And now, through the chamber, along the galleries thou glidest, O lovely shape! sleep-walking, yet awake. The moon shines on thee as thou glidest by, casement after casement, white-robed and wandering spirit!—thine arms crossed upon thy bosom, thine eyes fixed and open, with a calm unfearing awe. Mother, it is thy child that leads thee on! The fairy moments go before thee; thou hearest still the clock-knell tolling them to their graves behind. On, gliding on, thou hast gained the door; no lock bars thee, no magic spell drives thee back. Daughter of the dust, thou standest alone with night in the chamber where, pale and numberless, the hosts of space have gathered round the seer!
Schweres Traumbild sinkt, und sinkt, und sinkt.
“Das Ideal und das Lebens.”
(The Dream Shape of
the heavy earthly life sinks, and sinks, and
She stood within the chamber, and gazed around her; no signs by which an inquisitor of old could have detected the scholar of the Black Art were visible. No crucibles and caldrons, no brass-bound volumes and ciphered girdles, no skulls and cross-bones. Quietly streamed the broad moonlight through the desolate chamber with its bare, white walls. A few bunches of withered herbs, a few antique vessels of bronze, placed carelessly on a wooden form, were all which that curious gaze could identify with the pursuits of the absent owner. The magic, if it existed, dwelt in the artificer, and the materials, to other hands, were but herbs and bronze. So is it ever with thy works and wonders, O Genius,—Seeker of the Stars! Words themselves are the common property of all men; yet, from words themselves, Thou Architect of Immortalities, pilest up temples that shall outlive the Pyramids, and the very leaf of the Papyrus becomes a Shinar, stately with towers, round which the Deluge of Ages, shall roar in vain!
But in that solitude has the Presence that there had invoked its wonders left no enchantment of its own? It seemed so; for as Viola stood in the chamber, she became sensible that some mysterious change was at work within herself. Her blood coursed rapidly, and with a sensation of delight, through her veins,—she felt as if chains were falling from her limbs, as if cloud after cloud was rolling from her gaze. All the confused thoughts which had moved through her trance settled and centred themselves in one intense desire to see the Absent One,—to be with him. The monads that make up space and air seemed charged with a spiritual attraction,—to become a medium through which her spirit could pass from its clay, and confer with the spirit to which the unutterable desire compelled it. A faintness seized her; she tottered to the seat on which the vessels and herbs were placed, and, as she bent down, she saw in one of the vessels a small vase of crystal.