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Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

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  • Durward Starman
    *******Here is the fairy tale that Steiner s first Mystery Play is based on/a transformation of, in the wonderful English translation by Thomas Carlyle.
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 23, 2007
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      *******Here is the "fairy tale" that Steiner's first Mystery Play is based on/a transformation of, in the wonderful English translation by Thomas Carlyle.  -starman

      The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

      By:
      Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
      Translated by: Thomas Carlyle (1832)

       

      In his little hut by the great river, which a heavy rain had swoln to overflowing, lay the ancient Ferryman, asleep, wearied by the toil of the day. In the middle of the night, loud voices awoke him; he heard that it was travellers wishing to be carried over.

      Stepping out, he saw two large Will-o'-wisps, hovering to and fro on his boat, which lay moored: they said, they were in violent haste, and should have been already on the other side. The old Ferryman made no loitering; pushed off, and steered with his usual skill obliquely through the stream; while the two strangers whiffled and hissed together, in an unknown very rapid tongue, and every now and then broke out in loud laughter, hopping about, at one time on e gunwale and the seats, at another on the bottom of the boat.

      "The boat is heeling!" cried the old man; "if you don't be quiet, it'll overset; be seated, gentlemen of the wisp!"

      At this advice they burst into a fit of laughter, mocked the old man, and were more unquiet than ever. He bore their mischief with silence, and soon reached the farther shore.

      "Here is for your labour!" cried the travellers; and as they shook themselves, a heap of glittering gold-pieces jingled down into the wet boat. "For Heaven's sake, what are you about?" cried the old man; "you will ruin me forever! Had a single piece of gold got into the water, the stream, which cannot suffer gold, would have risen in horrid waves, and swallowed both my skiff and me; and who knows how it might have fared with you in that case? here, take back your gold."

      "We can take nothing back, which we have once shaken from us," said the Lights.

      "Then you give me the trouble," said the old man, stooping down, and gathering the pieces into his cap, "of raking them together, and carrying them ashore and burying them."

      The Lights had leaped from the boat, but the old man cried: "Stay; where is my fare?"

      "If you take no gold, you may work for nothing," cried the Will-o'-wisps. "You must know that I am only to be paid with fruits of the earth." "Fruits of the earth? we despise them, and have never tasted them." "And yet I cannot let you go, till you have promised that you will deliver me three Cabbages, three Artichokes, and three large Onions.

      The Lights were making-off with jests; but they felt themselves, in some inexplicable manner, fastened to the ground: it was the unpleasantest feeling they had ever had. They engaged to pay him his demand as soon as possible: he let them go, and pushed away. He was gone a good distance, when they called to him: "Old man! Holla, old man! the main point is forgotten!" He was off, however, and did not hear them. He had fallen quietly down that side of the River, where, in a rocky spot, which the water never reached, he meant to bury the pernicious gold. Here, between two high crags, he found a monstrous chasm; shook the metal into it, and steered back to his cottage.

      Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from her sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her eye on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were scattered in the chinks of the rock.

      Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all over her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was grown transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last, her curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to admire her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled along through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass. Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory. It was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes rose high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a brilliancy resembling her own. "Shall I find my like at last, then?" cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through bog and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and for most pare fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild dew and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in the hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you could propose to her.

      At last, with much fatigue, she reached a wee rushy spot in the swamp, where our two Will-o'-wisps were frisking to and fro. She shoved herself along to them; saluted them, was happy to meet such pleasant gentlemen related to her family. The Lights glided towards her, skipped up over her, and laughed in their fashion. "Lady Cousin," said they, "you are of the horizontal line, yet what of that? It is true we are related only by the look; for, observe you," here both the Flames, compressing their whole breadth, made themselves as high and peaked as possible, "how prettily this taper length beseems us gentlemen of the vertical line! Take it not amiss of us, good Lady; what family can boast of such a thing? Since there ever was a Jack-o'-lantern in the world, no one of them has either sat or lain."

