THE HOUSE OF DEATH 297
' I cried out for Death—to escape Him and thee ! ' Death is even now on his way to lead thee to Him. Thou knowest neither Death nor the Life that dwells in Death ! Both befriend thee. I am dead, and would see thee dead, for I live and love thee. Thou art weary and heavy-laden : art thou not ashamed ? Is not the being thou hast corrupted become to thee at length an evil thing ? Wouldst thou yet live on in disgrace eternal ? Cease thou canst not: wilt thou not be restored and be ? '
She stood silent with bowed head.
I Father,' said Mara, take her in thine arms, and carry her to her couch. There she will open her hand, and die into life.'
'I will walk,' said the princess.
Adam turned and led the way. The princess walked feebly after him into the cottage.
Then Eve came out to me where I sat with Lona in my bosom. She reached up her arms, took her from me, and carried her in. I dismounted, and the children also. The horse and the elephants stood shivering; Mara patted and stroked them every one; they lay down and fell asleep. She led us into the cottage, and gave the Little Ones of the bread and wine on the table. Adam and Lilith were standing there together, but silent both.
Eve came from the chamber of death, where she had laid Lona down, and offered of the bread and wine to the princess.
' Thy beauty slays me ! It is death I would have, not food!' said Lilith, and turned from her.
' This food will help thee to die,' answered Eve.
But Lilith would not taste of it.