574 THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP
The tree had grown apace, and Molly grew like the tree. She was as fresh as an apple-blossom: but Anthony was not long to behold this flower. All things change ! Molly's father left his old home, and Molly went with him, far away. Yes, in our time steam has made the journey they took a matter of a few hours, but then more than a day and a night were necessary to go so far eastward from Eisenach to the farthest border of Thuringia, to the city which is still called Weimar.
And Molly wept, and Anthony wept; but all their tears now melted into one, and this tear had the rosy, charming hue of joy. For Molly told him she loved him—loved him more than all the splendours of Weimar.
One, two, three years went by, and during this period two letters were received. One came by a carrier, and a traveller brought the other. The way was long and difficult, and passed through many windings by towns and villages.
Often had Molly and Anthony heard of Tristram and Iseult, and often had the boy applied the story to himself and Molly, though the name Tristram was said to mean ' born in tribulation ', and that did not apply to Anthony, nor would he ever be able to think, like Tristram, ' She has forgotten me.' But, indeed, Iseult did not forget her faithful knight; and when both were laid to rest in the earth, one on each side of the church, the linden trees grew from their graves over the church roof, and there met each other in bloom. Anthony thought that was beautiful, but mournful, but it could not become mournful between him and Molly ; and he whistled a song of the old minnesinger, Walter of the Vogelweide—
Under the lindens Upon the heath.
And especially that passage appeared charming to him—
From the forest, down in the vale, Sang her sweet song the nightingale.
This song was often in his mouth, and he sang and whistled it in the moonlight night, when he rode along the deep hollow way on horseback to get to Weimar and visit Molly. He wished to come unexpectedly, and he came unexpectedly.