      The Snake felt exceedingly uncomfortable in the company of these relations; for, let her hold her head as high as possible, she found that she must bend it to the earth again, would she stir from the spot; and if in the dark thicket she had been extremely satisfied with her appearance, her splendour in the presence of these cousins seemed to lessen every moment, nay she was afraid that at last it would go out entirely.

      In this embarrassment she hastily asked: If the gentlemen could not inform her, whence the glittering gold came, that had fallen a short while ago into the cleft of the rock; her own opinion was, that it had been a golden shower, and had trickled down direct from the sky. The Will-o'-wisps laughed, and shook themselves, and a multitude of gold-pieces came clinking down about them. The Snake pushed nimbly forwards to eat the coin. "Much good may it do you, Mistress," said the dapper gentlemen: "we can help you to a little more." They shook themselves again several times with great quickness, so that the Snake could scarcely gulp the precious victuals fast enough. Her splendour visibly began increasing; she was really shining beautifully, while the Lights had in the meantime grown rather lean and short of stature, without however in the smallest losing their good-humour.

      "I am obliged to you forever," said the Snake, having got her wind again after the repast; "ask of me what you will; all that I can I will do."

      "Very good!" cried the Lights. "Then tell us where the fair Lily dwells? Lead us to the fair Lily's palace and garden; and do not lose a moment, we are dying of impatience to fall down at her feet."

      "This service," said the Snake with a deep sigh, "I can not now do for you. The fair Lily dwells, alas, on the other side of the water." "Other side of the water? And we have come across it, this stormy night! How cruel is the River to divide us! Would it not be possible to call the old man back?"

      "It would be useless," said the Snake; "for if you found him ready on the bank, he would not take you in; he can carry anyone to this side, none to yonder."

      "Here is a pretty kettle of fish!" cried the Lights: "are there no other means of getting through the water?" "There are other means, but not at this moment. I myself could take you over, gentlemen, but not till noon." "That is an hour we do not like to travel in." "Then you may go across in the evening, on the great Giant's shadow."

      "How is that?" "The great Giant lives not far from this; with his body he has no power; his hands cannot lift a straw, his shoulders could not bear a faggot of twigs; but with his shadow he has power over much, nay all. At sunrise and sunset therefore he is strongest; so at evening you merely put yourself upon the back of his shadow, the Giant walks softly to the bank, and the shadow carries you across the water. But if you please, about the hour of noon, to be in waiting at that corner of the wood where the bushes overhang the bank, I myself will take you over and present you to the fair Lily: or on the other hand, if you dislike the noontide, you have just to go at nightfall to that bend of the rocks, and pay a visit to the Giant; he will certainly receive you like a gentleman."

      With a slight bow, the Flames went off; and the Snake at bottom was not discontented to get rid of them; partly that she might enjoy the brightness of her own light, partly [to] satisfy a curiosity with which, for a long time, she had been agitated in a singular way.

      In the chasm, where she often crawled hither and thither, she had made a strange discovery. For although in creeping up and down this abyss, she had never had a ray of light, she could well enough discriminate the objects in it, by her sense of touch. Generally she met with nothing but irregular productions of Nature; at one time she would wind between the teeth of large crystals, at another she would feel the barbs and hairs of native silver, and now and then carry out with her to the light some straggling jewels. But to her no small wonder, in a rock which was closed on every side, she had come on certain objects which betrayed the shaping hand of man. Smooth walls on which she could not climb, sharp regular corners, well-formed pillars; and what seemed strangest of all; human figures which she had entwined more than once, and which appeared to her to be of brass, or of the finest polished marble. All these experiences she now wished to combine by the sense of sight, thereby to confirm what as yet she only guessed. She believed she could illuminate the whole of that subterranean vault by her own light; and hoped to get acquainted with these curious things at once. She hastened back; and soon found, by the usual way, the cleft by which she used to penetrate the Sanctuary.

      On reaching the place, she gazed around with eager curiosity; and though her shining could not enlighten every object in the rotunda, yet those nearest her were plain enough. With astonishment and reverence she looked up into a glancing niche, where the image of an august King stood formed of pure Gold. In size the figure was beyond the stature of man, but by its shape it seemed the likeness of a little rather than a tall person. His handsome body was encircled with an unadorned mantle; and a garland of oak bound his hair together.

