I SLEEP THE SLEEP
' Carry me back to my bed, king. I want to sleep.' I bore her to the death-chamber, holding her tight
lest she should dissolve out of my arms. Unaware that I saw, I carried her straight to her couch.
' Lay me down,' she said, ' and cover me from the warm air; it hurts—a little. Your bed is there, next to mine. I shall see you when I wake.'
She was already asleep. I threw myself on my couch—blessed as never was man on the eve of his wedding.
i Come, sweet cold,' I said, ' and still my heart speedily.'
But there came instead a glimmer of light in the chamber, and I saw the face of Adam approaching. He had not the candle, yet I saw him. At the side of Lona's couch, he looked down on her with a questioning smile, and then greeted me across it.
' We have been to the top of the hill to hear the waters on their way,' he said. ' They will be in the den of the monsters to-night.—But why did you not await our return ? '
' My child could not sleep,' I answered.
' She is fast asleep ! ' he rejoined.
' Yes, now !' I said; ' but she was awake when I laid her down.'
' She was asleep all the time !' he insisted. ' She was perhaps dreaming about you—and came to you ?' ' She did.'
' And did you not see that her eyes were closed ? ' ' Now I think of it, I did.'
' If you had looked ere you laid her down, you would have seen her asleep on the couch.'
' That would have been terrible !'