LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

partially understood several of those I now saw—the minuet, the pavin, the hey, the coranto, the lavolta. The dancers were attired in fashion as ancient as their dances.
A moon had risen while I slept, and was shining' through the countless-windowed roof; but her light was crossed by' so many shadows that at first I could distin­guish almost nothing of the faces of the multitude ; I could not fail, however, to perceive that there was something odd about them : I sat up to see them better. —Heavens ! could I call them faces ? They were skull fronts!—hard, gleaming bone, bare jaws, trun­cated noses, lipless teeth which could no more take part in any smile ! Of these, some flashed set and white and murderous; others were clouded with decay, broken and gapped, coloured of the earth in which they seemed so long to have lain ! Fearfuller yet, the eye-sockets were not empty; in each was a lidless living eye! In those wrecks of faces, glowed or flashed or sparkled eyes of every colour, shape, and expression. The beautiful, proud eye, dark and lustrous, condescending to whatever it rested upon, was the more terrible; the lovely, lan­guishing eye, the more repulsive; while the dim, sad eyes, less at variance with their setting, were sad exceed­ingly, and drew the heart in spite of the horror out of which they gazed.
I rose and went among the apparitions, eager to understand something of their being and belongings. "Were they souls, or were they and their rhythmic motions but phantasms of what had been ? By look nor by gesture, not by slightest break in the measure, did they show themselves aware of me; I was not present to them: how much were they in relation to
Previous Contents Next