      No sooner had the Snake beheld this reverend figure, than the King began to speak, and asked: "Whence comest thou?" "From the chasms where the gold dwells," said the Snake. "What is grander than gold?" inquired the King. "Light," replied the Snake. "What is more refreshing than light?" said he. "Speech," answered she.

      During this conversation, she had squinted to a side, and in the nearest niche perceived another glorious image. It was a Silver King in a sitting posture; his shape was long and rather languid; he was covered with a decorated robe; crown, girdle and sceptre were adorned with precious stones: the cheerfulness of pride was in his countenance; he seemed about to speak, when a vein which ran dimly-coloured over the marble wall, on a sudden became bright, and diffused a cheerful light throughout the whole Temple. By this brilliancy the Snake perceived a third King, made of Brass, and sitting mighty in shape, leaning on his club, adorned with a laurel garland, and more like a rock than a man. She was looking for the fourth, which was standing at the greatest distance from her; but the wall opened, while the glittering vein started and split, as lightning does, and disappeared.

      A Man of middle stature, entering through the cleft, attracted the attention of the Snake. He was dressed like a peasant, and carried in his hand a little Lamp, on whose still flame you liked to look, and which in a strange manner, without casting any shadow, enlightened the whole dome.

      "Why comest thou, since we have light?" said the golden King." You know that I may not enlighten what is dark." "Will my Kingdom end?" said the silver King. "Late or never," said the old Man.

      With a stronger voice the brazen King began to ask: "When shall I arise?" "Soon," replied the Man. "With whom shall I combine?" said the King. "With thy elder brothers," said the Man. "What will the youngest do?" inquired the King. "He will sit down," replied the Man.

      "I am not tired," cried the fourth King, with a rough faltering voice.

      While this speech was going on, the Snake had glided softly round the Temple, viewing everything; she was now looking at the fourth King close by him. He stood leaning on a pillar; his considerable form was heavy rather than beautiful. But what metal it was made of could not be determined. Closely inspected, it seemed a mixture of the three metals which its brothers had been formed of. But in the founding, these materials did not seem to have combined together fully; gold and silver veins ran irregularly through a brazen mass, and gave the figure an unpleasant aspect.

      Meanwhile the gold King was asking of the Man, "How many secrets knowest thou?" "Three," replied the Man. "Which is the most important?" said the silver King. "The open one," replied the other. "Wilt thou open it to us also?" said the brass King."When I know the fourth," replied the Man."What care I" grumbled the composite King, in an undertone.

      "I know the fourth," said the Snake; approached the old Man, and hissed somewhat in his ear. "The time is at hand!" cried the old Man, with a strong voice. The temple reechoed, the metal statues sounded; and that instant the old Man sank away to the westward, and the Snake to the eastward; and both of them passed through the clefts of the rock, with the greatest speed.

      All the passages, through which the old Man travelled, filled themselves, immediately behind him, with gold; for his Lamp had the strange property of changing stone into gold, wood into silver, dead animals into precious stones, and of annihilating all metals. But to display this power, it must shine alone. If another light were beside it, the Lamp only cast from it a pure clear brightness, and all living things were refreshed by it.

      The old Man entered his cottage, which was built on the slope of the hill. He found his Wife in extreme distress. She was sitting at the fire weeping, and refusing to be consoled. "How unhappy am I!" cried she: "Did not I entreat thee not to go away tonight?""What is the matter, then?" inquired the husband, quite composed.

      "Scarcely wert thou gone," said she, sobbing, "when there came two noisy Travellers to the door: unthinkingly I let them in; they seemed to be a couple of genteel, very honourable people; they were dressed in flames, you would have taken them for Will-o'-wisps. But no sooner were they in the house, than they began, like impudent varlets, to compliment me, and grew so forward that I feel ashamed to think of it."

      "No doubt," said the husband with a smile, "the gentlemen were jesting: considering thy age, they might have held by general politeness."

