felt .

like a boy wh o has got home from school miles across the ,

hil l s through a heavy storm Of wind and snow Alm o st


,
.
,

as I ga z ed on her I Sprang from my seat to kiss those O l d


,

l ips A nd when having finished her cooking s h e br o ght


.
, ,
u

s me of the dish she had prepared and set it on a little


o
,

table by me covered with snow white cloth I could not


,
-
,
A E A E R IE R O MANCE . 20 1

h elp lay g my head on her bosom and bursting into


in
,

happy tears S he p t her arms round me saying P oor


. u
, ,

child ! po or chi l d !
A s I c ontin ed to weep s h e gent l y disengaged herself ;
u ,

and taking a sp o n p t s ome of the fo d ! I did n ot know


,
o ,
u o

what it was ! to my l ips entreating me mos t endear ngly t o


,
i

s wallo w it To please her I made an effo t and succeeded


.
,
r
,
.

S he went on feeding me like a baby with o e arm aro nd ,


n u

me till I l ooked up in her face and smiled ; then s he gave


,

me the sp oon and told me t o eat for it would do me g ood


, ,
.

I obeyed her and fo nd myself wonderfully re freshed


,
u .

Then s h e drew near the fire an O ld fashi oned c ouch that was -

in the c ottage and making me lie d own pon it s at at my


, ,
u ,

feet and began to sing Amaz ing store O f Old ballads


,
.

rippled from her lips over the pebb l es Of ancient tunes ;


,

and the voice that sang was sweet as the voice O f a tunef l u

maiden that singeth ever fro m very fulness of song The .

songs were almost all s ad but with a sound O f comfort ,


.

O ne I can faint l y recall It was s omething like this :


.

t
S ir A g l ov ail e h r o u h t h e g ch ch
ur -
y ar d r od e ;
S i n g , A ll a lo n e I li e

Littl e r e ek ed h e w h ere

er h e yode .

A ll a l o n e, up i n t h e s ky .

Sw er v ed h i s c o u r s e r , an d pl g
un ed w i th fear ;
A ll a l on e I li e

His cr y m i h h ag t
v e w ak e n e d t h e d ead m en
'

n ear ,

A ll a l o n e, up i n th e s ky .
20 2 PHA N TA STE S

Th e v ery t t
d ead h a l ay at h i s fe et ,

L pt i
a n t h e m o l dy w i
u n din g h eet
-s .

Bu t h e cu br ed hi m an d S p u r re d hi m , un ti l h t
e s ood

t l
S il in hi s p l c li k
a e, e a h o rs e of w ood,

With t l
n o s ri s u p lift , an d ey e s w id e an d w an ;

Bu t t h e s w e a i n t t
s re am s fr o m hi s fe tl o ck s r an .

A gh t gos rew o u t O f t h e s h ad ow y air ,

A n d s at i n t h e mi d s t of h er m o o n y h ai r .


I n h er gl e amy h air s h e s at an d w e pt ;
In t h e d r e am fu m o o n l th ey l ay a nd s e l pt ;
T h e s h ad o w s b
a ov e , an d t h eb o di e b e l ow s ,

Lay an d s l ep t in t h e m o on b eam s s l ow .

A n d sh e s an g lik e t h e m o an o f an au u mn t w in d

O v er th e t bbl e l eft b ehi n d


s u

A las , h o w eas i ly t h i n g s g o w r on g

A s ig h t oo m u ch , or a ki s s t oo l on g ,

A nd th er e f o llo w s a mist an d a w eep i n g r ai n ,

A nd l if e i s n ev er th e s a m e ag a i n .

A la s , h o w h a/r d ly t h i n g s g o r ig ht

Ti s h ar d t o w a tch i n a s u mm er n i g h t ,

F or th e s ig h w il l co m e, a n d th e ki s s w i ll s t ay,

A nd th e s u m m er n i g h t is a w i n t er d ay ’
.

0 l o ly gh t my h ea t i s w o e
ve os , r ,

To se e th w ep i g a d w aili g
ee e n n n s o.

0 l o e l y gh o s t
v ,

s ai d l es s k igh t
t h e fe ar n ,

C an t h e s w o rd o f a w arri o r s e t i t igh t ? r
20 4 PHA N TA STE S

If h o ut ar t th e gh t os O f my Ad l e ai d e ,

Ho w i s it ? T h ou
'

w e rt b u t a vi ll ag e maid ,

A nd th o s u e e m e s t an an g l l dy w h it
e a e,

Th o u gh thi n , an d w an , an d p t d li gh t
as e .

Th e l ady s mil e d a fl i ck e rin g s mi e , l


A n d sh e p re s s e d h er t em p l e s h ar d th e wh i le

T h ou t th at D ath
s ee s e for a w o m an can

Do m or e th a k i g h th
n n o od fo r a m an .

B ut s h ow m e th e chi l d th e c all e t m i e n s n .

igh t i n t h e gh o t hin

Is s h e ou t tO -
n s s sun s e

In S t P e . te r s

c h e i p layi g
C h ur h s s n on,

A t h id e -an d -s e ek w i th A p o tl
, Jh s e o n.

W h e n t h e m o o n b e am s r i gh t th r o u gh th e w in d ow go,
Wh e r e t h e tw e lv e are s tan din g in g l o ri o u s s h ow ,

Sh e s ay s th e res t of th em do n ot s tir ,

Bu t one come s d own t o pl ay wi h h er t .

T h en I c an g o w h e r e I is l t a dw p , n ee

F Or g oo d St . J oh n m y c hi l d w i ll k eep .

Th y b ty fill eth th e
e au v e ry ai r .

N aw I w om a fair ’
e v er s a n so .

C o me , t
i f h o u d ar e s t , an d s it b y my s id e ;
Bu t d o n ot t ch
ou me, or w o e wi ll b eti d e .

Al as I am w k I w ll m i gh t k o w
! ea : e n

Th i s g l d e s b et k
a n o m e fur th er w o e
s o en s s .
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 20 5
u

Ye t c om e. It will c me I wi ll b a o . e r it . I ca n.

F or th o u l ov e t m e y et th ou g h b t a
s u s a m an .

Th e k igh t d i m ted i ea e t p ee d ;
n s ou n n rn s s

A w ay th ro gh t h e tomb to s t h d e d th e tee d
u s ne un re s ,

A n d fe ll b y t h e o u ter w all a d di e d , n .

Bu t th e k i g h t h e k n ee l ed b y t h e l ady s s id e

n ;

! n ee e d l b e s id e h er i n w o n dro u s bli ss,

R a pt i n an e v er as l ti g k i s s
n


Th o u gh n ev er l p s c o m e t h e l ady n igh
hi s i ,

A n d h is ey es al o n e o n h e b e au ty li e r .

A ll t h e nigh t l g til l t h c ck C
on , e o r ew l oud,

He k n ee e l d b y t h l dy l p t i he a , a n er s h r o u d .

A nd w h at th y a d I m ay e s i , n o t s ay

D ead n igh t w as s w ee te th a r n l iv m g d ay .

How sh e m ad e h i m so bl i s s fu l gl ad
W h o m ad e h er an d fo un d h er so gh tly os s ad ,

I m ay n ot t ll ;
e b ut i t n ee d s n o t ch
ou

To ma k e th em bl es s ed who lo ve so mu h c .

C om e e v ery n i gh t , my gh t os , to me ;
A nd on e ni gh t I w ill c om e to th ee .


Ti s g ood gh tly w if
t o h av e a os e

Sh e w ill t t mbl t l
no g f t
re e a e an o s ri fe ;

Sh e w i ll on ly h e ar ke n , am id t h e di n ,

B ehi n d t h e d o or , if h e c om et h i n.

t
A n d h i s is h o w Sir A gl o v ail e
te
O f n wa lk ed in th e m o o n i h l g t p ale .

A nd o ft c re s c en t b t th i ed th e gl o om
w h en t h e u nn
,

F ll u -o r b ed m o onli gh t fill ed h i s r o om ;

t
A n d h r ou h g b en ea th hi s ch amber d oor ,

F ll gh tly g l
e a os eam o n t h e o u t e fl o or ;
r

t
A n d h ey h a t t p as s ed , in fear av erre d

T ha t m u r m u r e d w o r d s th ey O ften h eard .


T w as
th en th at th e as te n cre c e t h on e
e r s n s

T h r ou gh t h e ch an c e l w i d o w an d g o o d S t Jo h n
n , .

Pl ay ed w ith th e gh o t chi ld all th e igh t s - n ,

A d th e m o th er w as fre e t i ll th e m o ni n g li gh t
n r ,

A nd s p ed th r ou gh t h e d aw n in g igh t
n , to s ayt
W i th A g l o v ail e il t h e t l b r ea k of d ay .

A n d h eir t l ov e w as a ra pt u re ,l e a d h igh
on n ,

A n d dum b as th e m oon i n t h e t o p m o s t ky s .

O n e ni gh t Si r A gl ov ail e , w e ary , l pt
s e ,

A n d d r e am e d a d re am w h er e in h e w e pt .

A w ar ri o r h e w as , te w p t h e n ot O f n e ,

B ut thi s ni gh t h e w ep t full b itter ly .


He wo k e be s id e h im t h e gh t gi l
os -
r s h on e

O ut of t h e d ar k :

t was t h e eve of St . J oh n .

He h ad dr e am e d a d re am of a s till , d ar kw o o d,

Wh ere th e m aid en o f O ld be s id e hi m s oo d t ;
208 PHA N TA STE S

W hile sun g I was i n E lysium with the sen se of a


sh e , ,

r ich s oul upholding embracing and overhanging mine full


, , ,

Of all plenty and boun ty I felt as if s he could give me .

everything I wanted ; as if I should n ever wish to leave


her but would be content to be sung to an d fed by her day
, ,

after day as years r olle d by At last I fell aslee p while


,
.

s h e san g .

When I awoke I k n ew n ot whether it was n ight or day


"

,

T he fi re had sunk to a few red embers which just g ave ,

light en ough to show me the woman stan ding a few feet


from me with her b ack toward s me facing the door by
, ,

which I had entered S he was weeping but very ge n tly


.
,

and ple n tifully T he tears seemed to come freely from he r


.

h eart. Thus sh e stood for a few minutes ; then slowly ,

turni ng at right angl es to her former positio n sh e faced ,

another Of the four sides Of the cottage I n ow Observed .


,

for the first time that here was a door likewise ; an d that
, ,

i n deed there was on e i n t he centre Of every side Of the


,

cottage W he n she looked towards this second door her


.
,

tears ceased to flow but sighs took their p lace S he Ofte n


,
.

closed her eyes as sh e stood ; a n d every time she closed


her eyes a ge ntle si g h seemed to be born i n her hear t and
to escape at her lips But whe n her eyes were op en her
.
,

sighs were dee p an d very s ad an d shook her whole frame .

Then she turned towai ds the third d oor and a cry as Of ‘

fear or suppressed pai n broke from her but s h e seemed to ,

hearten herself against t he dismay an d to fron t it steadily , ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE .
2
09

for although I Ofte n heard a slight cry and sometimes a


,

mea yet s h e never moved or bent her head and I felt


n
, ,

sure that her eyes never closed Then sh e t urned t o the .

fourth door and I s aw her shudder an d then stand still as


, ,

a stat e till at last she turned towards me an d approached


u ,

the fire I saw that her face was white as death B t s h e


. . u

gave on e lO O k upwards an d smiled the sweetest most


,
, ,

child innocent smile ; the n heaped fresh wood on the fire


-
,

an d sitting dow n by the blaze drew her wheel near her


, , ,

and began to Spin While sh e Sp un she murmured alow


.
, ,

strange song to which the hum of the wheel made a kind


,

of in fi nite symphony A t length sh e paused in her Spin


.

n in g and singing and glan ced towards me like a mother


, ,

wh o lo oks whether or not her child gives sign s Of waking .

