LILITH A Fantasy Novel By George MacDonald - online book

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302                                      LILITH
and sleep also.—His hour will come, and he knows it will.
' How long shall I sleep ? '
I You and he will be the last to wake in the morning of the universe.'
The princess lay down, drew the sheet over her, stretched herself out straight, and lay still with open eyes.
Adam turned to his daughter. She drew near.
' Lilith,' said Mara, you will not sleep, if you lie there a thousand years, until you have opened your hand, and yielded that which is not yours to give or to withhold.'
I cannot,' she answered. I would if I could, and gladly, for I am weary, and the shadows of death are gathering about me.'
' They will gather and gather, but they cannot infold you while yet your hand remains unopened. You may think you are dead, but it will be only a dream; you may think you have come awake, but it will still be only a dream. Open your hand, and you will sleep indeed—then wake indeed.'
'I  am trying hard, but the fingers have grown together and into the palm.'
' I pray you put forth the strength of your will. For the love of life, draw together your forces and break its bonds!'
I have struggled in vain ; I can do no more. I am very weary, and sleep lies heavy upon my lids.'
' The moment you open your hand, you will sleep. Open it, and make an end.'
A tinge of colour arose in the parchment-like face ; the contorted hand trembled with agonised effort. Mara took it, and sought to aid her.
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