      "Age! what age?" cried the Wife: "wilt thou always be talking of my age? How old am I, then?General politeness! But I know what I know. Look around there what a face the walls have; look at the old stones, which I have not seen these hundred years; every film of gold have they licked away, thou couldst not think how fast; and still they kept assuring me that it tasted far beyond common gold. Once they had swept the walls, the fellows seemed to be in high spirits, and truly in that little while they had grown much broader and brighter. They now began to be impertinent again, they patted me, and called me their queen, they shook themselves, and a shower of gold-pieces sprang from them; see how they are shining under the bench! But ah, what misery! Poor Mops ate a coin or two; and look, he is lying in the chimney, dead. Poor Pug. O well-a-day! I did not see it till they were gone; else I had never promised to pay the Ferryman the debt they owe him.""What do they owe him?" said the Man. "Three Cabbages," replied the Wife, "three Artichokes and three Onions: I engaged to go when it was day, and take them to the River."

      "Thou mayest do them that civility," said the old Man; "they may chance to be of use to us again."

      "Whether they will be of use to us I know not; but they promised and vowed that they would."

      Meantime the fire on the hearth had burnt low; the old Man covered-up the embers with a heap of ashes, and put the glittering gold-pieces aside; so that his little Lamp now gleamed alone, in the fairest brightness. The walls again coated themselves with gold, and Mops changed into the prettiest onyx that could be imagined. The alternation of the brown and black in this precious stone made it the most curious piece of workmanship.

      "Take thy basket," said the old Man, "and put the onyx into it; then take the three Cabbages, the three Artichokes and the three Onions; place them round little Mops, and carry them to the River. At noon the Snake will take thee over; visit the fair Lily, give her the onyx, she will make it alive by her touch, as by her touch she kills whatever is alive already. She will have a true companion in the little dog. Tell her, Not to mourn; her deliverance is near; the greatest misfortune she may look upon as the greatest happiness; for the time is at hand."

      The old Woman filled her basket, and set out as soon as it was day. The rising sun shone clear from the other side of the River, which was glittering in the distance; the old Woman walked with slow steps, for the basket pressed upon her head, and it was not the onyx that so burdened her. Whatever lifeless thing she might be carrying, she did not feel the weight of it; on the other hand, in those cases the basket rose aloft, and hovered above her head. But to carry any fresh herbage, or any little living animal, she found exceedingly laborious. She had travelled on for some time, in a sullen humour, when she halted suddenly in fright, for she had almost trod upon the Giant's shadow which was stretching towards her across the plain. And now, lifting up her eyes, she saw the monster of a Giant himself, who had been bathing in the River, and was just come out, and she knew not how she should avoid him. The moment he perceived her, he began saluting her in sport, and the hands of his shadow soon caught hold of the basket. With dexterous ease they picked away from it a Cabbage, an Artichoke and an Onion, and brought them to the Giant's mouth, who then went his way up the River, and let the Woman go in peace.

      She considered whether it would not be better to return, and supply from her garden the pieces she had lost; and amid these doubts, she still kept walking on, so that in a little while she was at the bank of the River. She sat long waiting for the Ferryman, whom she perceived at last, steering over with a very singular traveller. A young, noble-looking, handsome man, whom she could not gaze upon enough, stept out of the boat.

      "What is it you bring?" cried the old Man. "The greens which those two Will-o'-wisps owe you," said the Woman, pointing to her ware. As the Ferryman found only two of each sort, he grew angry, and declared he would have none of them. The Woman earnestly entreated him to take them; told him that she could not now go home, and that her burden for the way which still remained was very heavy. He stood by his refusal, and assured her that it did not rest with him. "What belongs to me," said he, "I must leave lying nine hours in a heap, touching none of it, till I have given the River its third." After much higgling, the old Man at last replied: "There is still another way. If you like to pledge yourself to the River, and declare yourself its debtor, I will take the six pieces; but there is some risk in it." "If I keep my word, I shall run no risk?" "Not the smallest. Put your hand into the stream," continued he, "and promise that within four-and-twenty hours you will pay the debt."

