The Wanderer's Necklace eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about The Wanderer's Necklace.

To return to my dream.  I, Olaf, or, rather, my spirit, dwelling in the Wanderer’s body, that body which I had just seen lying in the grave, stood at night in a great columned building, which I knew to be the temple of some god.  At my feet lay a basin of clear water; the moonlight, which was almost as bright as that of day, showed me my reflection in the water.  It was like to that of the Wanderer as I had seen him lying in his oak coffin in the mound, only younger than he had seemed to be in the coffin.  Moreover, he wore the same armour that the man in the coffin wore, and at his side hung the red, cross-handled sword.  There he stood in the temple alone, and looked across a plain, green with crops, on which sat two mighty images as high as tall pines, looked to a great river on whose banks grew trees such as I had never beheld:  tall, straight trees, surmounted by a stiff crown of leaves.  Beyond this river lay a white, flat-roofed city, and in it were other great columned temples.

The man in whom I, Olaf the Dane, seemed to dwell in my dream turned, and behind him saw a range of naked hills of brown rock, and in them the mouth of a desolate valley where was no green thing.  Presently he became aware that he was no longer alone.  At his side stood a woman.  She was a very beautiful woman, unlike anyone I, Olaf, had ever seen.  Her shape was tall and slender, her eyes were large, dark and soft as a deer’s, her features were small and straight, save the mouth, of which the lips were somewhat full.  The face, which was dark-hued, like her hair and eyes, was sad, but wore a sweet and haunting smile.  It was much such a face as that upon the statue of the goddess which we had found in the Wanderer’s tomb, and the dress she wore beneath her cloak was like to the dress of the goddess.  She was speaking earnestly.

“My love, my only love,” she said, “you must begone this very night; indeed, the boat awaits you that shall take you down the river to the sea.  All is discovered.  My waiting-lady, the priestess, but now has told me that my father, the king, purposes to seize and throw you into prison to-morrow, and thereafter to put you on your trial for being beloved by a daughter of the royal blood, of which, as you are a foreign man, however noble you may be, the punishment is death.  Moreover, if you are condemned, your doom will be my own.  There is but one way in which to save my life, and that is by your flight, for if you fly it has been whispered to me that all will be forgotten.”

Now, in my dream, he who wore the Wanderer’s shape reasoned with her, saying at length that it was better they both should die, to live on in the world of spirits, rather than part for ever.  She hid her face on his breast and answered,

“I cannot die.  I would stay to look upon the sun, not for my own sake, but because of our child that will be born.  Nor can I fly with you, since then your boat will be stopped.  But if you go alone, the guards will let it pass.  They have their commands.”

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The Wanderer's Necklace from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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