“Oh, Mysie!” and the winds sighed it again and again, as they came wandering down out of the stillness between the hills, to pass on into the silence of the night again, like lost souls wandering through an uncreative world, proclaiming to other spheres the doom that had settled upon earth.
“Oh, Mysie!” groaned a moorland brook close by, which grumbled at some obstruction in its pathway, and then sighed over its mossy bed, like a tired child emerging exhausted from a long fever, to fall asleep as deeply as if the seal of death had been planted upon the little lips. Occasionally he shifted his position, as his limbs grew cramped, or rose to pace the moor again to bring himself more exhaustion; but always he came back to the little knoll, and sat down again, groaning out the sad plaintive words, that were at once an appeal and a cry, a defiance and a submission. By and by the first gray streaks of dawn came filtering through the curtains of the cloudy east, touching the low hills with gray nimble fingers, or weaving a tapestry of magic, as they brightened and grew clearer, over the gray face of the morn.
Soon the birds leapt again from every corner, climbing upon the ladders of light and tumbling ecstasies of mad joy to welcome the day, as if they feared to be left in the darkness with this strange figure, which merely sat and groaned softly, and looked before it with silent agony in its eyes; and now that the light had again come, they shouted their protest in a louder, shriller note; they mounted upon the waves of light and swooped down into the trough of the semi-darkness, expostulating and crying, not so much in alarm now, as in anger. For with the light comes courage to birds as well as men, and fear, the offspring of ignorance, which is bred in darkness, loses its power when its mystery is revealed.
But even with the coming of the day the still silent figure did not move. It continued to sit until the birds grew tired of protesting, and even the mountain hare wandered close by, sniffing the breeze in his direction, and cocking its ears and listening, as it sat upon its hind legs, only to resume its leisurely wandering again, feeling assured that there was nothing to fear in the direction of this quiet, bent figure of sorrow, that sat merely staring at the hills, and saw naught of anything before him. The things he saw were not the things around him. He was moving in a multitude again. He was walking among them with pity in his heart—a great pity for their ignorance, their lack of vision; and he was giving them knowledge and restoring light to their eyes, to widen their range of vision, so that they could take things in their true perspective. He was full of a great sympathy for their shortcomings, recognizing to the full that only by sowing love could love be reaped, only in service could happiness be found—that he who gave his life would save it.
The great dumb mass of humanity needed serving—needed love. It passed on blindly, wounding itself as it staggered against its barriers, bruising its heart and soul in the darkness, and never learning its lessons. Saviors in all ages had lifted the darkness a bit, and given knowledge, and sometimes it had profited for a while till false prophets arose to mislead.