      The old Woman did so; but what was her affright, when on drawing out her hand, she found it black as coal! She loudly scolded the old Ferryman; declared that her hands had always been the fairest part of her; that in spite of her hard work, she had all along contrived to keep these noble members white and dainty. She looked at the hand with indignation, and exclaimed in a despairing tone: "Worse and worse! Look, it is vanishing entirely; it is grown far smaller than the other."

      "For the present it but seems so," said the old Man; "if you do not keep your word, however, it may prove so in earnest. The hand will gradually diminish, and at length disappear altogether, though you have the use of it as formerly. Everything as usual you will be able to perform with it, only nobody will see it." "I had rather that I could not use it, and no one could observe the want," cried she: "but what of that, I will keep my word, and rid myself of this black skin, and all anxieties about it." Thereupon she hastily took up her basket, which mounted of itself over her head, and hovered free above her in the air, as she hurried after the Youth, who was walking softly and thoughtfully down the bank. His noble form and strange dress had made a deep impression on her.

      His breast was covered with a glittering coat of mail; in whose wavings might be traced every motion of his fair body. From his shoulders hung a purple cloak; around his uncovered head flowed abundant brown hair in beautiful locks: his graceful face, and his well-formed feet were exposed to the scorching of the sun. With bare soles, he walked composedly over the hot sand; and a deep inward sorrow seemed to blunt him against all external things.

      The garrulous old Woman tried to lead him into conversation; but with his short answers he gave her small encouragement or information; so that in the end, notwithstanding the beauty of his eyes, she grew tired of speaking with him to no purpose, and took leave of him with these words: "You walk too slow for me, worthy sir; I must not lose a moment, for I have to pass the River on the green Snake, and carry.this fine present from my husband to the fair Lily." So saying she stept faster forward; but the fair Youth pushed on with equal speed, and hastened to keep up with her. "You are going to the fair Lily!" cried he; "then our roads are the same. But what present is this you are bringing her?"

      "Sir," said the Woman, "it is hardly fair, after so briefly dismissing the questions I put to you, to inquire with such vivacity about my secrets. But if you like to barter, and tell me your adventures, I will not conceal from you how it stands with me and my presents." They soon made a bargain: the dame disclosed her circumstances to him; told the history of the Pug, and let him see the singular gift.

      He lifted this natural curiosity from the basket, and took Mops, who seemed as if sleeping softly, into his arms. "Happy beast!" cried he; "thou wilt be touched by her hands, thou wilt be made alive by her; while the living are obliged to fly from her presence to escape a mournful doom. Yet why say I mournful? Is it not far sadder and more frightful to be injured by her look, than it would be to die by her hand? Behold me," said he to the Woman; "at my years, what a miserable fate have I to undergo! This mail which I have honourably borne in war, this purple which I sought to merit by a wise reign, Destiny has left me; the one as a useless burden, the other as an empty ornament. Crown, and sceptre, and sword are gone; and I am as bare and needy as any other son of earth; for so unblessed are her bright eyes, that they take from every living creature they look on all its force, and those whom the touch of her hand does not kill are changed to the state of shadows wandering alive."

      Thus did he continue to bewail, nowise contenting the old Woman's curiosity, who wished for information not so much of his internal as of his external situation. She learned neither the name of his father, nor of his kingdom. He stroked the hard Mops, whom the sunbeams and the bosom of the youth had warmed as if he had been living. He inquired narrowly about the Man with the Lamp, about the influences of the sacred light, appearing to expect much good from it in his melancholy case.

      Amid such conversation, they descried from afar the majestic arch of the Bridge, which extended from the one bank to the other, glittering with the strangest colours in the splendours of the sun. Both were astonished; for until now they had never seen this edifice so grand. "How!" cried the Prince, "was it not beautiful enough, as it stood before our eyes, piled out of jasper and agate? Shall we not fear to tread it, now that it appears combined, in graceful complexity of emerald and chrysopras and chrysolite?" Neither of them knew the alteration that had taken place upon the Snake: for it was indeed the Snake, who every day at noon curved herself over the River, and stood forth in the form of a bold-swelling bridge. The travellers stept upon it with a reverential feeling, and passed over it in silence.

