The Secret Rose eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 67 pages of information about The Secret Rose.
at his side, and the laughter of children in his ears.  At dawn he rose, and went down to the edge of the lake, taking the hour-glass with him.  He put some bread and a flask of wine in the boat, that his master might not lack food at the outset of his journey, and then sat down to wait until the hour from dawn had gone by.  Gradually the birds began to sing, and when the last grains of sand were falling, everything suddenly seemed to overflow with their music.  It was the most beautiful and living moment of the year; one could listen to the spring’s heart beating in it.  He got up and went to find his master.  The green boughs filled the door, and he had to make a way through them.  When he entered the room the sunlight was falling in flickering circles on floor and walls and table, and everything was full of soft green shadows.  But the old man sat clasping a mass of roses and lilies in his arms, and with his head sunk upon his breast.  On the table, at his left hand, was a leathern wallet full of gold and silver pieces, as for a journey, and at his right hand was a long staff.  The boy touched him and he did not move.  He lifted the hands but they were quite cold, and they fell heavily.

‘It were better for him,’ said the lad, ’to have told his beads and said his prayers like another, and not to have spent his days in seeking amongst the Immortal Powers what he could have found in his own deeds and days had he willed.  Ah, yes, it were better to have said his prayers and kissed his beads!’ He looked at the threadbare blue velvet, and he saw it was covered with the pollen of the flowers, and while he was looking at it a thrush, who had alighted among the boughs that were piled against the window, began to sing.

THE CURSE OF THE FIRES AND OF THE SHADOWS.

One summer night, when there was peace, a score of Puritan troopers under the pious Sir Frederick Hamilton, broke through the door of the Abbey of the White Friars which stood over the Gara Lough at Sligo.  As the door fell with a crash they saw a little knot of friars, gathered about the altar, their white habits glimmering in the steady light of the holy candles.  All the monks were kneeling except the abbot, who stood upon the altar steps with a great brazen crucifix in his hand.  ‘Shoot them!’ cried Sir Frederick Hamilton, but none stirred, for all were new converts, and feared the crucifix and the holy candles.  The white lights from the altar threw the shadows of the troopers up on to roof and wall.  As the troopers moved about, the shadows began a fantastic dance among the corbels and the memorial tablets.  For a little while all was silent, and then five troopers who were the body-guard of Sir Frederick Hamilton lifted their muskets, and shot down five of the friars.  The noise and the smoke drove away the mystery of the pale altar lights, and the other troopers took courage and began to strike.  In a moment the friars lay about the altar steps,

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The Secret Rose from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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