And the fountain streams behind her
Like an opened veil.
* * * * *
In the morning the gardeners came to their work.
"There is something in the fountain," said one.
They shuddered as they laid their dead master
On the grass.
"I will close his eyes," said the head gardener,
"It is uncanny to see a dead man staring at the sun."
The inkstand is full of ink, and the paper lies white and unspotted,
in the round of light thrown by a candle. Puffs of darkness sweep into
the corners, and keep rolling through the room behind his chair. The air
is silver and pearl, for the night is liquid with moonlight.
See how the roof glitters, like ice!
Over there, a slice of yellow cuts into the silver-blue, and beside it stand
two geraniums, purple because the light is silver-blue, to-night.
See! She is coming, the young woman with the bright hair.
She swings a basket as she walks, which she places on the sill,
between the geranium stalks. He laughs, and crumples his paper
as he leans forward to look. "The Basket Filled with Moonlight",
what a title for a book!
The bellying clouds swing over the housetops.
He has forgotten the woman in the room with the geraniums. He is beating
his brain, and in his eardrums hammers his heavy pulse. She sits
on the window-sill, with the basket in her lap. And tap! She cracks a nut.
And tap! Another. Tap! Tap! Tap! The shells ricochet upon the roof,
and get into the gutters, and bounce over the edge and disappear.
"It is very queer," thinks Peter, "the basket was empty, I'm sure.
How could nuts appear from the atmosphere?"
The silver-blue moonlight makes the geraniums purple, and the roof glitters
Five o'clock. The geraniums are very gay in their crimson array.
The bellying clouds swing over the housetops, and over the roofs goes Peter
to pay his morning's work with a holiday.
"Annette, it is I. Have you finished? Can I come?"
Peter jumps through the window.
"Dear, are you alone?"
"Look, Peter, the dome of the tabernacle is done. This gold thread
is so very high, I am glad it is morning, a starry sky would have
seen me bankrupt. Sit down, now tell me, is your story going well?"
The golden dome glittered in the orange of the setting sun. On the walls,
at intervals, hung altar-cloths and chasubles, and copes, and stoles,
and coffin palls. All stiff with rich embroidery, and stitched with
so much artistry, they seemed like spun and woven gems, or flower-buds
new-opened on their stems.
Annette looked at the geraniums, very red against the blue sky.
"No matter how I try, I cannot find any thread of such a red.Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>