      No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the bridge began to heave and stir; in a little while, it touched the surface of the water, and the green Snake in her proper form came gliding after the wanderers. They had scarcely thanked her for the privilege of crossing on her back, when they found that, besides them three, there must be other persons in the company, whom their eyes could not discern. They heard a hissing, which the Snake also answered with a hissing; they listened, and at length caught what follows: "We shall first look about us in the fair Lily's Park," said a pair of alternating voices; "and then request you at nightfall, so soon as we are anywise presentable, to introduce us to this paragon of beauty. At the shore of the great Lake you will find us." "Be it so," replied the Snake; and a hissing sound died away in the air.

      Our three travellers now consulted in what order they should introduce themselves to the fair Lady; for however many people might be in her company, they were obliged to enter and depart singly, under pain of suffering very hard severities.

      The Woman with the metamorphosed Pug in the basket first approached the garden, looking round for her Patroness; who was not difficult to find, being just engaged in singing to her harp. The finest tones proceeded from her, first like circles on the surface of the still lake, then like a light breath they set the grass and the bushes in motion. In a green enclosure, under the shadow of a stately group of many diverse trees, was she seated; and again did she enchant the eyes, the ears and the heart of the Woman, who approached with rapture, and swore within herself that since she saw her last, the fair one had grown fairer than ever. With eager gladness, from a distance, she expressed her reverence and admiration for the lovely maiden. "What a happiness to see you! what a Heaven does your presence spread around you! How charmingly the harp is leaning on your bosom, how softly your arms surround it, how it seems as if longing to be near you, and how it sounds so meekly under the touch of your slim fingers! Thrice-happy youth, to whom it were permitted to be there!"

      So speaking she approached; the fair Lily raised her eyes; let her hands drop from the harp, and answered: "Trouble me not with untimely praise; I feel my misery but the more deeply. Look here, at my feet lies the poor Canary-bird, which used so beautifully to accompany my singing; it would sit upon my harp, and was trained not to touch me; but today, while I, refreshed by sleep, was raising a peaceful morning hymn, and my little singer was pouring forth his harmonious tones more gaily than ever, a Hawk darts over my head; the poor little creature, in affright, takes refuge in my bosom, and I feel the last palpitations of its departing life. The plundering Hawk indeed was caught by my look, and fluttered fainting down into the water; but what can his punishment avail me? my darling is dead, and his grave will but increase the mournful bushes of my garden."

      "Take courage, fairest Lily!" cried the Woman, wiping off a tear, which the story of the hapless maiden had called into her eyes; "compose yourself; my old man bids me tell you to moderate your lamenting, to look upon the greatest misfortune as a forerunner of the greatest happiness, for the time is at hand; and truly," continued she, "the world is going strangely on of late. Do but look at my hand, how black it is! As I live and breathe, it is grown far smaller: I must hasten, before it vanish altogether! Why did I engage to do the Will-o'-wisps a service, why did I meet the Giant's shadow, and dip my hand in the River? Could you not afford me a single cabbage, an artichoke and an onion? I would give them to the River, and my hand were white as ever, so that I could almost show it with one of yours."

      "Cabbages and onions thou mayest still find; but artichokes thou wilt search for in vain. No plant in my garden bears either flowers or fruit; but every twig that I break, and plant upon the grave of a favourite, grows green straightway, and shoots up in fair boughs. All these groups, these bushes, these groves my hard destiny has so raised around me. These pines stretching out like parasols, these obelisks of cypresses, these colossal oaks and beeches, were all little twigs planted by my hand, as mournful memorials in a soil that otherwise is barren."

      To this speech the old Woman had paid little heed; she was looking at her hand, which, in presence of the fair Lily, seemed every moment growing blacker and smaller. She was about to snatch her basket and hasten off, when she noticed that the best part of her errand had been forgotten. She lifted out the onyx Pug, and set him down, not far from the fair one, in the grass. "My husband," said she, "sends you this memorial; you know that you can make a jewel live by touching it. This pretty faithful dog will certainly afford you much enjoyment; and my grief at losing him is brightened only by the thought that he will be in your possession."

