160 THE GARDEN OF PARADISE
background of blue hills. They heard the song of the priests, and saw the savages dancing to the sound of drums and of bone trumpets. Egypt's pyramids, towering aloft to the clouds, overturned pillars and sphinxes, half buried in the sand, sailed past likewise. The Northern Lights shone over the glaciers of the north—it was a firework that no one could imitate. The Prince was quite happy, and he saw a hundred times more than we can relate here.
' And can I always stay here ? ' asked he.
' That depends upon yourself,' answered the Fairy. ' If you do not, like Adam, yield to the temptation to do what is forbidden, you may always remain here.'
' I shall not touch the apples on the Tree of Knowledge ! ' said the Prince. ' Here are thousands of fruits just as beautiful as those.'
' Search your own heart, and if you are not strong enough, go away with the East Wind that brought you hither. He is going to fly back, and will not show himself here again for a hundred years : the time will pass for you in this place as if it were a hundred hours, but it is a long time for the temptation of sin. Every evening, when I leave you, I shall have to call to you, " Come with me ! " and I shall have to beckon to you with my hand ; but stay where you are : do not go with me, or your longing will become greater with every step. You will then come into the hall where the Tree of Knowledge grows ; I sleep under its fragrant pendent boughs ; you will bend over me, and I must smile ; but if you press a kiss upon my mouth, the Paradise will sink deep into the earth and be lost to you. The keen wind of the desert will rush around you, the cold rain drop from your hair, and sorrow and woe will be your portion.'
' I shall stay here ! ' said the Prince.
And the East Wind kissed him on the forehead, and said,
1 Be strong, and we shall meet here again in a hundred years. Farewell ! farewell! '
And the East Wind spread out his broad wings, and they flashed like sheet lightning in harvest-time, or like the Northern Lights in the cold winter.
1 Farewell ! farewell ! ' sounded from among the flowers and the trees. Storks and pelicans flew away in rows like