S he smiled when sh e s aw that my eyes were Open I .

asked her whe ther it was day yet S he answered It is .


always day here s o lon g as I keep my fire burning


,
.

I felt wonderfully refreshed ; and a great desire to s ee


m ore of the island awoke within me I rose and saying .
, ,

that I wished to look about me we n t towards the door by ,

which I had entered



S tay a mome n t said my hostess with some t repi
, ,

dation in her voice Listen to me You will n ot see


. .

what you expect when you go ou t O f that door O nly ,

remember this : whenever yo u wish to come back to me ,

e n ter wherever you s ee this mark .


S he held up her le ft han d betwee n me an d the fire .

14
:
21 0 P HA N TA STE S

Upon the pa lm which ap p eared almost transp arent I saw


, , ,

in dark red a mark like this k


,
which I took care
,
to fix i n my mind u.

S he then kissed me and bade me good by with a s o ,


-

lemnity that a w ed me and bewildered me too seeing I was


, ,

only going ou t for a little ramble in an island whic h I did


n ot believe larger than could easily be compassed in a few
hours walk at most A s I went sh e resumed her Spinning

. .

I Opened the door an d stepped out The moment my


,
.

foot to ched the smooth sward I seemed to i ssue from


u

the door Of a n Old barn on my father s es tate where i n ’


, ,

th e hot afternoon s I used to go a n d lie amongst the straw


, ,

an d read It seemed to me new that I had been as leep


.

there At a little distance i n the field I saw two of my


.

brothers at play The moment they caught Sight Of me


.

they called o ut to me to c ome and j om them which I did ; ,

and we p l ayed together as we had done years ago till the ,

red s un went d own in the west and the gray fog began to ,

rise from the river Then we went home together with a


.

strange happiness A s we went we heard t h e continually


.
,

renewed larum O f a landrail in the long grass O ne o f my .

broth ers and I separated t o a little distance and each com ,

m en ced running towards the part whenc e the s ound


appeared t o come in the h O pe of approaching the sp ot
,

where the bird was and s o getting at least a sight of it


, ,

if we should n ot be able to capt re the little creature M y u .

father s voice r ecalled us fr om tram p lin g down t he r ich



,
PHA N TA STE S
G
.

threw myself on it with that fatigue wherewith awake s


from a feverish dream of hopeless grief .

The Old W oman sang


Th e g
t su n b e i gh ted
r ea , n ,

M ay fai t fro m t h e sky ;


n

B t l o e o n c e u p l igh t e d
u v , ,

W ill n ev er m ore d i e .

F o rm , t
wi h i t s b i gh t r n es s ,

F r o m ey e s w i ll d p t e ar

t
I wa lk e th , i n w hi t en e s s ,

Th e h all s of t h e h e ar t .

E re had ceased Sing ing my courage had return ed


sh e , .

I started from the couch and without taking leave Of the , ,

o ld woman Opened the door Of S ighs a n d S p ran g into what


, ,

should appear .

I stood i n a lordly hall where by a blazing fire on the , ,

hearth s at a lady waiting I knew for som e on e long


, , , ,

desired A mirror was n ear me ; but I saw that my form


.

had no place withi n its depths s o I fear ed n ot that I Should ,

be seen The lady wonderfully resembled my marble lady


.
,

but was altogether Of the daughters of men and I could not ,

tell whether or n ot it was s h e It was not for me She .

waited The t ramp O f a great horse rang through the court


.

without It ceased and the clang Of armor told that his


.
,

rider alighted and the sound O f h is ringing heels approached


,
.
'

the hall The door Opened ; but the lady waited for sh e
.
,

would meet her lord alo n e He s trode i n ; She fl ew like a .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 2
13

h ome bound dove into his arms an d n estled on the hard


-
,

steel It was the knight of the s o iled armor But n o w


. .

the armor sh one like p olished glass and strange t o tel l , , ,

tho gh the mirror reflected not my form I s aw a dim Shad ow


u
,

Of myself in the shining Steel .

O my bel ved thou art come and I am blessed !


o , ,

Her soft fingers Speedily overcame the hard clasp O f his


helmet ; on e by on e s h e undid the buckles of his armor ;
and She toiled under the weight of the mail as she w ou ld ,

carry it aside T h e n sh e u n clasped his greaves and u


.
,
n

buckled his Spurs ; and once more s h e sprang into his arms ,

and laid her head where sh e co ld now feel the beating of u

his heart The n she disengaged herself from his embrace


.
,

an d movi n g back a step o t wo gaz ed at him He sto o d


,
r
'

,
.

there a mighty form crowned with a n oble head where all


, ,

sadness had disap p eared or had been abs orbed i n solem n


,

p rpose Yet I suppose that he looked more thoughtful


u .

than the lady had expected to see him for She did not renew ,

her caresses alth ough his face glowed with love and the few
, ,

w ords he Spoke were as mighty deeds for strength ; but s h e


led him t owards the hearth and seated h im in an an cient ,

ch air and set wine before him and sat at h is feet


, ,
.

I am s ad he said when I thi n k of the youth whom I


,

,

met twice i n the forests of F airy land and who you s ay -


, , ,

twice with his songs roused you from the death sleep of
, ,
.
-

an evil enchantment There was somethin g n oble in h im


.
'

,
214 PHA N TA STE S

but it was a n obleness of thought and n ot of deed He ,


.

may yet perish o f vile fear .



Ah ret rned the lady you saved him once and
u ,

for that I thank you ; for may I n ot s ay that I s ome wh a t


l o ved him ? But tell me h ow you fared when you struck ,

yo r battle axe into the ash tree and he came and found
u - -
,

ou fo so m ch Of the story ou had told me whe n the


y ; r
y u ,

beggar chi l d came and took you away


-
.

A s soon as I s aw him rej oined the knight I knew



,

,

that earthly arms availed not against such as he and that ,

my s oul must meet him in its naked strength S O I u m .

clasped my helm and flung it on the ground and h olding


, , ,

my good axe yet in my hand gazed at him with steady eyes ,


.

O n he came a horror i ndeed ; but I did not flinch E u


,
.

durance m st conquer where force could not reach He came


u ,
.

nearer and nearer till the ghastly face was close to mine
,
.

A Shudder as Of death ran through me but I think I did


n ot m o ve for he seemed to q ail and retreated A s soon
,
u ,
.

as he gave back I struck one more sturdy blo w on the stem


,

of his tree that the forest rang ; and then looked at h im


,

again He writhed and grinned with rage and apparent


.

pain an d again approached me but retreated soon er than


, ,

before I heeded him no more but hewed with a wil l at


.
,

the tree till the trun k creaked and th e head bowed and
, , ,
_

w ith a crash it fell to the earth The n I looked up from .

my labor and lo ! the S p ectre had van ished and I s aw him


, , ,
21 6 P HA N TA STE S :

stood and each looked towards me i n p assing The n


, .

they disappeared thro gh a d oor which closed behind them


u ,

but ere it closed I saw that the r oom into which it Opened
, ,

was a rich chamber hung with gorge o s arras I sto od


,
u .

with an ocea n of Sighs fro z e n in my b O s O m I could r e .

main n o longer S he was near me and I could n ot see


.
,

her ; near me i n the arms of on e loved better than I and ,

I would n o t see her and I would n ot be by her But h ow


,

to escape fro m the n earness of the best beloved ? I had


n ot this time forgotte n the mark ; for the fact that I could
not enter the Sphere of these living beings kept me aware
that for me I moved in a vision while they moved in life
, , ,
.

I looked all about for the mark but could see it nowhere ,

for I avoided looking j ust where it was There the dull .

red cipher gl owed on the very d o or Of their secret cham


,

ber S truck with agony I dashed it O p en and fell at the


.
, ,

feet Of the ancient w o man who still spu n o n the whole , ,

dissolved ocean O f my sighs bursting from me i n a storm Of


tearless sobs Whether I fainted or slept I do n ot know


.
,

but as I return ed to conscio sness before I seemed to have u


,

power to move I heard the woma n Sing in g an d could dis


, ,

t in gu is h the words

0 li gh t of d ead a n d of dy i n gd ay s !
0 Lo v e ! i n t h y gl o ry go,
In a r o sy t a d a m o y m az e
mis n o n ,

O er t h e p ath l e s p eak s o f s n ow

s .
A FAERI E R O MANCE .
2
17

Bu t w h a i s l ft for th e c o l d g ay s ul
t e r o ,

Th at m a l ik e a w d d d e
e ns oun e ov

O ne wi i l ft i t h e b k
ne s b wle n ro en o

Ti s

To l o v e, an d lov e, an d lo v e .

could wee p . Whe n she s aw me weep ing ,

t
B e t er t o s it at th e w a ters bir th

,

T h an a s ea o f w av es t o wi n ;

l
T o i v e in th e l o v e th at fl o w eth fo rth ,

T h an th e l o v e th at c o m eth i n .


B e th y h e ar t a w ell of l ov e , my chi l d ,

Fl o wi n g , an d fr ee , an d s u r e ;
F or a c i ter
s n of lo v e, th o ghu u n d e fil e d ,

! ee p s n ot th e s pi it p
r ur e .

I rose fr om the earth lovin g the white lady as I had ,

n ever loved her before .

Then I walked up to the dopr Of Dismay an d O pen ed it ,


/

and went out A nd 10 ! I came forth upo n a c rowded


.

s treet where me n a n d wome n we n t to and fro in multitu des


,
.

I knew it well and turni n g to on e hand walked sadly


, , ,

along the p avemen t S uddenly I saw approaching me a


.
,

little way off a form well k n own to me ! well kn ow n !


,
-

alas how weak the word ! ! i n the years when I thought my


,

boyhood was left behin d an d short ly before I entered the ,

r ealm of F airy land Wrong an d S orro w had gone to


-
.

gether han d i n hand as it is well they do U n changeably


, ,
.
218 P HA N TA e S

dear was that face It lay in my heart as a ch ild lie s in


.

its own white bed ; but I could n ot meet he r .


An ything but that I said and turning as ide Sp rang
,

, , ,

up the ste p s to a door o n which I fancied I s aw the mystic

Sign I e ntered n ot the mysterious cottag e but her home


.
,
.

I rushed wildly on and stood by the door of he r room .

S he is out I said ,

I will see the Old room on ce more

. .

I O p en ed the doo r ge n tly an d stood in a great solemn


, ,

c h urch A dee p toned bell whose sounds throbbed and


.
-
,

echoed and swam through the empty buildin g struck the ,

hour of midni ght The moon shon e through the win


.

dows Of the clerestory and e n ough Of the ghostly radi


,

an ce was difl us ed through the church to let me see


'

walking with a stately yet somewhat traili n g an d stum


bling step down the Opposite aisle for I stood in one ,
-

o f the transepts a figure dressed in a white r obe ‘



, ,

whether for the night or fo r that longe r n ight which


,

lies too dee p for the day : I could n ot tell Was it .

sh e
?
and was this her chamber ? I crossed the chuneh
and followed The fi gure sto pp ed seemed to ascend as it
.
,

were a high bed an d lay down I reached the p lace wher e


,
.

it lay glim merin g white The bed was a tomb T he light


,
. .

was too ghostly to see clearly but I p assed my hand over ,

the face an d the han ds an d the feet which were all bare , .