      The fair Lily viewed the dainty creature with a pleased and, as it seemed, with an astonished look. "Many signs combine," said she, "that breathe some hope into me: but ah! is it not a natural deception which makes us fancy, when misfortunes crowd upon us, that a better day is near?

      What can these many signs avail me?
      My Singer's Death, thy coal black Hand?
      This Dog of Onyx, that can never fail me?
      And coming at the Lamp's command?
      From human joys removed forever,
      With sorrows compassed round I sit:
      Is there a Temple at the River?
      Is there a Bridge? Alas, not yet!

      The good old dame had listened with impatience to this singing, which the fair Lily accompanied with her harp, in a way that would have charmed any other. She was on the point of taking leave, when the arrival of the green Snake again detained her. The Snake had caught the last lines of the song, and on this matter forthwith began to speak comfort to the fair Lily.

      "The prophecy of the Bridge is fulfilled" cried the Snake: "you may ask this worthy dame how royally the arch looks now. What formerly was untransparent jasper or agate, allowing but a gleam of light to pass about its edges, is now become transparent precious stone. No beryl is so clear, no emerald so beautiful of hue."

      "I wish you joy of it," said Lily; "but you will pardon me if I regard the prophecy as yet unaccomplished. The lofty arch of your bridge can still but admit foot passengers; and it is promised us that horses and carriages and travellers of every sort shall, at the same moment, cross this bridge in both directions. Is there not something said, too, about pillars, which are to arise of themselves from the waters of the River?"

      The old Woman still kept her eyes fixed on her hand; she here interrupted their dialogue, and was taking leave. "Wait a moment," said the fair Lily, "and carry my little bird with you. Bid the Lamp change it into topaz; I will enliven it by my touch; with your good Mops it shall form my dearest pastime: but hasten, hasten; for, at sunset, intolerable putrefaction will fasten on the hapless bird, and tear asunder the fair combination of its form forever."

      The old Woman laid the little corpse, wrapped in soft leaves, into her basket, and hastened away.

      "However it may be," said the Snake, recommencing their interrupted dialogue, "the Temple is built."

      "But it is not at the River," said the fair one.

      "It is yet resting in the depths of the Earth," said the Snake; "I have seen the Kings and conversed with them."

      "But when will they arise?" inquired Lily.

      The Snake replied: "I heard resounding in the Temple these deep words, The time is at hand. "

      A pleasing cheerfulness spread over the fair Lily's face: " 'Tis the second time," said she, "that I have heard these happy words today: when will the day come for me to hear them thrice?"

      She arose, and immediately there came a lovely maiden from the grove, and took away her harp. Another followed her, and folded-up the fine carved ivory stool, on which the fair one had been sitting, and put the silvery cushion under her arm. A third then made her appearance, with a large parasol worked with pearls; and looked whether Lily would require her in walking. These three maidens were beyond expression beautiful; and yet their beauty but exalted that of Lily, for it was plain to every one that they could never be compared to her.

      Meanwhile the fair one had been looking, with a satisfied aspect, at the strange onyx Mops. She bent down and touched him, and that instant he started up. Gaily he looked around, ran hither and thither, and at last, in his kindest manner, hastened to salute his benefactress. She took him in her arms, and pressed him to her. "Cold as thou art," cried she, "and though but a half-life works in thee, thou art welcome to me; tenderly will I love thee, prettily will I play with thee, softly caress thee, and firmly press thee to my bosom." She then let him go, chased him from her, called him back, and played so daintily with him, and ran about so gaily and so innocently with him on the grass, that with new rapture you viewed and participated in her joy, as a little while ago her sorrow had attuned every heart to sympathy.

      This cheerfulness, these graceful sports were interrupted by the entrance of the woeful Youth. He stepped forward, in his former guise and aspect; save that the heat of the day appeared to have fatigued him still more, and in the presence of his mistress he grew paler every moment. He bore upon his hand a Hawk, which was sitting quiet as a dove, with its body shrunk, and its wings drooping.

      "It is not kind in thee," cried Lily to him, "to bring that hateful thing before my eyes, the monster, which today has killed my little singer."

      "Blame not the unhappy bird!" replied the Youth; "rather blame thyself and thy destiny; and leave me to keep beside me the companion of my woe."

