Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lilith George MacDonald

The Cemetery

Page 3 of 4

Table Of Contents: Lilith

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"But why leave them in the corrupting moonlight?" I asked.

"Our moon," he answered, "is not like yours--the old cinder of a burnt-out world; her beams embalm the dead, not corrupt them. You observe that here the sexton lays his dead on the earth; be buries very few under it! In your world he lays huge stones on them, as if to keep them down; I watch for the hour to ring the resurrection-bell, and wake those that are still asleep. Your sexton looks at the clock to know when to ring the dead-alive to church; I hearken for the cock on the spire to crow; `AWAKE, THOU THAT SLEEPEST, AND ARISE FROM THE DEAD!'"

I began to conclude that the self-styled sexton was in truth an insane parson: the whole thing was too mad! But how was I to get away from it? I was helpless! In this world of the dead, the raven and his wife were the only living I had yet seen: whither should I turn for help? I was lost in a space larger than imagination; for if here two things, or any parts of them, could occupy the same space, why not twenty or ten thousand?--But I dared not think further in that direction.

"You seem in your dead to see differences beyond my perception!" I ventured to remark.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"None of those you see," he answered, "are in truth quite dead yet, and some have but just begun to come alive and die. Others had begun to die, that is to come alive, long before they came to us; and when such are indeed dead, that instant they will wake and leave us. Almost every night some rise and go. But I will not say more, for I find my words only mislead you!--This is the couch that has been waiting for you," he ended, pointing to one of the three.

"Why just this?" I said, beginning to tremble, and anxious by parley to delay.

"For reasons which one day you will be glad to know," he answered.

"Why not know them now?"

"That also you will know when you wake."

"But these are all dead, and I am alive!" I objected, shuddering.

"Not much," rejoined the sexton with a smile, "--not nearly enough! Blessed be the true life that the pauses between its throbs are not death!"

"The place is too cold to let one sleep!" I said.

"Do these find it so?" he returned. "They sleep well--or will soon. Of cold they feel not a breath: it heals their wounds.--Do not be a coward, Mr. Vane. Turn your back on fear, and your face to whatever may come. Give yourself up to the night, and you will rest indeed. Harm will not come to you, but a good you cannot foreknow."

The sexton and I stood by the side of the couch, his wife, with the candle in her hand, at the foot of it. Her eyes were full of light, but her face was again of a still whiteness; it was no longer radiant.

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
George MacDonald

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004