Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Lost Word Henry van Dyke

Section IV.

Page 3 of 4

Table Of Contents: The Blue Flower

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Under his joyous demeanour a secret fire of restlessness began to burn--an expectancy of something yet to come which should put the touch of perfection on his life. He spoke of it to Athenais, as they sat together, one summer evening, in a bower of jasmine, with their boy playing at their feet. There had been music in the garden; but now the singers and lute-players had withdrawn, leaving the master and mistress alone in the lingering twilight, tremulous with inarticulate melody of unseen birds. There was a secret voice in the hour seeking vainly for utterance a word waiting to be spoken.

"How deep is our happiness, my beloved!" said Hermas; "deeper than the sea that slumbers yonder, below the city. And yet it is not quite full and perfect. There is a depth of joy that we have not yet known--a repose of happiness that is still beyond us. What is it? I have no superstitions, like the king who cast his signet-ring into the sea because he dreaded that some secret vengeance would fall on his unbroken good fortune. That was an idle terror. But there is something that oppresses me like an invisible burden. There is something still undone, unspoken, unfelt--something that we need to complete everything. Have you not felt it, too? Can you not lead me to it?"

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"Yes," she answered, lifting her eyes to his face; "I, too, have felt it, Hermas, this burden, this need, this unsatisfied longing. I think I know what it means. It is gratitude--the language of the heart, the music of happiness. There is no perfect joy without gratitude. But we have never learned it, and the want of it troubles us. It is like being dumb with a heart full of love. We must find the word for it, and say it together. Then we shall be perfectly joined in perfect joy. Come, my dear lord, let us take the boy with us, and give thanks."

Hermas lifted the child in his arms, and turned with Athenais into the depth of the garden. There was a dismantled shrine of some forgotten fashion of worship half-hidden among the luxuriant flowers. A fallen image lay beside it, face downward in the grass. They stood there, hand in hand, the boy drowsily resting on his father's shoulder.

Silently the roseate light caressed the tall spires of the cypress-trees; silently the shadows gathered at their feet; silently the tranquil stars looked out from the deepening arch of heaven. The very breath of being paused. It was the hour of culmination, the supreme moment of felicity waiting for its crown. The tones of Hermas were clear and low as he began, half-speaking and half-chanting, in the rhythm of an ancient song:

"Fair is the world, the sea, the sky, the double kingdom of day and night, in the glow of morning, in the shadow of evening, and under the dripping light of stars.

"Fairer still is life in our breasts, with its manifold music and meaning, with its wonder of seeing and hearing and feeling and knowing and being.

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
The Blue Flower
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004