They were cold they were marble ; but I k n ew them It


-
.

grew dark I turned to retrace my steps but fou n d ere


.
,

long that I h ad wan dered in to what seemed a little chap el .


2
20 P HA N TA STE S

F or , w akin gi n li gh t
th e morni n g s ’
,

T h ou s mil est at th e v ani sh ed ni gh t .

S o wi lt th ou s ink all p ale an d dumb


, ,

I n t o th e fain tin g gl o o m ;

B ut e e t h e c omi g t e r o r s c om e
, r n r ,

T h ou w ak s t w h e e i s t h e to mb

r

T h ou w ak s t th e d e ad o n es s mi l e ab ov e

,

With h ov erin g arms of s l eep l es s l ov e .


S he p aused ; the n sang ag ai n

W e w eep f gl or adn es s , w ee pf or gri ef ;


t ear s th ey ar e th e s am e ;
Th e

W e s i gh for l o gin g a d r eli ef ;


n , n

T h e si h s h avg eb ut o n e n am e .

A n d mi n gl ed in th e d yin g t ife
s r

t t are ot ad ;
A r e m e an s h a n s

Th e p an g s of d eath ar e th rob s o f l ife ,

It s s i gh s are s o m etim e s g l ad .

Th e fa c e i s v ery stra ge a d w hi te n n

I t i s E arth s o l y s p o t

n

T h at feebly fli ck e s b ack th e ligh t r

T h e li i n g s ee th n ot

v .

I fell aslee p an d sle p t a dreamless slee p fo r I k n ow n ot


,

h ow lon g. W he n I awoke I fou n d that my hostess had


moved from where sh e had bee n sittin g an d n ow sat b e ,

twee n me and the fourth door I g uessed that her design .

was to p reve n t my enterin g there I s prang from t he .


A EAE RI E R O MANCE .
2
21

couch and darted past her to the door I O p e n ed it at


, .

o nce and went ou t A ll I remember is a cry of distress


.

from the woman : Don t go there my child ! Don t go


“ ’
,

there But I was gone .

I k n ew nothin g more ; or if I did I had forgot it all ,

when I awoke to conscious n ess lyin g on the fl o or Of the ,

cottage with my head in the lap of the woman who was


, ,

w eeping over me and stroking my hair with both hands ,

talkin g to me as a mother might talk to a sick an d Sleep


ing or a dead child A s soon as I looked up and saw her
.
.
,

s h e smiled through her tears ; smiled with withered face

a d young eyes till her countenance was ir radiated wit h


n ,

the lig ht O f the smile Then sh e bathed my head and face


.

and han ds in an icy cold colorless liquid which smelt a


, ,

little O f damp earth Immediately I was able to s it up


. .

S he rose and p ut some food before me Whe n I had .

eate n she said


,

Listen to me my child You must leave me di



,
.

rectl
y

Leave you I said I am s o happy with you I
.

.

never was SO hap py in my life .


But you must go She rejoin ed sadly
,
” “
Listen ! ,
.

What do you hear ?



I hear the sou n d as Of a great throbbing of water .

A h ! you do hear it ? Well I had t ogo through that ,

do o r —
t h e do o r Of the Timeless ! and s h e shuddered as


She p ointed to the fourth door ! to find you ; for if I — “
2
22 PHA N TA STE S

had n ot g on e you would n ever have e n te r ed ag ai n ; and b e


cause I went the waters around my cottage will rise and
,

r ise an d flow and come till they build a great fi mam e t


, ,
r n

Of waters ove r my dwelling But as long as I kee p my .

fire burnin g they cann ot e n te r I have fuel enou g h for


,
.

years ; an d after one year they will si nk away again and ,

be just as they we r e befo r e you came I have n ot bee n .

buried fo r a hun dr ed years n ow An d Sh e smiled an d .


we p t .


Alas alas ! I cried I have brou g ht this evil on

.

the best an d ki n dest O f frien ds wh o has filled my heart with ,

g reat gifts .

DO n ot thi n k Of that she rejoi n ed I can bear it


,

.

very well You will come back to me some day I know


.
,
.

But I be g you for my sake my dear child to do on e


, , ,

thing In whatever sorrow you may be howeve r incon


.
,

solable and irremediable it may appear believe me that , ,

the Old woman i n the cottag e with th e young eyes ! a n d ,

sh e smiled ! knows something though Sh e must n ot



, ,

always tell it that would quite satisfy you about it eve n


, ,

i n the worst mome nts Of your distress N ow you must .

77
go
But how can I go if the waters ar e all about an d if
, ,

the doors all lead i n to other r egion s an d othe r worlds ?


This is n ot an islan d she replied “
but is joined to
,

the lan d by a narrow n eck ; and for the doo r I will lead ,

you myself through the right on e .



22
4 PHA N TA STE S

XX .

Th ou t n o fam e ; th at w h ich th ou di d s t lik e go od


h ad s

W a b t t h y app etit th at w ay e d t h y bl o o d
s u e s

F r tha
o t tim e t o th e b e t ; f r as a bl a t s o s

T h at th o gh a h ou e c o m es u s u ally d o th c as t
r u s ,

Thi g s o u t O f o d e y et b y c h a c e m ayc om e
n r r, n

A n d bl o w s o m o e thi n g t h i s p o p er r o o m
e n o r ,

S o di d t h y app ti t a d t t h y z al
e e, n no e ,

S w ay th ee b y ch an c e t o d s o m e o e th in g w e ll o n .

FL E T C HE R S F a i thf l S h ep h e ’
u r d es s .

The bl e h art th at h a b o u s tu u s th ou gh t
no r r v er o ,

A d i w i th c h il d
n s f gl o i great in ten t
e o r ou s ,

Ca e e
n n vt till it fo th h a e b u gh t
r re s , un r v ro

T h e t e n all b o o d o f gl o i e e xc ll e t

r r ,
r e n .

S P EN S E R Th e F ae i e Qu . r een e.

I HA D n ot gon e very far before I felt that the turf b e


neath my feet was soaked w ith the rising waters But I .

reached the isthmus i n safety It was rocky and SO much .


,

higher than the level of the penin sula that I had plenty
of time to cro ss I s aw on each Side Of me the water risin g
.

rapidly altogether without wind or violent motion or


, , ,

broken waves b t as if a slow strong fire were glowing


,
u ,

beneath it A scending a steep acclivity I fo nd myself at


.
,
u

las t i n an Op en rocky country A fter travelling for some


,
.
A FAER I E R O MAN C E . 22
5

h ou rs ,as n early i n a straight li n e as I could I arrived at a


lonely tower built o n the top Of a little b ill which ever
, ,

looked the whole n eighborin g country A s I app roached .


,

I heard the clang Of an a n vil ; and SO rapid were the b l ow s


that I des paired of making myself heard till a pause i n the
work Should e n sue It was some min utes before a cessa
.

tio n took p lace ; but whe n it did I k n ocked loud l y and , ,

h ad n ot lo ng to wait ; for a moment afte r the door was


, .

p artly o p e n ed by a n oble looking youth half un dressed


-

.
,
-
,

glowing with heat an d begrimed with the blackness Of the


,

forg e In on e hand he held a sword so lately from the


.
,

furn ace that it yet shone with a dull fire As so on as he .

saw me he threw the door wide Open and standing aside


, ,
, ,

i n vited me very cordially to enter I did so when b e .

shut an d bolted the door m ost carefully an d the n le d the ,

way i n wards He brou g ht me into a rude hall which


.
,

seemed to occupy almost the whole O f the ground fl oor Of ’

the little tower and which I s aw was n ow being used as a


,

worksho p A h ge fire reared on t h e hearth beside


. u ,

which was an anvil By the anvil stood in similar u n


.
,

dress and i n a waitin g attitude hammer i n han d a second


, , ,

youth tall as the former but far more Slig htly built R e
,
.

versing the usual course of p erception i n such meetings I ,

thought them at first sight very unlike ; and at the sec


, , ,

on d glance knew that they were brothers The former


,
.
,

an d apparently the elder was muscular and dark with


, ,

curling hai r and larg e hazel eyes which sometimes g rew


, ,
226 P HA N TA STE S

wondrously soft The sec ond was sle nder an d fair yet
.
,

with a c ountenance like an eagl e and an eye which though , ,

pa l e blue sh one with an alm ost fierce expression He


,
.

stood erect as if l ooking from a lofty mountain crag over


,

a vast plain outstretched below A s s oon as we entered .

the hall the elder t rned to me and I saw that a gl ow Of


,
u ,

satisfactio n shone o n both their faces To my surprise and .

great pleas re he addressed me thus


u ,

Brother will you sit by the fire and rest till we finis h
, ,

this part O f o ur wo rk ?
I signified my assent and resolved to await a y dis , ,
n

cl sure they might be inclined to make seated myself i n


o
,

Silence near the hearth .

Th eelder bro ther then laid the sword i n the fire covered ,

it well over and when it had attained a sufficient degree Of


,

heat drew it ou t and laid it o the anvil moving it car e


,
n ,

f l ly about while the younger with a succession o f quick


u , , ,

smart blows appeared either to be welding it or hammer


, ,

ing one part of it to a consenting shape with the rest :


Having finished they laid it caref lly in the fire ; and
,
u
,

when it was very hot indeed plunged it into a vessel full ,

of some liquid whe n ce a blue flame Spran g upwards as the


,

glowing steel entered There they left it and drawing


.
, ,

two stools to th e fire sat down on e on e ach side Of me


, ,

.


We are very glad to s ee you brother We have bee n ,
.

expecting you for some days said the dark haired youth ,
” -
.


I am p roud to be called your b rother I rejoin ed ; ,

228 PHA N TA STE S

p easants became yet more uneasy after one who had con , ,

cealed himself and watched all night in the neighborhood


, ,

Of the castle reported that he had seen in f ll mo onlight


, ,
u
,

the three huge giants w ork ing with might and main all ,

ni ght l ong restoring to their former p osition some massive


,

stones formerly steps Of a grand turnpike stair a great


, ,

portio n Of which had long since fallen along with part of ,

the wall of the ro nd tower i n which it had been b ilt


u u .

This wall they were completing foot by feet al ong with


, ,

the stair B t the people said they had no just pretext for
. u

interfering ; a l th ough the real reason for letting the giants


alone was that everybody was far to o much afraid Of them
,

to interrupt them .


At length with the help Of a n eighborin g quarry the
, ,

whole O f the external wall of the castle was fini shed An d .

n o w the country folks were in greater fear tha n before .

But for several years the giants remained very peacef l u .

The reason Of this was afterwards supp osed to be the fact


that they were di stantly related to several good people in
the c ountry ; for as long as these lived they remained
, ,

quiet ; but as soon as they were all dead t h e real nature


Of the giants broke out Having completed the outside Of
.

their castle they proceeded by sp oiling the country houses


, ,

around them to make a quite luxurious provision for their


,

comfort within A flairs reached such a pass that the news


.
'

Of the ir robberies came to my father s ears ; but he alas ; ’


,

was so c r i pp led i n his r esour ce s by a war h e was carrying


,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 229

on with a neighboring prince that he could only Spare a ,

very few men t o attempt t h e capt re Of their stronghold u .

Up on these the giants iss ed in the night and slew every u


,

man Of them A nd ow grown bolder by s ccess and


. n
,
u

impunity they no l onger confined their depredations t o


,

property but began to sei z e the persons o f their distin


,

uis h ed neighbors knights and ladies and ho l d them in


g , ,

d rance the misery Of which was heightened by all manner


u
,
i

o f indignity until they were rede emed by t h eir f ie ds at


,
r n

an ex orbitant ransom M any knights have advent red . u

their overthro w b t to their own instead for they have all


,
u

been slai or captured or forced to make a hasty retreat


n, ,
.

