THE DRYAD 989
human beings, and then thy years will dwindle down to half the lifetime of the ephemeral fly, only a single night; thy life shall be extinguished, the leaves of the tree shall wither and be blown away, to return no more.'
Thus it sounded, thus it sang, and the brightness vanished, but not the longing and desire of the Dryad ; she trembled with expectation, in a fever of wild anticipation.
11 shall go to the city of cities ! ' she exultingly cried. ' Life begins, gathers like the cloud, and no one knows where it goes.'
In the grey dawn, when the moon grew pale and the clouds red, the hour of fulfilment struck, and the promise was redeemed.
People came with spades and poles ; they dug round the roots of the tree, deep down, right under it. Then a cart was brought up, drawn by horses, the tree, with the roots and clods of earth hanging to them, was lifted, wrapped in matting which made a warm foot-bag for it, then it was placed on the cart and bound fast. It was to go on a journey to Paris, to grow and remain there in the grandest city of France—the city of cities.
The leaves and branches of the chestnut tree trembled in the first moment of motion ; the Dryad trembled in the delight of expectation.
1 Away ! away ! ' rang in every pulse-beat. ' Away ! away !' came the echo in trembling, fluttering words. The Dryad forgot to say ' Farewell' to her native place, to the waving grasses and the innocent daisies, which had looked up to her as to a great lady in our Lord's garden, a young Princess who played the shepherdess out in the country.
The chestnut tree was on the cart, it nodded with its branches ' Farewell', or * Away ', the Dryad knew not which ; she thought and dreamt of the wonderful, new, and yet so familiar scenes which should be unfolded before her. No childish heart in innocent delight, no passion-filled soul, has ever begun its journey to Paris more full of thought than she. ' Farewell!' became ' Away ! away !'
The wheels of the cart went round, the distant became near and was left behind ; the country changed, as the