I leant over the parapet; in another moment I should have been gone, when I became aware that some one was standing near to me. I did not see the person because it was too dark. I did not hear him because of the raving of the wind. But I knew that he was there. So I waited until the moon shone out for a while between the edges of two ragged clouds, the shapes of which I can see to this hour.
But in the clouds, at the top of the piece, are represented the three Graces, with this just sentence written over them, 'Senza di noi ogni fatica e vana', that is, "Without us, all labor is vain."
They sat in a rocking, unsteady little bark, but were in gay spirits, blowing bubbles, watching idle clouds, and throwing up empty shouts to be caught up and echoed by the hills. "I wish we had not seen these happy people," sighed Despard; "for, if you can believe me, sister, I really feel as if I must pelt them with my arrows."
Whose ears have heard The Ancient Word, Who walked among the silent trees. Not that Nature in any form or any measure had supplanted his thoughts of Jane. She had been the dominant note in every reflection during all the journey. Mountain and stream, birds and trees and shifting clouds had only served as the beautiful background against which he set her in unfading beauty and tenderness.
When the moon chased the clouds away and he could see everything round him distinctly, he allowed his tears to run freely; but on dark evenings he was quiet and held his breath. Sometimes when it rained it was so dark that the farm and everything disappeared; and then he saw hundreds of beings that at other times the light hid.
Whenever these outposts turn toward their pueblo they see clouds of dust rising from it, hear loud rhythmic shouting, whoops and yells, beating of drums, and the shrill sounds of flutes.
And withal Thurston was growing very anxious upon Marian's account. The sun was now sinking under a dark bank of clouds. The hour of his appointed meeting with her was approaching. He felt, of course, that his scheme must for the present be deferred even if its accomplishment should again seem necessary, which was scarcely possible. But Marian would expect him.
But what a wonderful place it is! What are those great green things standing up in the sky, all over purple ribs and bars, with their tops hid in the clouds? Those are mountains; the bones of some old world, whose poor bare sides Madam How is trying to cover with rich green grass. And how far off are they? How I should like to walk up to the top of that one which looks quite close.
When they attempted to lead the invalid from the apartment, and Philothea, with a tremulous voice, said, "Farewell, Paralus," an expression of intense gloom came over his countenance, suddenly as a sunny field is obscured by passing clouds. "Not farewell to Eurydice!" he said: "It is sad music sad music."
No air or clouds intervened, and as the Callisto did not revolve on its axis there was no necessity for changing the direction of the glasses. After an hour of this interesting work, however, as it was already late at the longitude they had left on earth, and as they knew they had many days in space before them, they prepared to go to bed.