TO cro wn their enormities if any man n ow attempts their ,

destructi on they immediately upon his defeat p t o e or


, , ,
u n

more Of their captives t o a shameful death on a t rret in ,


u

Sight of a l l passers by ; SO that they have been m ch less mo


— u

lested of late ; and we altho gh we have b rn ed fo years


,
u u ,
r ,

t o attack these demons an d destr oy them dared ot for the ,


n ,

sake o f their captives risk the advent re before we sh o ld


,
u ,
u

have reached at least our earliest manhood N ow h ow .


,

ever we are preparing for the attempt ; and the gro nds
,
u

of this preparation are these Having only the resolution .


,

and not the experience n ecessary for the undertaking we


, ,

went a n d consulted a lonely woman Of wisd om wh o lives ,

n ot very far from here in the direction of the quarter from


,

which you have c ome S he rec eived us most kindly and


.
,

g ave us what se ems to us the best Of advice S he first .


230 PHA N TA STE S

inquired what experience we had had in arms W e told her .

we had been well exercised from o ur b oyhood and for some ,

years had kept ourselves in constant practice with a view ,

to this necessity .

But you have n ot actually fou g ht for life and death ?


said s he .

We were forced to confess we had n ot .

SO much the better in s o me respects sh e replied ,



.


N ow listen to me
,
GO first and w ork with a n armorer
:
,

for as long time as you find needful t o obtain a kn owledge


o f his craft ; which will not be long seeing yo ur hearts ,

will be all in the w ork Then go t o some lonely tower


.
,

y ou two al o ne R e c eive no visits fro m man or woman


. .

There forge for yourselves every piece O f armor that you


wish to wear or to use in your coming enc o unter And
,
.

keep up your exercises A s however two o f you can be


.
, ,
'

n o match for the three giants I will find you if I can a , , ,

third brother who will take on himself the third share Of


,

the fight and the preparation Indeed I have already .


,

seen o e who will I think be the very man for your


n , , ,

fellowship but it will be some time before he comes to me .

He is wandering now without an aim I will Show him to .

you in a glass and whe n he comes you will know him at


, , ,

once If he will Share your endeavors you must teach


.
,

him all you know and he will repay you well in present
, ,

song and in f ture deeds


,
u .

S he Opened the door of a curious O ld cabinet that stood


232 P HA N TA STE S

This was all the c ompact made ; the brothe rs required


nothing m ore and I did not think of giving anything m ore
,
.

I r ose and threw off my upper garments


,
.

I kno w the uses Of the s word I said



I am ,

.

ashamed of my white hands beside yours SO nobly soiled


and hard ; b t that shame w ill so on be wiped away
u .

N 0 n o ; we will not w o rk t o day


,
R est is as needful-
.

as toil Bring the wine brother ; it is your turn to serve


.
,

to day
— .

The younger brother soon covered a t able with r o gh u

viands but good wine ; and we ate and drank heartily b e


,

side Our work Before the m eal was over I had learned
.
,

all their story E ach had som ething in his heart which
.

made the conviction that he wo ld Victorio sly perish in


,
u u

the coming con fl ict a real sorr ow t o him O therwise they


,
.

thought they would have lived en o gh The causes Of u .

their trouble were respectively these


W hi l e they wrought with an arm orer in a city famed ,

for w orkmanship in steel and Silver the elder had fallen i n , ,

love with a lady as far beneath him i n real rank as s h e


,

was ab o ve the s t at io h e had as apprentice t o an arm o rer


'

n .

N or did he seek t o f rther his sui t by dis covering himself ;


u

b t there was Simply so much manhood abo t h i m that no


u u

one ever tho ght of rank when in his company This is


u .

what his brother said about i t The lady co ld not help . u

loving him in return He told her when he left her that


.
, ,

he had a p erilous adventure before him an d that when it ,


A FAER I E R O MAN C E . 233
U

was achieved sh e would either see him return to claim he r


, ,

or hea r that he had died w ith h o nor The younger broth .

er s grief arose from the fact that if they were both Slain

, ,

his O ld father the kin g would be childless His love for


, , .

his father was so exceeding that to on e un able to sympa ,

thize with it it would have appeared extravagant


,
B oth .

loved him equally at heart ; but the love of the youn ger
had been m ore developed because his thoughts and an xie
,

ties had not bee n otherwise occupied W hen at home he .

h ad b een his constant companion and of late had mm s


.

,
l

t e ed to the in firmities of his growing age


r The youth was .

n ever weary Of listening to the tales of his sire s youthful ’

adve n tures and had not yet in the smallest degree lost
,

the conviction that his father was t he greatest man in the


world The grandest triumph possible to his conception
.

was to return to his father laden with the spoils of on e Of


, ,

the hated giants But they both were i n some dread lest
.
,

the thought O f the loneliness Of these two might occur to


them i n the m oment whe n decisio n was most necessary ,

and dist rb in some degree the self possession req isite for
u , ,
- u

the success Of their attempt F or as I have s aid they .


, ,

were yet untried i n ac tual conflict N ew th ought I .



,

,

I see to what the p owers O f my gift must minister F or .


my own part I did not dread death for I had nothing to


, ,

care to live for ; but I dreaded the encounter beca se of u

th e r es p onsibility co n nected with it I res olved h owever .


, ,

to work hard and thus g r ow cool a n d quick a n d forceful


, , ,
.
234 P HA N TA STE S

The time passed away in work an d son g in talk an d ,

ramble in friendly fight and bro therly aid I w o uld not


,
.

forge for myse l f armor Of heavy mail like theirs for I was ,

n o t SO powerful as they and depended more for any success ,

I might secure upon nimbleness of motion cer tainty O f


, ,

eye and ready response Of hand Therefore I began to


,
.
,

make for myself a shirt of steel plates and rings ; which


work while more troublesome was better suited to me than
,

the heavier labor Much assistan ce did the brothers give


.

me even after by their instructions I was able to make


, , ,

some progress alone Their work was i n a moment aban .

don ed to render any required aid to mine


,
A s the O ld .

woman had p romised I tried to repay them with song ; ,

and many were the tears they both shed over my ballads
and dirges The songs they liked best to h ear were two
.

which I made for them They were n ot half s o go od as .

many others I knew especially some I had learned from ,

the wise woman i n the cottag e ; but what comes n earest to


o ur needs we like the best .

I .

Th e
ki g n s at o n t
hi s hr o n e ,

Gl o w in g i g ld
n o an d r e d ;
Th e c r ow n in h i s ri gh t h an d s h o n e ,

A n d th e g r ay h air s c r own ed hi s h e ad .

Hi s on ly s on wa lk s in ,

A nd in w a ll
t l h e ta d s
s of s ee s n


Mak e m O fath e t o g t o w i
e, r, s r n n,

W ith th e b l es in g o f h o ly h an d s
s .

236 P HA N TA STE S

S ur e y l s om e g o od i n m e h er e lay, t
To b g t th e bl
e e no e on e .

Th e old m an l
s mi e d li k e a w in ter d ay ,

A n d fe ll b e side hi s s on .

II .

O l ady , th y l ev er i s d e ad ,

th ey cried ;
He i s d ead , b u t h a h t l ai
s n t h e fo e ;

He h ath l eft hi s n am e to b e m a g ifin ed

In a son g of w o n d er an d w o e .

Al as ! I amll ep aid s aid h e


we r ,

s ,

W ith a p ai n th at s ti g l ik e j oy ; n s

F o r I fea e d f o m h i t en d e n es s to me
r , r s r ,

T hat h e w as b u t a feeb l e b oy .

N ow I ll h o l d my h ead o n h igh
sh a ,

Th e q u een am o g m y k i d n n .

If y e h e a a s d t i o ly a igh

r oun , s n s

F o a g l o y l eft b eh in d

r r .

The first three times I sang these songs they both wept
passionately But aft er the third time they wept n o more
. .

Their eyes shone and their faces grew p ale but they n ever
, ,

wep t at any of my song s agai n .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 237

! ! I .

l
I p u t my ife i n t h y h an d s .

Th e B oo k f
o Ju d g es .

AT le n gth with much toil and equal delight our armor


, ,

was finished W e armed each other and tested the strength


.
,

of the defence with many blows Of loving force I was in


,
.

ferior i n strength to both my brothers but a little m o re ,

agile than either and upon this agility joined to preC s on ,


1 1

in hitting with the p oint O f my weapon I grounded my ,

h opes of success in the ens ing combat I likewise la u .

b ored t O devel op yet more the keenness Of sight with which


I was nat rally gifted ; and from the remarks Of my com
u ,

panions I so on learned that my endeavors were n ot i n


,

vain.

The morning arrived on which we had determin ed to


make the attempt and succeed or perish ,
perhaps both ,

.

We had resolved t o fight o foot kn owi g that the mishapn ,



n
,

of many of the knights wh o had made the attempt had r e ,

s ult ed from the fright o f their horses at the appearance

o f the giants and believing with S ir Gawain that though


, , ,

mare s sons might be fa l se to us the earth would never



,

prove a traitor But most of o ur preparations we re i n


. ,

their immediate aim at least frustrated ,


.
238 PHA N TA STE S

We rose that fatal morning by daybreak We h ad


, ,
.

rested fro m al l lab o r the day before and ow were fresh as ,


n

the lark We bathed in c old spring water an d dressed


.
,

o rselves in clean garments w ith a sense Of preparation as


u ,

f r a s o lemn festivity
o When we had broken o r fast I
. u ,

t oo k an Old lyre which I had found in the tower and had


,

myself repaired and sung for the last time the two ballads
,

o f which I have said S O m ch already I followed the m u .

with this for a closing s ong


,

O h, we ll fo r h im wh o b r ea k s h i s d re am

W i th th e bl o w th at en d th e t ife ; s s r

A n d, wa ki g k w t h p eac e th at fl
n , no s e ow s

A ro u n d t h e p ai o f l ife ! n

W e ar e d e ad , m y b o th
r er s ! O ur b o di cl a p
es s ,

A l b t;
s an ar m o r , o u r s o u s a o u

Th is h a d i t h b attl e ax I g a p
n s e - e r s ,

A n d th i m y h amm e
s to t r s u .

F e ar n o t , my b o th e s r r , fo r w e ar e d e ad ;

N o n o is e ca b ak n re o ur r e s t;
Th e c alm of th e g r av e is ab o u t t h e h e ad ,

A nd t h e h e ar h e av e s t n o t t h e b e as t r .

A nd life w e th ow t o ou r p eo p le b ack
ou r r ,

T o l i e w i th a f th er t o e ;
v , ur s r

W e l ea e i t th e m t h at th e b e n o l ac k
v , re

I th e la d w h e e w li
n n o mo e r e ve n r .

O h, we ll f or k s h is d ream
hi m w h o b r ea

Wi th t h bl w th at d t h e s t i fe ;
e o en s r

An d w ak i g k o w s t h e p e ac e th at fl ow s
, n , n

A roun d th e n o is e of life
240 PHA N TA STE S

in a visible and accessible p art I stood till he came near .

enough to aim a blow at me with the mace which has been , ,

in all ages the favorite weap o n of giants when of c ourse


, , , ,

I leaped aside and let t he blow fall pon the spot where I
,
,
u

had been standing I ex p ected this would strain the joints


.

Of his armor yet more F ull O f fury he made at me .


