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Lilith George MacDonald

I Sleep The Sleep

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    "Many a wrong, and its curing song;
    Many a road, and many an inn;
    Room to roam, but only one home
    For all the world to win!"

and I thought I had heard the song before.

Then the three came to my couch together, bringing me bread and wine, and I sat up to partake of it. Adam stood on one side of me, Eve and Mara on the other.

"You are good indeed, father Adam, mother Eve, sister Mara," I said, "to receive me! In my soul I am ashamed and sorry!"

"We knew you would come again!" answered Eve.

"How could you know it?" I returned.

"Because here was I, born to look after my brothers and sisters!" answered Mara with a smile.

"Every creature must one night yield himself and lie down," answered Adam: "he was made for liberty, and must not be left a slave!"

"It will be late, I fear, ere all have lain down!" I said.

"There is no early or late here," he rejoined. "For him the true time then first begins who lays himself down. Men are not coming home fast; women are coming faster. A desert, wide and dreary, parts him who lies down to die from him who lies down to live. The former may well make haste, but here is no haste."

"To our eyes," said Eve, "you were coming all the time: we knew Mara would find you, and you must come!"

"How long is it since my father lay down?" I asked.

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"I have told you that years are of no consequence in this house," answered Adam; "we do not heed them. Your father will wake when his morning comes. Your mother, next to whom you are lying,----"

"Ah, then, it IS my mother!" I exclaimed.

"Yes--she with the wounded hand," he assented; "--she will be up and away long ere your morning is ripe."

"I am sorry."

"Rather be glad."

"It must be a sight for God Himself to see such a woman come awake!"

"It is indeed a sight for God, a sight that makes her Maker glad! He sees of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied!--Look at her once more, and sleep."

He let the rays of his candle fall on her beautiful face.

"She looks much younger!" I said.

"She IS much younger," he replied. "Even Lilith already begins to look younger!"

I lay down, blissfully drowsy.

"But when you see your mother again," he continued, "you will not at first know her. She will go on steadily growing younger until she reaches the perfection of her womanhood--a splendour beyond foresight. Then she will open her eyes, behold on one side her husband, on the other her son--and rise and leave them to go to a father and a brother more to her than they."

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