THE DREAMS THAT CAME 327
with one glance at the peaceful heavens, and one at the rushing waters, I rolled myself over the edge of the pit.
For a moment consciousness left me. When it returned, I stood in the garret of my own house, in the little wooden chamber of the cowl and the mirror.
Unspeakable despair, hopelessness blank and dreary, invaded me with the knowledge : between me and my Lona lay an abyss impassable ! stretched a distance no chain could measure! Space and Time and Mode of Being, as with walls of adamant unscalable, impenetrable, shut me in from that gulf ! True, it might yet be in my power to pass again through the door of light, and journey back to the chamber of the dead; and if so, I was parted from that chamber only by a wide heath, and by the pale, starry night betwixt me and the sun, which alone could open for me the mirror-door, and was now far away on the other side of the world! but an immeasurably wider gulf sank between us in this —that she was asleep and I was awake ! that I was no longer worthy to share with her that sleep, and could no longer hope to awake from it with her ! For truly I was much to blame : I had fled from my dream ! The dream was not of my making, any more than was my life : I ought to have seen it to the end ! and in fleeing from it, I had left the holy sleep itself behind me !—I would go back to Adam, tell him the truth, and bow to his decree !
I crept to my chamber, threw myself on my bed, and passed a dreamless night.
I rose, and listlessly sought the library. On the way I met no one ; the house seemed dead. I sat down with a book to await the noontide : not a sentence could I understand! The mutilated manuscript offered itself