The Well at the World's End: a tale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 674 pages of information about The Well at the World's End.

Therewith he drew his sword from the sheath, and tossed it into the air, and caught it by the hilts as it came down, and he cried out:  “Hearken, Ursula!  By my sword I swear it, that when I come home to the little land, if my father and my mother and all my kindred fall not down before thee and worship thee, then will I be a man without kindred, and I will turn my back on the land I love, and the House wherein I was born, and will win for thee and me a new kindred that all the world shall tell of.  So help me Saint Nicholas, and all Hallows, and the Mother of God!”

She looked on him with exceeding love, and said:  “Ah, beloved, how fair thou art!  Is it not as I said, yea, and more, that now lieth the world at thy feet, if thou wilt stoop to pick it up?  Believe me, sweet, all folk shall see this as I see it, and shall judge betwixt thee and me, and deem me naught.”

“Beloved,” he said, “thou dost not wholly know thyself; and I deem that the mirrors of steel serve thee but ill; and now must thou have somewhat else for a mirror, to wit, the uprising and increase of trouble concerning thee and thy fairness, and the strife of them that love thee overmuch, who shall strive to take thee from me; and then the blade that hath seen the Well at the World’s End shall come out of his sheath and take me and thee from the hubbub, and into the quiet fields of my father’s home, and then shalt thou be learned of thyself, when thou seest that thou art the desire of all hearts.”

“Ah, the wisdom of thee,” she said, “and thy valiancy, and I am become feeble and foolish before thee!  What shall I do then?”

He said:  “Many a time shall it be shown what thou shalt do; but here and now is the highway dry and long, and the plain meads and acres on either hand, and a glimmer of Whitwall afar off, and the little cloud of dust about us two in the late spring weather; and the Sage and Michael riding behind us, and smiting dust from the hard road.  And now if this also be a dream, let it speedily begone, and let us wake up in the ancient House at Upmeads, which thou hast never seen—­ and thou and I in each other’s arms.”

CHAPTER 13

They Come to Whitwall Again

Herewith they were come to a little thorp where the way sundered, for the highway went on to Whitwall, and a byway turned off to Swevenham.  Thereby was a poor hostel, where they stayed and rested for the night, because evening was at hand.  So when those four had eaten and drunk there together, Ralph spoke and said:  “Michael-a-dale, thou art for Swevenham to-morrow?” “Yea, lord,” said Michael, “belike I shall yet find kindred there; and I call to thy mind that I craved of thee to lead me to Swevenham as payment for all if I had done aught for thy service.”

“Sooth is that,” said Ralph, “thou shalt go with my good-will; and, as I deem, thou shalt not lack company betwixt here and Swevenham, whereas our dear friend here, the friend of thy father’s father, is going the same road.”

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The Well at the World's End: a tale from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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