|Dominion of Dreams, by Fiona Macleod||
A MEMORY OF BEAUTY
Many years ago a beautiful dark woman came to Ardnathonn, and
lived there a while, and died, as she had lived, in silence.
In the ruined garden of Tighnardnathonn stands a broken
sundial. Here may still be deciphered the legend: Time Past: Time to Come.
To have loved supremely! After all, the green, sweet world had been good to her, its daughter. She had loved and been loved, with the passion of passion. Nothing in the world could take away that joy; not any loss or sorrow, nor that last grief, the death of him whom she so loved; not the mysterious powers themselves that men call God, and that move and live and have their blind will behind the blowing wind and the rising sap, behind the drifting leaf and the granite hills, behind the womb of woman and the mind of man, behind the miracle of day and night, behind life, behind death. This was hers. She had this supreme heritage. In truth she was crowned. And he . . .from the first he wore the glory of her love, as morning wears the sunrise. It is enough.
Can love itself be as an idle bow upon our poor perishing
heavens? Is love a dream, a dream within a dream? If so, the soul herself were a vain
image, as fleeting as the travelling shadow of a wave.
" . . For I have seen
In lonely places, and in lonelier hours,
My vision of the rainbow-aureoled face
Of her whom men name Beauty: proud, austere:
Dim vision of the flawless, perfect face
Divinely fugitive, that haunts the world,
And lifts man's spiral thought to lovelier dreams."
She is gone now who was so fair. Can great beauty perish? The unlovely is as the weed that is everywhere under the sun. But that wind which blows the seed, alike of the unlovely and of the children of beauty---can it have failed to wed that exhaled essence to the glory of light, so that somewhere, somehow, that which was so beautiful is?CONTENTS