LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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DEAD OR ALIVE?                         133
doing nothing.' So tight was the skin upon her bones that I dared not use friction.
I crept into the heap of leaves, got as close to her as I could, and took her in my arms. I had not much heat left in me, but what I had I would share with her ! Thus I spent what remained of the night, sleepless, and longing for the sun. Her cold seemed to radiate into me, but no heat to pass from me to her.
Had I fled from the beautiful sleepers, I thought, each on her ' dim, straight' silver couch, to lie alone with such a bedfellow! I had refused a lovely privi­lege : I was given over to an awful duty! Beneath the sad, slow-setting moon, I lay with the dead, and watched for the dawn.
The darkness had given way, and the eastern horizon was growing dimly clearer, when I caught sight of a motion rather than of anything that moved—not far from me, and close to the ground. It was the low undu­lating of a large snake, which passed me in an unswerving line. Presently appeared, making as it seemed for the same point, what I took for a roebuck-doe and her calf. Again a while, and two creatures like bear-cubs came, with three or four smaller ones behind them. The light was now growing so rapidly that when, a few minutes after, a troop of horses went trotting past, I could see that, although the largest of them were no bigger than the smallest Shetland pony, they must yet be full-grown, so perfect were they in form, and so much had they all the ways and action of great horses. They were of many breeds. Some seemed models of cart­horses, others of chargers, hunters, racers. Dwarf cattle and small elephants followed.
' Why are the children not here !' I said to myself.
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