,

agai n ; but I ke p t him busy con stantly eluding his blows ,

and hop ing thus to fatigue him He did not seem t o fear .

any assault from me and I attempted none as yet ; b t


,
u

while I watched his motions in order to avoid his blows , ,

I at the same time kept equal watch upon those joints


, ,

of his armor through some on e o f which I hoped to reach


,

his l ife A t length as if somewhat fatigued he pa sed a


.
, ,
u

moment and drew himself slightly up ; I bo nded forward


,
u ,

foot and hand ran my rapier right through to the armor


,

o f his back let go the hilt and passing under his right
, ,

arm turned as he fell and flew at him wi th my sabre A t


, ,
.

on e happy blow I divided the band o f his helmet which ,

fell off and all owed me with a second cut across the eyes
, , ,

to blind him quite ; after which I clove his head and ,

turned u n inj red to see how my brothers had fared


,
u ,
.

Both the giants were down ; but so were my brothers I .

flew first to the on e and the n to the other c ouple Bot h .

pairs of combatants were dead and yet locked together as , ,

in the death struggle The elder had buried his battle axe
-
.
-

in the b ody of his fee and had falle n beneath him as he


,

fell The gian t had stran gled him i n his own death
.
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 2
41

a gonies The younger had n early hew n O ff t h e left leg of


.

"
hi s enemy ; and grappled with in the act had while they
, , ,

r olled together on the earth fo nd for his dagger a passage ,


u

betwixt the gorget and cuirass of the giant and stabbed him ,

mortally in the threat The blood from the giant s t hreat .


was yet pouring over the han d of his fee which still ,

grasped the hilt Of the dagger sheathed i n the w ound .

They lay silent I the least wor t hy remained the sole


.
, ,

survivor in the lists .

A s I st oo d exhausted amidst the dead after the first ,

worthy deed of my life I suddenly looked behind me and , ,


t h er e lay the S hadow black in the sunshine I went into .

the lonely tower and there lay the useless armor O f the
,

n oble youths supine as they A h how s ad it looked !


,

.
,

It was a glorious death but it was death My s ongs could .

n ot comfort me now I was almost ashamed that I was .

alive whe n they the true hearted were n o more And


, ,
-
,
.

yet I breathed freer to think that I had gone through the


trial and had not failed And perhaps I may be forgi e n
,
. v

if some feelings of pride arose in my bosom when I l oked ,


o

dow n o n the mighty form that lay dead by my hand .


A fter all however I said to myself and my heart
, ,

,

sank ,
it was o n ly skill Your giant was but a

.

blunderer .

I left the bodies Of friends and foes peacef l enough u

when the death fight was over and hastening to the


-
, ,

coun try below roused the peasants They came with


,
.
242 P HA N TA STE S

sho uting and gladness bringing wagons to c arry the bodies


, .

I resolved to take the princes home to their father each as ,

he lay in the arms of his co ntry s foe But first I searched


,
u

.

the giants and fo nd the keys Of their castle to which I


u
,

repaired followed by a great company of t he people It


,
.

was a place o f wonderful strength I released the prisoners


.
,

knights and ladies all i n a s ad condition from the cruelties


,

and neg l ec ts Of the giants It hu mbled me to s ee them


.

crowding ro nd me with th anks when in tr th the glorious


u ,
u

brothers lying dead by their l onely tower were those to


, ,

whom the thanks belonged I had but aided in carrying


.

o u t the th o ught b o rn in their brain and uttered i n visible ,

f rm before ever I laid hold thereupon Yet I did count


o .

myself happy to have been chosen for their brother i n this


great deed .

A fter a few hours Spent i n refreshin g an d clothin g the


prisoners we all commenced our j ourney tow ards the
,

capital This was Slow at first ; but as the strength and


.

Spirits of the pris oners returned it became more rapid and


, ,

in three days we reached the palace of the king A s we .

entered the city gates with the huge bulks lying each on
,

a wagon drawn by horses and two Of the m inextricably


,

intertwined with the dead bodies of their princes the people ,

raised a shout and then a cry and followed in multitudes


,

the s olemn procession .

I will n ot attempt to describe the behavior O f the grand


old ki n g . J oy a n d p ride i n his son s overcame his sorro w
244 P HA N TA STE S

which I had not seen all the time that I was at work in the
tow er E ven in the society Of the ladies of the court w h o
.
,

seemed to think it only their duty t o make my stay there


as pleasant to me as possible I c o ld not help being c on
,
u

scious Of its presence altho gh it might not be annoying me



,
u

at the time At length some what w eary of uninterrupted


.
,

pleasure and nowise strengthened thereby either in b ody


,

or mind I put on a splendid suit O f armor of steel inlaid


,

with silver which the Old king had given me and mo nt


, , ,
u

ing the horse on which it had bee n bro ght t o me took my


u
,

leave o f the palace to visit the distant city in which the


,

lady dwelt who m the elder prince h ad l o ved I anticipated.

a sore task in co n veying to her the news of his gl orio s


,
u

fate ; but this trial was spared me in a manner as strange


,

as anything that had happen ed to me in F airy lan d -


.
A FAER I E R O M ANCE . 2
45

XX II .

N ieman d h at mein e G t lt es a al s d e r Ich .

S ch op p e, in JEAN PA L U

S Ti t an .

N o one h as my form b ut th e I .

J ’
oy s a s u b til lf e .

t
I hi n k ma ’
n s pp i t w h h
ha es en e f g t him l f
or e s se .

C YR L T
I RNE R
O U U . Th e R even g er s

Tr ag ed y .

O N the third day O f my journey I was ridin g gently


alon g a road a pp arently little frequen ted to judge from
, ,

the grass that grew u p on it I was approaching a forest . :

E verywhere in F airy land forests are the places where on e


-

may most certainly expect adve n tures A s I dr ew n ear a .


,

youth unarmed g entle and beautiful who had just cut a


, , , ,

branch from a yew g rowing on the Skirts Of the w ood evi ,

den tly t O make himself a bow met me an d th us accosted , ,

me
S ir knight be careful as thou rides t through this fo r
,

est ; for it is said to be strangely enchanted in a sort which ,

even th ose wh o have bee n witnesses of its e nchan tment can


hardly describe .

I thanked him for his advice which I promised to follow , ,

an d r ode on .But the mome n t I e nte red the wood it


2
46 P HA N TA STE S

seemed to me that if en chantment there was it must be of


, ,

a good kind ; fo the shadow which had been more than


r
,

us ally dark and distressing since I had set out on this


u

jo rney s ddenly disappeared I felt a wonderful eleva


u ,
u .

tion Of Spirits and began to reflect on my past life and


, ,

especially on my c ombat with the giants with such satis ,

faction that I had actually to remind myself that I had only


,

killed one of them ; and that but for the brothers I sho ld
, ,
u

never have had the idea of attacking them n ot to mention ,

the smallest power Of standing to it S till I rejoiced and .


,

counted myself amongst the glorious knights Of old having


even the unspeakable presumption my shame and self —

condemnation at the memory Of it a r e such that I write it


as the only and s orest p enance I can perform to think Of
myself ! will the world believe it ! as side by side with S ir ?

G alahad ! S carcely had the thought been born in my


mind when approaching me from the left through the
, , ,

trees I espied a resplendent knight of mighty si z e whose


, , ,

armor seemed to shine O f itself without the sun W hen he,


.

drew near I w as astonished to see that this armor was like


,

my o wn ; n ay I could trace line for line the correspond


, , ,

ence Of the inlaid Silver to the device on my own His .

horse too was like mine in color form and motion ; save
, , , ,

that like his rider he was greater and fiercer than his
, ,

co nterpart The knight rode with beaver u p A S he


u . .

halted right Opposite to me i n the narrow path barring my ,

way I s aw the r e fl ectio n Of my cou n te n a n ce i n the ce n tre


,
2
48 PHA N TA STE S

r oom to squeeze past it i n order to e n te r On e miserable .

squar e hole in the roof was the only visible sug gestion of a
window Turret or battlement or projectin g mason ry Of
.
,

any kind it had n one C lear and smooth an d mas sive, it


,
.

rose from its base an d ended with a li n e straight an d nu


,

broke n The rO O f carried to a ce n tre from each Of t he


.
,

four walls r ose slightly to the p oint whe re the rafters met
,
i
.

R ound the base lay several little heaps of either bit s of


broke n bran ches withered and peeled or half white n ed
, ,
-

bon es I could n ot distinguish which A s I a pproached


,
.
,

the ground sou n ded hollow beneath my horse s hoofs T he ’


.

knight took a g reat key from h is pocket and r eachin g p ast ,

the stem Of the tree with some diflicult y Ope n ed the door
,
.

Di smount he commanded I obeyed He turned my .


.

horse s head away from the towe r g ave him a terrible



,

blow with the flat side Of his sword a n d se nt him madly ,

tearing through the forest .

N ew said h e e n te r an d take your com p an io n with




, ,

you .

I looked roun d : knig ht and horse had van ished and b e ,

hind me lay the horrible shadow I entered for I could .


,

n ot help myself ; and the Shadow followed me I had a .


.

terrib l e convictio n that the k n ight an d he were one The .

door closed behind me .

N o w I was indeed in pitiful p li ght There was literally .

n othing in the tower but my shado w an d me The walls .

r ose right up to the roof i n which as I had see n from ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 2
49

witho t there was one little square Ope n in g This I now


u
,
.

knew to be the only window the tower p ossessed I sat .

down on the floor in listless wretchedness I think I must .

have fallen asleep an d have slept for hours ; for I su d


,

den ly became aware of existe n ce in Observing that the


moon was shining through the hole i n the roof A s Sh e .

r ose higher and higher her li g ht cre p t down the wall o ver,

me till at last it shone right up on my head Instantane


,
.

o u sl
y the walls of the tower seemed to vanish away like a

mist I sat be n eath a beech on the edge of a forest and


.
, ,

the Open country lay i n the m oonlight for miles and mile s
, ,

around me spotted with glimmering houses and Spires and


,

towers I thought with myself O h joy ! it was only a


.
, ,

dream ; the horrible n arrow waste is gone and I wake b e


, ,

neath a beech tree p erhaps on e that loves me and I ca n


-
, ,

go where I will I rose as I thought and walked about


.

, , ,

an d did what I would but ever kept near th e tree ; fo r ,


/

always and O f course Since my meeting with the woman


, , ,

o f the beech tree far more than ever


- I loved that tree ,
.

SO the night were on I waited for the s un to rise before


.
,

I could venture to renew my journey But as soon as the .

first faint light Of the dawn appeared instead of Shining ,

upon me from the eye of the mornin g it stole like a faint ,

ing ghost through the litt l e square hole above my head ;


and the walls came ou t as the light grew and the glori ous ,

n ight was swallowed up of the hatefu l day The long .


,

dreary day passed My shadow lay black on the floor I


.
.
250 PHA N TA STE S

felt n o hunger n o n eed o f food The ni ght cam e T he


,
. .

m o on shone I watched her light Slowly descending the


.

wall as I might have watched adown the sky the long


, , , ,

swift ap proach of a helping angel H er rays touched me and .


,

I was free Thus night after n ight p assed away I should


. .

have died but fo r this E very night the con victio n returned
.

that I was free E very morning I sat w retchedly discon so


.

lat e A t len gth whe n th e course of the moon n o lon ger


.
,

p ermitted her beams to touch me the n ight was dreary as ,

the day Whe n I slept I was somewhat consoled by my


.
,

dr eams ; b u t all the time I dreamed I knew that I was ,

o nly dreaming B t o n e n ight at length the moon a


. u , , ,

mere shred of pallor scattered a few thin ghostly rays , , ,

upon me ; and I think I fell asleep an d dreamed I sat i n .

an autumn night before the vi n tage on a hill overl o oking


, ,

my own castle My heart s p ran g with joy O h to be a


. .
,

child again innocent fearless without Shame or desire ! I


, , ,

walked dow n to the c astle All were i n co ns ternation at .

my absence My sisters were wee p in g for my les s They


. .

