poets; and against Thanatos strove always in hatred and
terror as against their dreaded foe.
It was a strange melancholy dreary labour this into which
ehe had entered.
It was all dark. The little light she bore scarcely shed
its rays beyond her feet. It was all still. The winds
sounded infinitely sad amongst those vaulted passages and
the deep shafts of the stairways. Now and then a woman's
voice in prayer or a man's in blasphemy echoed dully through
the old half-ruined buUdings. Otherwise an intense silence
reigned there, where all save herself were sleeping.
She used to think it Avas a city of the dead, in which she
alone was living.
And sometimes she had not the heart to waken them,
when there was a smile on some wan, worn face that never
knew one in its waking hours; or when some childless
mother in her lonely bed in sleeping fancy drew young
arms about her throat.
This morning when all her tasks Avere done, and all the
toilers summoned to another day of pain, she retraced her
steps slowly, bearing the light aloft, and Avith its feeble rays
shed on the colourless splendour of her face, and on her
luminous dilated troubled eyes that were for ever seeking
what they never found,
A long vaulted passage stretched between her and the
foot of the steps that led to the tower; many doors opened
on it, the winds wailed through it, and the ragged clothes
of the tenants blew to and fro upon the swaying cords.
She traversed it, and slowly mounted her own staircase,
which Avas spiral and narrow, with little loopholes ever and
again that looked out upin the walls, and higher on the
roofs, and higher yet upon the open sky By one of th.(;.-e
she paused and looked out w-earily.
It was dark still; great Ioav rain-clouds floated by ; a
little caged bird stirred Avith a sad note; mighty rains
swept by from the westward, sweet with the smell of the
Her heart ached for the country.
It was so still there in the dusk she knew, even in this
wUd autumn night, Avhich there would be so purple with
leaf shadoAv, so brown with embracing branches, so grey
with silvery faint mists, so lily ^Vte with virgin snowg