A FAERIE ROMANCE. 249
" But you must go," she rejoined sadly. " Listen ! What do you hear?"
" I hear the sound as of a great throbbing of water."
" Ah ! you do hear it ? Well, I had to go through that door—the door of the Timeless " (and she shuddered as she pointed to the fourth door)—" to find you; for if I had not gone, you would never have entered again; and because I went, the waters around my cottage will rise and rise, and flow and come, till they build a great firmament of waters over my dwelling. But as long as I keep my fire burning, they cannot enter. I have fuel enough for years; and after one year they will sink away again, and be just as they were before you came. I have not been buried for a hundred years now." And she smiled and wept.
" Alas! alas !" I cried. " I have brought this evil on the best and kindest of friends, who has filled my heart with great gifts."
" Do not think of that," she rejoined. " I can bear it very well. You will come back to me some day, I know. But I beg you, for my sake, my dear child, to do one thing. In whatever sorrow you may be, however inconsolable and irremediable it may