“What does it say, here, Anthea?” he asked. But Anthea shook her head:
“That, you must read for yourself!” she said, not looking at him.
So, he took her hand in his, and, with her slender finger, spelled out this motto.
Time, and youthe do flee awaie, Love, Oh! Love then, whiles ye may.
“Anthea!” said he, and again she heard the tremor in his voice, “you have been my wife nearly three quarters of an hour, and all that time I haven’t dared to look at you, because if I had, I must have—kissed you, and I meant to wait—until your own good time. But Anthea, you have never yet told me that you—love me—Anthea?”
She did not speak, or move, indeed, she was so very still that he needs must bend down to see her face. Then, all at once, her lashes were lifted, her eyes looked up into his—deep and dark with passionate tenderness.
“Aunt Priscilla—was quite—right,” she said, speaking in her low, thrilling voice, “I have loved you—from the—very beginning, I think!” And, with a soft, murmurous sigh, she gave herself into his embrace.
Now, far away across the meadow, Adam was plodding his homeward way, and, as he trudged, he sang to himself in a harsh, but not unmusical voice, and the words of his song were these:
“When I am dead, diddle diddle,
as well may hap
You’ll bury me, diddle diddle, under the tap,
Under the tap, diddle diddle, I’ll tell you why,
That I may drink, diddle diddle, when I am dry.”