THE DREAMS THAT CAME 321
with bitter shame I confessed to my father that I had told him two lies, and long forgotten them: now for long had remembered them, and kept them in memory to crush at last at his feet. I was the eager slave of all whom I had thus or anyhow wronged. Countless services I devised to render them! For this one I would build such a house as had never grown from the ground! for that one I would train such horses as had never yet been seen in any world ! For a third I would make such a garden as had never bloomed, haunted with still pools, and alive with running waters ! I would write songs to make their hearts swell, and tales to make them glow! I would turn the forces of the world into such channels of invention as to make them laugh with the joy of wonder! Love possessed me ! Love was my life ! Love was to me, as to him that made me, all in all!
Suddenly I found myself in a solid blackness, upon which the ghost of light that dwells in the caverns of the eyes could not cast one fancied glimmer. But my heart, which feared nothing and hoped infinitely, was full of peace. I lay imagining what the light would be when it came, and what new creation it would bring with it—when, suddenly, without conscious volition, I sat up and stared about me.
The moon was looking in at the lowest, horizontal, crypt-like windows of the death-chamber, her long light slanting, I thought, across the fallen, but still ripening sheaves of the harvest of the great husbandman.—But no; that harvest was gone ! Gathered in, or swept away by chaotic storm, not a sacred sheaf was there ! My dead were gone! I was alone !—In desolation dread lay depths yet deeper than I had hitherto known !