They climbed the stair, and sat them down on the green grass awhile watching the ocean coming in over the sand and the rocks, and Ralph said: “I will tell thee, sweetling, that I am grown eager for the road; though true it is that whiles I was down yonder amidst the ripple of the sea I longed for naught but thee, though thou wert beside me, and thy joyous words were as fire to the heart of my love. But now that I am on the green grass of the earth I called to mind a dream that came to me when we slept after the precious draught of the Well: for methought that I was standing before the porch of the Feast-hall of Upmeads and holding thine hand, and the ancient House spake to me with the voice of a man, greeting both thee and me, and praising thy goodliness and valiancy. Surely then it is calling me to deeds, and if it were but morning, as it is now drawing towards sunset, we would mount and be gone straightway.”
“Surely,” she said, “thou hast drunk of the Well, and the fear of thee has already entered into the hearts of thy foemen far away, even as the love of thee constraineth me as I lie by thy side; but since it is evening and sunset, let it be evening, and let the morning see to its own matters. So now let us be pilgrims again, and eat the meal of pilgrims, and see to our horses, and then wander about this lovely wilderness and its green meads, where no son of man heedeth the wild things, till the night come, bringing to us the rest and the sleep of them that have prevailed over many troubles.”
Even so they did, and broke bread above the sea, and looked to their horses, and then went hand in hand about the goodly green bents betwixt the sea and the rough of the mountain; and it was the fairest and softest of summer evenings; and the deer of that place, both little and great, had no fear of man, but the hart and hind came to Ursula’s hand; and the thrushes perched upon her shoulder, and the hares gambolled together close to the feet of the twain; so that it seemed to them that they had come into the very Garden of God; and they forgat all the many miles of the waste and the mountain that lay before them, and they had no thought for the strife of foemen and the thwarting of kindred, that belike awaited them in their own land, but they thought of the love and happiness of the hour that was passing. So sweetly they wore through the last minutes of the day, and when it was as dark as it would be in that fair season, they lay down by the green knoll at the ending of the land, and were lulled to sleep by the bubbling of the Well at the World’s End.
The Road Home
Ralph and Ursula Come Back Again Through the Great Mountains
On the morrow morning they armed them and took to their horses and departed from that pleasant place and climbed the mountain without weariness, and made provision of meat and drink for the Dry Desert, and so entered it, and journeyed happily with naught evil befalling them till they came back to the House of the Sorceress; and of the Desert they made little, and the wood was pleasant to them after the drought of the Desert.