Sprang up and clun g to me with incohere n t cries as I en , ,

t er ed My Old friend s came fl ockin g rou n d me A gray


. .

light shon e on the roof Of the hall It was the light O f the .

dawn shi nin g through the square window o f my tower .

M ore earn estly than ever I longed for freedom after this ,

dr eam ; more drearily than ever crept on the n ext wretched ,

day I measured by the sun beams caught throu g h the


, ,
252 PHA N TA STE S

Th e l ik e a g o l d en k o t o n hi gh
s un , n ,

G ath e t h e gl ori es of t h ky
rs e s ,

A d b i d th e m i t o a h i i g t en t
n n s n s n n ,

R o o fi g t h e w o l d wi th th e fi m am e t
n r r n .

A n d thr o u gh t h e p a i li t h e ri c h w i d s b l ow
v on n ,

A d th o gh t h e p a ili n t h e w at e s g o
n r u v o r .

A d th e b i d s fo r j oy a d t h e tree s fo r p ray er
n r , n ,

B ow i g th eir h e ad s i n th e s u y air
'

n nn ,

A d fo r th o gh t s t h e g tly t alki g s p i g
n u , en n r n s,

T h at c o m e f o m t h e c e t e w i th e c e t thi n g s
r n r s r ,

A ll m ak e a m u i c g e t l e a d t o g

s , n n s r n ,

B ou d b y th e h e a t i t o e w e t o g
n r n o n s e s n .

A d am i d t th m al l t h e m o th er E ar th
n s e ,

S it s w i th t h e c h i l d e o f h r bi rt h ; r n e

S h e te d eth th em all a a m o th e h en
n , s r

Her l i ttl e o o d h er tw e l e o t e
n es r un , v r n

O ft h e i tteth w i th h a d s o kn ee
s s , n n ,

I d l w ith l o e fo h e fam i ly
e v r r ,

Go fo th t o h e f o m t h e d a k a d t h e d u s t
r r r r n ,

A d w e p b e id e h
n e if w e ep th o u m u s t ;
s er ,

I f h e m ay o t h o l d th e e t o h r b e as t
s n e r ,

Lik e a w ea y in fa t th at c i e fo res t ;
r n r s r

A t l eas t h e w ill p e s s th e e t o h er kn e e
s r ,

A n d t e ll a l ow s w ee t t al e t o th ee , ,

T il l t h e h e t o t h y c h eek an d th e li gh t t o thi n e eye


u , ,

Stren g th t o th y li mb a d c o rage hi gh s, n u

T o th y fain tin g h e a t t am ain r , r e ur n ,

A d aw ay t o w o k th o u g o e s t ag ai
n r n.

F om t h e n a ow d es e t 0 m an O f p ide
r rr r , r ,

C om e i t o t h e h ou se s o hi gh a d wi d e

n , n .

Hardly knowing what I did I ope n ed the door ,


. Why h ad
I not don e so before ? I do not k n ow .
A FAER I E R O MANCE .
253
A t first I could see no but when I had forced my on e ;
se l f past the tree which grew across the entrance I s aw , ,

seated on the ground and leaning against the tree with


, ,

her back t o my prison a beautif l woman Her c ou te , u . n

nance seemed known to me and yet u nknow n S he looked , .

u
p at me and smiled when I made my appearance .


A h ! were you the prisoner there ? I am very glad I
have w iled you o t u .

DO you know me then ? ”

DO yo u o t know me ? But you hurt me a n d that I


n
, ,

supp ose makes it easy for a man to forget Yo u broke


,
.

my globe Yet I thank you Perhaps I owe you many


. .

thanks for breaking it I took the pieces all black and .


, ,

wet with crying over them to the F airy Queen There ,


.

was n o music and no light in them now But sh e took .

them from me and laid them aside ; and made me go to


,

Sleep in a great hall Of white w ith blac k pi l lars a d many , ,


n

red c rtains When I woke in the m orning I went to her


u .
, ,

h O pin g to have my globe again wh o le and sound ; but sh e ,

Sent me away without it and I have n ot seen it since ,


.

N or do I care for it n ow I have s omething SO much .

better I do n ot n eed the globe to play to me ; for I can


.

Sing I co ld not Sing at a l l before N ow I go about


. u
~
.

everywhe re through F airy land singing till my heart is -


,

like t o break j st like my globe for very j oy at my o wn


,
u ,

songs An d wherever I go my songs do good and deliver


.
,
254 PHA N rA e S

p eople An d n ow I have delive r ed you an d I am s o ,

hap py.

S he ceased an d the tears came into her eyes


, .

A ll this time I had been gazing at her and n ow fully


, ,

recogni z ed the face of the child glorified i n the coun te ,

nance o f the woman I was ashamed and humbled before


.

her ; but a great weight was lifted fro m my tho ghts I u .

knelt before her a n d than ked her an d begged her to for


, ,

give me .

R ise rise s h e said ; I have n othin g to forgive ; I “



, ,

thank you But now I must be gone for I do n ot k n o w


.
,

h ow many may be waiting for me here and there through , ,

the dark forests ; an d they cannot come out till I come .


S he rose and with a smile and a farewell t urned and


,

left me I dared n ot ask her t o stay ; i n fact I could


.

hardly Speak to her Betwee n her and me there was a .

gr eat gulf S he was uplifted by sorrow an d well doin g


.
,
-
,

into a region I co ld hardly h O pe eve r to enter I u .

watched her departure as on e watches a sunset S he went .

like a radiance throu g h the dark wood which was he n ce ,

forth bright to me from simply knowing that such a creatu re


,

w as i n it S he was bearing the s un to the unsunned s p ots


. .

The light and the music Of her broke n globe were n ow i n


her heart and her brain A s sh e went sh e sang and I .
, ,

caught these few words O f her song ; an d the tones seemed


t o linger and wind about the trees afte r She had dis

appeared :
256 P HA N TA STE S

better a thousand fold for a p roud man to fall an d be


,
-
,

humbled than to hold up his head in his pride and fancied


,

innocence I learned that he that w ill be a h ere will barely


.

be a man ; that he that will be n othing but a de er of his


work is sure of his manhood In nothin g was my ideal .

lowered or dimmed or grown less precious ; I only s aw


, ,

it too plainly to s et myself for a moment beside it Indeed


,
.
,

my ideal soo n became my life ; whereas formerly my life , ,

had consisted in a vai n attempt to behold if n ot my ideal ,

i n myself at least myself in my ideal N o w however I


,
.
, ,

took at first what perhaps was a mistaken pleasure i n


, , ,

despising an d degrading myself An other self seemed to .

arise like a white Spirit from a dead man from the d mb


, ,
u

an d trampled self of the past Do btless this self must . u

again die and be buried and again from its tomb s p ring
, , ,

a winged child ; but of this my history as yet bears n ot the


record S elf will come t O life even in the slaying Of self ;
.

but there is ever something deeper an d stronger than it ,

which will emerge at last from the un k n ow n abysses Of the


soul : will it be as a solemn gloom burning with eyes ?or a ,

clear morning after the rain ? or a smiling child that finds ,

itself n owhere and everywhere ? ,

13
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 2
57

XX III .

ere ct e d th o gh t u , s ea ed t in a h e ar t ofc o rte y u s .

S IR PH L S DNEY
I IP I .

A t att cti ki d e f g ac
s w ee , ra ve n o r e,

A f ll a
u a c gi e b y l o ok es
s sur n e v n ,

C o t i all c o m f t i a fac
n nu or n e,

Th e li e am t nf G s p ll b o o k
en s o o e es .

SP EN E S R , on S i r P h i lip S i d n ey .

I HA D n ot gon e far for I had but just lost sight O f t h e


,

hated tower when a voice of another sort sounding near or


, ,

far as the trees pe rmitted o in t ercepted its passage reached


,
r
,

me . It was a full deep manly vo ice but withal c l ear and


, , ,

melodious N o w it b urst on the ear with a sudden swell


.
,

and anon dying away as s ddenly seemed t o come to me


,
u
,

across a great space N evertheless it drew nearer ; till at


.
,

last I could distinguish the words Of the song a d get tran ,


n

sient glimpses of the singer between the c ol mns of the u

trees He came nearer dawning up on me like a growing


.
,

tho ght He was a kni ght armed from head to heel


u .
, ,

m ounted u p on a strange l ooking beast wh o se form I could


-
,

n ot understand The words which I heard him Sin g were


.

like these
258 P HA N TA STE S :

H e art be s out t ,

A nd ey e be t ru e ;
G ood bl ad e out !

A nd il l sh a ll r u e.


C ou ra e , g h or s e !

T h o u l ac k s t

no s kill ;
W e ll t h y fo r ce
t
H a h m a h e d my w i tc ll .

F or t h e fo e ,

W i th fie ry br eath ,

At a bl ow ,

Is s till i n dea h t .

G tly
en , h ors e !

T r e ad fe ar l es s ly ;

Ti s h i s c ors e

T h at b u r de n s th ee .

Th e

s u n s ey e

fi c e at
Is er n o on ;

Th e d I n an

W i ll e t f ll r s u s o on .

A t g th
n d n ew s r e n

N ew w k w i ll m ee t ;or

T ill at l e g th
, n ,

L o g re s t i w e e t
n s s .

A nd now horse and rider had arrived n ear enough for


me to see fastened by the long n eck to the hinder part of
,

the saddle and trailing its hideous length on the ground


,

behind the body O f a great drago n It was no wonde r


, .
260 P HA N TA STE S :

he continued uncertai n of his suspicion N O d o bt he was . u

soon c onvinced Of its tr th ; but all the time I was with u

him not a w ord crossed his l ips with reference to what he


evidently c oncluded I wished t o leave unnoticed if not to ,

keep concealed .

S quire and knight should be friends said he ; can ,


ou take me by the hand ? A nd h e held o u t the great


y ,

ga ntleted right hand I grasped it willin gly and strongly


u . .

N o t a w ord more was said The knight gave the sign to .

his h orse which again beg an his slow march an d I walked


, ,

beside and a little behind .

W e had o t gone very far before we arrived at a little


n

cottage ; from which as we drew near a woman rushed o ut


, ,

with the cry :


My child my child have you found my child ?
I have fo nd her replied the knight ; b t s he is
u ,
” “
u

s orely hurt I w as forced to leave her w ith the hermit as


.
,

I ret rned You w i l l fi d her there and I think she will


u . n ,

get better Yo s ee I have brought you a present This


. u .

w retch w ill o t hurt you again A nd he undid the crea ”


n .

t re s neck and flung the frightful burden down by the


u

,

c ottage d oo r .

The w oman was n o w alm ost out of sight i n the w ood ;


b t the husband stood at the d oor with speechless thanks
u

in his face .

Yo m st bury the monster


u u said the knight If ,
.

I had arrived a m oment later I should have bee n too lat e ,


.
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 261

But now you need n ot fear for such a creature as this very ,

rarely appears in the same part twice during a l ifetime


, , .


Wi l l you not dism ount and rest yo S ir ! night ? u,

said the peasant who had by this time recovered himse l f


,
"

, ,

a little .


That I will thankf lly said he ; and dismo nting
,
u ,

,
u
,

he gave the reins to me and told me t o unbridle the horse


,

and lead him into t h e Shade Yo need not tie him p .



u u
,

he added ; he will n ot r n away



u .

