LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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42                                     LILITH
a long cathedral nave, now a huge barn made into a dwelling of tombs. She looked colder than any moon in the frostiest night of the world, and where she shone direct upon them, cast a bluish, icy gleam on the white sheets and the pallid countenances—but it might be the faces that made the moon so cold!
Of such as I could see, all were alike in the brother­hood of death, all unlike in the character and history recorded upon them. Here lay a man who had died— for although this was not death, I have no other name to give it—in the prime of manly strength; his dark beard seemed to flow like a liberated stream from the glacier of his frozen countenance; his forehead was smooth as polished marble ; a shadow of pain lingered about his lips, but only a shadow. On the next couch lay the form of a girl, passing lovely to behold. The sadness left on her face by parting was not yet absorbed in perfect peace, but absolute submission possessed the placid features, which bore no sign of wasting disease, of killing care or grief of heart:' if pain had been there, it was long charmed asleep, never again to wake. Many were the beautiful that there lay very still—some of them mere children; but I did not see one infant. The most beautiful of all was a lady whose white hair, and that alone, suggested her old when first she fell asleep. On her stately countenance rested —not submission, but a right noble acquiescence, an assurance, firm as the foundations of the universe, that all was as it should be. On some faces lingered the almost obliterated scars of strife, the marrings of hope­less loss, the fading shadows of sorrows that had seemed inconsolable : the aurora of the great morning had not yet quite melted them away \ but those faces were few,
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