A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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close to mine. A shudder as of death ran through me; but I think I did not move, for he seemed to quail, and retreated. As soon as he gave back, I struck one more sturdy blow on the stem of his tree, that the forest rang; and then looked at him again. He writhed and grinned with rage and apparent pain, and again approached me, but retreated sooner than before. I heeded him no more, but hewed with a will at the tree, till the trunk creaked, and the head bowed, and with a crash it fell to the earth. Then I looked up from my labour, and, lo! the spectre had vanished, and I saw him no more; nor ever in my wanderings have I heard of him again."
" Well struck! well withstood! my hero," said the lady.
" But," said the knight, somewhat troubled, " dost thou love the youth still ? "
" Ah!" she replied, " how can I help it ? He woke me from worse than death; he loved me. I had never been for thee, if he had not sought me first. But I love him not as I love thee. He was but the moon of my night; thou art the sun of my day, O beloved."
" Thou art right," returned the noble man. " It were hard, indeed, not to have some love in return
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