When I returned after obeying his order s and entered the


, ,

cottage I saw the knight seated without his helmet and


, , ,

talking m ost fami l iar l y with the simple h ost I stood at .

the Open door for a moment and gaz ing at him in ward l y , , ,

j ustified the white lady in preferring h im t o me A nobler .

co ntenance I never saw Loving kindness beamed from


u .
-

every line Of his face It seemed as if he w o ld repay


. u

himself for the late arduo s combat by ind l ging in al l the


u u

gent l eness of a woman l y heart B t when the ta l k ceased . u

for a m o men t he seemed t o fall into a reverie


,
Then the .

exq isite c rves o f the pper lip vanished The l ip was


u u u .

lengthe ned and c ompressed at the same m oment You .

c ou l d have told that within the l ips the teeth were firm l y
, ,

closed The wh ole face grew stern and determined a l l


.
,

but fierce ; only the eyes burned o like a h oly sacrifice n ,

uplift on a granite rock .

The woman entered with her mangled chi l d in her arms


,
.

S he was p ale as her little burden S he gazed with a wild .


,
262 P HA N TA STE S

love and despairing tenderness o the still all but dead ,


n ,

face white and clear from loss of bl o d and terror


,
o .

The knight r ose The light that had been c onfined to


.

his eyes now sh one fro m h is wh ole co ntenance He to k u . o

the littl e thing i n his arms and with the mother s help , ,

,

undressed her and looked to her wo nds The tears fl owed


,
u .

down his face as he did so With tender hands b e bound .

them up kissed the pale cheek and gave her back t o her
, ,

mother When he went h o me all his tale w ould be of the


.
,

grief and j oy Of the parents ; while t o me wh o had l ooked ,

on the graci ous c untenance Of the armed man beamin g


,
o ,

fro m the panop l y of steel over the seemingly dead chi l d


, ,

while the powerf l hands t rned it and shifted it and


u u ,

bound it if p o ssible even m ore gently than the mother s


,

,

formed the centre of the story .

A fter we had partaken o f the best they c o ld give us u


,

the knight took his leave with a few parting instruction s


,

to the m other as t o h ow s h e should treat the chi l d


,
.

I bro ght the knight his steel held the stirr p while be
u u

m o nted and then follo wed him through the wood The
u ,
.

h orse delighted to be free of his hideo s load bo nded b e


,
u ,
u

neath the weight Of man and armor and c ould hard l y be ,

restrained fro m gall ping on But the knight made h im


o .

time his powers to mi ne and s o we went o n for an ho r or


,
u

two Then the knight dism o nted and c ompelled me to


. u ,

get into the saddle sayi n g ! night and squire must share
, ,

the labor fi ’
264 PHA N TA STE S

He l ooked at me for a moment in silence and the n ,

said
I canno t help w ondering how you know Of that ; but
there is s omething abo t yo q ite strange enough t o e
u u u n

title you t o the privilege Of the co ntry name l y to go u n


u , ,

questioned I h o wever being only a man s ch as you


.
, , ,
u

s ee me am ready t o tell you anything o like to ask me u


, y ,

as far as I can . The little beggar girl came into the hall -

where I was sitting and t old me a very c ri ous story


,
u
,

which I can only recol lect very vag ely it was s o pec l iar u ,
u .

What I can recall is that s h e was sent to gather wings


, .

A s soon as sh e had gathered a pair Of W ngs for herself s h e i


,

was to fly away she said to the country s h e came fro m ;


, ,

b t where that was s h e could give no informati on


u S he .

said s h e had to beg her wings from the butterflies and


moths ; and whenever she begged no one ref sed her ,


u .

B t She n eeded a great many of the wings Of b tterflies


u u

and moths to make a pair for her ; and so s h e had to


wander ab out day after day lo oking for butterflies and , ,

n ight after n ight looking for m oths and then she beg ged
,

for their wings . But the day before She had come into a ,

part of the forest She said where there were multitudes O f


, ,

Sp l endid butterflies flitting abo t with wings which were u ,

j st fit to make the eyes in the sh oulders Of hers ; and She


u

knew she could h ave as many of them as She liked for the
'

asking ; but as soon as she began to beg there came a ,

great creature right u p to he r and threw he r down an d , ,


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 265

walked over her When sh e got up sh e s aw the w ood was


.

f ll Of these beings stalking ab out an d seeming to have


u
,

n othing to do with each o ther A s soon as ever she began .

t o beg o e Of them walked over her


n till at last in dis
, ; ,

may and in growing horror Of the senseless creatures sh e


, ,

had r n away to look for s omebody t o help her I asked


u .

her what they were like S he said l ike great me made .


,
n,

o f wood without knee o r elb o w j o ints


, and with out any ,

noses or mon t h s o eyes in their faces I laughed at the


r .

little maiden thinking s he was making child s game O f me ;


,

but although she burst out la ghing t O O She persisted i n


, u
,

asserting the truth Of her story .

O nly come knight come and see ; I will lead


, ,

I armed myself to be ready for anything that


SO ,

might happen and followed the chi l d ; for th ough I c ould


, ,

make n othing of her st ory I could see she was a little ,

h man being in need Of some help or other A s she


u .

walked before me I looked attentively a t her Whether


,
.

or not it was from being s o Often knocked down and


w alked over I co ld n ot te l l but her clothes were very
,
u ,

much t orn and in severa l p l aces her white skin was peep
,

ing through I th ought s h e was h mpbacked ; but o


. u n

l ooking m ore cl osely I s aw through the tatters of her


, ,

frock do not laugh at me


,
a bunch on each sho lder ,
u ,

o f the most g o rge ous c ol o rs Lo oking yet m ore c l ose l y .


,

I s aw that they were of the shape Of folded wings and were ,


2
66 P HA N TA STE S

made Of all kinds O f b u tterfly wings and moth wings - -


,

crowded t ogether like the feathers on the indivi dual b tter u

fly pini on ; but like them most beautifu l l y arranged and


, , ,

prod cing a perfect harmony of color and Shade I could


u .

now m ore easily believe the rest Of her story ; especially as


I s aw every now and then a certain heaving motion i n the
, ,

wings as if they l onged to be uplifted and outspread B t


,
. u

beneath her scanty garments complete wings could not be


c oncealed and indeed from her own story they were yet
, , , ,

unfinished .

A fter walking for two or three hours ! h ow th e little


girl fo nd her way I could not imagine ! We came t o a part
u , ,

of the forest the very air Of which was q ivering with the
,
u

motions of multitude s Of resplendent butterflies as gor ,

ou s in color as if the eyes o f peacocks feathers had take n



e
g ,

to flight b t of infinite variety Of hue and form only that


,
u ,

the appearance Of s ome kind Of eye on each wing p edomi r

n at ed . There they are ! there they are cried the child



,

in a tone f victory mingled with terror E xcept for th is


o .

tone I sh o l d have th ought She referred to the b tterflies


,
u u ,

for I c o uld s ee nothing else B t at that m o ment an . u

enorm ous b tterfly whose wings had great eyes of bl e


u ,
u

surro nded by confused cloudy heaps Of m ore dingy c olor


u

ing just like a break i n the clouds on a stormy day


,
.

towards evening sett l ed near us The child instantly b e


,
.

gan m rm ring u Butterfl y b tterfly give me yo r


u ,

,
u ,

wings ; when the momen t after s he fell to the ground



, , ,
268 PHA N TA STE S

find however that I could n ow see him myself and won


, , ,

dered how they co ld have been invisible before I would


u .

n ot all o w him to walk over the child but whi l e I kept him
o ff and she be g an begging again another ap p eared
,
and it
,

was all I could do from the weight of my armor to pro


, ,

t ect her from the stupid persevering e fforts of the two


,
.

But suddenly the right plan occurred to me I tripped on e .

of them up a n d taking him by the le g s s et him up o n his


, , ,

head with his heels against a tree I was delighted to


,
.

find he could n ot m o ve M eantime the p oor child was


.

w alked over by the other but it was for the last time
,
.

Whenever o ne appeared I followed the same p lan


, ,

tripped him up and s et him on his head ; a n d so the little


beggar was able to gather her wing s without any trouble ,

which occ patio n sh e conti n ued for several hours i n my


u

company .


What became of her ? I asked .

I took her home with me to my castle and sh e told ,

me all her story but it seemed to me all the time as if I , ,

were hearing a child talk in its sleep I could not arrange .

her story in my min d at all although i t see med to leave


,

hers in some certai n order of its own My wife .

Here the knight checked himself and said n o more , .

N either did I urge the co n versatio n farther .

Thus we journeyed for several days resting at night i n ,

such shelter as we could get an d whe n n o better was to


,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 269

be had lying in the forest under some tree on a couch of


, ,

o ld l eave s .

I l o ved the knight more and more I believe never .

sq ire served his master with m ore care and j oyf l ness than
u u

I I tended his h ors e ; I cleaned his armor ; my skill i n


.

the craft enabled me to repair it when necessary ; I watched


his needs ; and was well re p aid for all by the love itself ,

W hich I b o re him .


This I said to myself is a true man I will
,

,

.

serve him and give him all w orship seeing in him the em
, ,

bodiment of what I w ould fain become If I cannot b e .

n oble myself I will yet be servant t o his n obleness


,
He .

,

in ret rn soon showed me such sig s of friendship and


u
,
n

respect as made my heart glad ; and I felt that after al l , ,

mine wo ld be no lost l ife if I might w ait on him to the


u
,

world s end alth o gh n o smile b t his sh ld greet me and



,
u u ou

n o o e b t him sh o uld s a Well d o ne ! b e was a good


“ ’
n u
y ,

ser ant ! at last B t I b rned to do s omething m ore


v

. u u

for him than the ordinary routine of a Squire s d ty per



u

mit t ed .

O ne aftern o on began to observe an appearance of


we

roads in the wood Branches had been c t d o wn and . u ,

o penings made w here fo tsteps had w o rn n o path bel o w


,
o .

These indications i creased as we passed o ti ll at length


n n , ,

w e c ame int o a l ong narr o w avenue formed by fe ll ing the


, ,

trees in its line as the remaining r oots evidenced A t


,
.

some little distance on both hands we observed signs of , ,


27 0 PHA N TA STE S

similar avenues which appeared to converge w ith our s


,

to wards on e sp ot Al ong these we i dis t i ctly d aw several


. n n

f rms m o ving whi ch seemed with ourselves to approach


o , , ,

the common centre O ur path brought us at last p to


.
, ,
u

a wall of yew trees gr owing close together and intertwin


-
, ,

ing their branches so that nothing c ould be seen beyo nd


it An Opening was cut in it like a d oor and a l l the w a l l
.
,

was trimmed smooth and perpendic lar The knight dis u .

m ounted and waited ti l l I had pro vided fo his horse s


,
r

comfort ; p on which w e entered the place together


u .

It was a great s pace bare of trees and enc l osed by four


, ,

wal l s of yew similar t o that thro gh which we had entered


,
u .

These trees grew to a very great height and did not divide ,

from each other till close to the t op w here their su mmits ,

fo rmed a row of c onical battlements all aro nd the wa l ls u .

The Space contained was a parallel ogram of great length .

A long each O f the t wo l onger sides o f the interior w ere


ranged three ranks of men in white r obes standing silent
, ,

and solemn each with a sword by his side alth o gh the


, ,
u

rest of his c ostume and bearing was m ore priestly than


s ol dierly F or s ome distance in wards the space between
.

these Opposite rows was fil l ed with a c ompany f men and o

w omen and chi l dren in h o l iday attire The l ooks of all


,
.

were directed inwards t owards the further end F ar b e


,
.

yond the crowd in a l ong avenue seeming t o narr ow i n


, ,

the distance w ent the l ong ro ws of the white robed men


,
-
.

O n what the at tentio n Of the multitude was fi xed we ,


27 2 P HA N TA STE S

p aused I s aw a company of six of the w hite robed me n


an d -

w alk p the
u centre of the h man aven e surr o unding a u u ,

youth gorgeously attired beneath h is r obe of w hite and ,

we aring a C hap l et of flowers on his head I followed them .

cl osely with my keenest observatio n ; an d by accompany


, ,

ing their slow progress w ith my eyes I was able to p er ,

c ei v e more clearly w hat took place w hen they arrived at

the other end I knew that my sight was s o m ch more


. u

keen than that of m o st p eople that I had good reas on to ,

s ppose I should see more than the rest could at such a


u

distance At the farther end a thr one stood upon a plat


.
,

form high above the heads of the s rrounding priests To


,
u .

this platform I saw the company begin to ascend apparently ,

by an inclined plane of gentle s 10 pe The throne itself .

was elevated again o a kind of sq are pedestal to the top


,
n u
,

of which led a flight of steps O n the throne s at a m aj es tic


.

looking fig re w h ose post re seemed to indicate a mixture


u ,
u

o f pride and b enignity as he l o oked d o wn on the multitude

below The c ompany ascended to the foot of the throne


.
,

where they all kneeled for s ome m inutes ; then they rose ~

and passed round to the side of the pedestal up on which th e


throne stood Here they crowded cl ose behind the youth
.
,

putting him in the foremost place ; and o e of them o pened n

a d oor in the pedestal for the youth to enter I was s re


,
. u

I s aw him shrink back and th ose crowding behind p sh ,


u

him in Then again arose a burst of song from the multi


.

tude in white whic h lasted some time Whe n it ceased a


,
.
,
A FAER I E R O MANCE . 27 3

n ew company Of seven c ommenced its march p the centre u .

A s they advanced I lo oked p at my master ; his n ob l e


,
u

c o ntenance was full of reverence and awe Incapable o f


u .

evil himself he c o ld scarcely s spec t it in an other m h


,
u u ,
uc

less in a multitude such as this and s rro unded with such ,


u

appearances o f solemnity I was certain it was t he .

really grand acc ompaniments that overcame him ; that the


stars overhead the dark towering tops of the yew trees
, ,
-
,

and the wind that like an unseen Spirit sighed thro gh


, ,
u

their branches b owed his Spirit t o the belief that in all


,

these ceremon es lay some great mystical meaning which


i , ,

his humility told him his ignorance prevented him from


,

understanding .

M ore con vi n ced than befo re that there was evil here I ,

could not endure that my master sho l d be deceived ; that u

on e like him so pure and noble


,
Sh o l d respect what if ,
u ,

my suspicions were true was worse than the o rdinary de


,

ce t io s O f priestcraft
n I c o ld not te l l how far he might
u
p .

be led to countenance and otherwise supp ort their d o ings ,

before he sh ould find cause to r epent bitter l y of his error .

I watched the new proce s sion yet m ore keenly if possible , ,

than the former This time the central figure was a girl
.
,

and at the close I observed yet m ore ind bitably t h e ,


u ,

s hrinking back and t h e crowding p sh


,
What happened u .

to t he victims I never learned ; but I had learned en ough ,

and I could bear it n o longer I stooped and whispered to .

the young girl who stood by me to len d me her white gar ,


274 P HA N TA STE S

ment . I wanted it that I might not be entirely ou t of


,

keeping with the solemnity b t might have at least this ,


u

help to passing unq estioned S he looked up h alf am sed


u .
,
u

and half bewi l dered as if do bting whether I was in earnest


,
u

or n ot B t in her perplexity s h e permitted me t o u n


. u

faste n it and slip it down from her shoulders I easily got .

p ossessi on of it ; and sinking d own o my knees in the


,
n

cro wd I rose apparently i n the habit of on e o f the wor


,

shippers .

G iving my battle ai e to the girl t o hold in ple dge for


-
r ,

the ret rn of her sto l e


u for I wished t o test the matter n u
,

armed and if it was a man that s at up on the throne to


, , ,

attack him with hands bare as I s pposed his m st be I ,


u u ,

made my way thro gh the crowd to the front while the


u ,

Singing yet c ntinued desirous o f reaching the platform


o ,

while it was unoccup ed by any o f the priests i I was per .

m itt ed t o wa l k u p the l ong aven e of white r obes n m o u u

lested th o gh I s aw q estioning looks in many Of the faces


,
u u

as I passed I p es u me my coolness aided my passage ;


.
' '

for I felt q ite i ndifferent as to my ow fate not feeling


u n ,

after the lat e events of my hist ory that I was at a l l w orth ,

taking care Of and enj oying p erhaps something o f an


, , ,

evil satisfacti on i n the revenge I was thus taking upon t h e


self which had fooled me s o long When I arrived on the .

platform the song had j st ceased and I felt as if all were u ,

looking towards me B t instead of kneeling at its foot I


. u , ,

walked right p the stairs to the throne laid h old o f a


u
,
27 6 P HA N TA STE S

thre w all my wil l and force and purpose into th e graspin g


hand I remember no blow A faintness came over me
. .
,

and my c onsciousness departed .


A FAER I E R O MANCE . 27 7

XX IV .

W e ar e n e e r

l ik e a g l till o
n e s ur p s io n s di e

T h is tch ed I ; w h ere w e s c a c tay t o b ai t


w re nn r e s ,

W e c al l o u D w lli g P la r e n - ce

W e c al l o e S t p a R n e t a ce

B t a g l i th i f ll e l igh t d t at e

u n e s n e r u n en e s ,

A g e l w h o Li a d k o w w h t t i t o B e
n s, ve, n n a

s ,

W h all t h e
o o f o u r l a gu ag
n o n s en s e e n e se ,

W h o p e ak t h i g a d o
s w
n d th ei ill d aw
s, n ur or s, r -
r n p i ct u r es , s c o rn ,

Wh w e b y a f o l i h fi g e s ay
en , o s ur , ,

B h lde o ld m a d d
an o th en th y n ea e

Sp ak p p ly an d c y B h ld a m
e ro er , h i ld b r , e o a n -c or n

C O W LEY .

I W A S dead a n d right content I lay in my cofli with


,
. n,

my hands folded in peace The knight and the lady I .

l oved wept over me Her tears fell on my face . .


Ah said the knight I rushed am ongst them like a ,

madman I hewed them do wn like brushwo od Their


. .

swords battered on me like hail but hurt me n ot I cut a ,


.

lane through to my friend He was dead But he had . .

throttled the m onster and I had to cut the handf l out of ,


u

its throat before I co l d disengage and carry off his body u .

They dared n ot molest me as I brought him back .

He has died well sai d the lady ,



.
27 8 PHA N TA STE S

My Spirit rejoiced They left me to my repose I felt


. .

as if a c ool hand had been laid up on my heart and had ,

stil l ed it My s o l was like a summer evening after a


. u
,

heavy fal l o f rain when the drops are yet glistening o n the
,

trees in the last rays of the down g oing s and the wind -
un

o f the t wilight has begun to bl o w The hot fever of life .

had gone by and I breathed the clear mountain air of the


,
-

land o f Death I had never dre amed of s ch blessedness


. u .

It was ot that I had in any way ceased to be w hat I had


n

been The very fact that anything can die implies the
.

existence o f s omething that cannot d ie w hich m st either ,


u

take t o itself another form as when t h e seed that is s ow n


,

dies and arises again o in c onsci o s existence m ay


,
r, u , ,
!

perhaps c ontin e to lead a p rely spirit al life If my


,
u u u .

passions were dead the s o uls of t h e passi ons th ose essential ,

mysteries Of the Sp ri t which had embodied themselves in the


i

passi ons and had gi en t o them a l l their g l ory a d wonder


,
v n

ment ye t lived yet gl owed with a p re undying fire


, , ,
u ,
.

They r ose ab ove their vanishing earth l y garments and dis .


,

cl osed the m selves angels of light But oh h ow bea tif l .


, ,
u u

bey nd the old form ! I lay thus for a time and lived as
o ,

it w ere an u n adiati g existence ; my s ou l a m oti on l ess lake


r n
,

t hat received a l l things and gave nothing back ; satisfied

in still c ontemplation and Spirit al conscio sness u u .

E re l ong they b ore me to my grave N ever tired child .

lya down in his white bed and heard the s o nd o f his play
,
u

things being laid aside for the ni g ht with a more luxurious ,


28 0 PHA N TA STE S

b osom It was the first kiss she had ever given me But
. .

the fl ower soon began to wither and I forso ok it ,


.

It was evening The s was be l ow the hori z o ; b t


. un n u

h is rosy beams yet illuminated a feathery cl o ud that floated


high above the world I arose I reached the cl o d ; and . . u ,

throwing myself upo n it floated with it in Sight of the sink ,

ing s un He sank and the clo d gre w gray ; b t the


.
,
u

grayness touched n ot my heart It carried its rose h e .


-
u

within ; for now I could love w ith o t needing to be loved u

again The moon came gliding up with all the past in her
.

wan face S he changed my c o uch into a ghostly pallor


.
,

and threw all the earth below as to the b ottom of a pale s ea


of dreams But She could not make me sad I knew n ow
. .
,

that it is by loving and n ot by being loved that one can


, ,

come nearest the soul of another ; yea that where two , ,

l ove it is the loving of each other and n ot the being b e


, ,

l oved by each other that origi n ates and perfects and assures
,

their blessedness I knew that love gives to him that


.

loveth power o ver any soul beloved even if that so l know


, ,
u

him ot bringing him inward l y close to that spirit


n
,
a ,

power that cannot be but for good ; for in pr oportion as ,

selfishness intrudes the love ceases and the power which


, ,

springs therefrom dies Yet all love will on e day meet .


, ,

with its ret rn All true love wi l l o e day behold its own
u .
,
n ,

image in the eyes of the beloved and be h mbly g l ad ,


u .

This is possible in the realms of lofty Death A h my .



,
A FAER IE R O MAN C E . 28 1

friends thought I h ow I will tend you an d wait u po n


,

,

,

u and haunt you with my love


7;
o
y ,

My fl ati g chariot b o re me o ver a great city Its faint


o n .
,

dull sound steamed up into the air a sound h ow com ,


— —

p osed ? How many hopeless cries thought I and



,

,

h w many mad shouts go to make up the tumult here so


o ,

faint where I float in eternal peace knowing that th ey wi l l,

one day be stilled i n the surr ounding calm and that ,

despair dies into infinite h O pe and that the seeming im


,

possible there is the law here ' But O pale faced ,


-

women and glo omy bro wed men and forgotte n children
,
-
, ,

how I will wai t on you and p tting my arms about you


, ,
u

in the dark think h O pe unto your hearts when you fancy


, ,

n o o e is near ! S oon as my senses have all come back


n ,

and have grown ac customed to this n ew blessed life I will ,

be among you with the l ove that healeth


,
.

With this a pang and a terrible sh dder w ent through


,
u

me ; a wr it h in g as of death c onv lsed me and I became


u ,

once again consci ous of a more limited even a bodily and ,

earthly life .
28 2 P HA N TA STE S

XXV .

U n s er Lb e en is t k ein T rau m , b
a er e s so ll und w ir d v ie ll ei ch t e i n er

w er d en . N