      Meanwhile Mops ceased not teasing the fair Lily; and she replied to her transparent favourite, with friendly gestures. She clapped her hands to scare him off; then ran, to entice him after her. She tried to get him when he fled, and she chased him away when he attempted to press near her. The Youth looked on in silence, with increasing anger; but at last, when she took the odious beast, which seemed to him unutterably ugly, on her arm, pressed it to her white bosom, and kissed its black snout with her heavenly lips, his patience altogether failed him, and full of desperation he exclaimed: "Must I, who by a baleful fate exist beside thee, perhaps to the end, in an absent presence; who by thee have lost my all, my very self; must I see before my eyes, that so unnatural a monster can charm thee into gladness, can awaken thy attachment, and enjoy thy embrace? Shall I any longer keep wandering to and fro, measuring my dreary course to that side of the River and to this? No, there is still a spark of the old heroic spirit sleeping in my bosom; let it start this instant into its expiring flame! If stones may rest in thy bosom, let me be changed to stone; if thy touch kills, I will die by thy hands."

      So saying he made a violent movement; the Hawk flew from his finger, but he himself rushed towards the fair one; she held out her hands to keep him off, and touched him only the sooner. Consciousness forsook him; and she felt with horror the beloved burden lying on her bosom. With a shriek she started back, and the gentle Youth sank lifeless from her arms upon the ground.

      The misery had happened! The sweet Lily stood motionless gazing on the corpse. Her heart seemed to pause in her bosom; and her eyes were without tears. In vain did Mops try to gain from her any kindly gesture; with her friend, the world for her was all dead as the grave. Her silent despair did not look round for help; she knew not of any help.

      On the other hand, the Snake bestirred herself the more actively; she seemed to meditate deliverance; and in fact her strange movements served at least to keep away, for a little, the immediate consequences of the mischief. With her limber body, she formed a wide circle round the corpse, and seizing the end of her tail between her teeth, she lay quite still.

      Ere long one of Lily's fair waiting-maids appeared; brought the ivory folding-stool, and with friendly beckoning constrained her mistress to sit down on it. Soon afterwards there came a second; she had in her hand a fire-coloured veil, with which she rather decorated than concealed the fair Lily's head. The third handed her the harp, and scarcely had she drawn the gorgeous instrument towards her, and struck some tones from its strings, when the first maid returned with a clear round mirror; took her station opposite the fair one; caught her looks in the glass, and threw back to her the loveliest image that was to be found in Nature. Sorrow heightened her beauty, the veil her charms, the harp her grace; and deeply as you wished to see her mournful situation altered, not less deeply did you wish to keep her image, as she now looked, forever present with you.

      With a still look at the mirror, she touched the harp; now melting tones proceeded from the strings, now her pain seemed to mount, and the music in strong notes responded to her woe; sometimes she opened her lips to sing, but her voice failed her; and ere long her sorrow melted into tears, two maidens caught her helpfully in their arms, the harp sank from her bosom, scarcely could the quick servant snatch the instrument and carry it aside.

      "Who gets us the Man with the Lamp, before the Sun set?" hissed the Snake, faintly, but audibly: the maids looked at one another, and Lily's tears fell faster. At this moment came the Woman with the Basket, panting and altogether breathless. "I am lost, and maimed for life!" cried she, "see how my hand is almost vanished; neither Ferryman nor Giant would take me over, because I am the River's debtor; in vain did I promise hundreds of cabbages and hundreds of onions; they will take no more than three; and no artichoke is now to be found in all this quarter."

      "Forget your own care," said the Snake, "and try to bring help here; perhaps it may come to yourself also. Haste with your utmost speed to seek the Will-o'-wisps; it is too light for you to see them, but perhaps you will hear them laughing and hopping to and fro. If they be speedy, they may cross upon the Giant's shadow, and seek the Man with the Lamp, and send him to us."

      The Woman hurried off at her quickest pace, and the Snake seemed expecting as impatiently as Lily the return of the Flames. Alas! the beam of the sinking Sun was already gliding only the highest summits of the trees in the thicket, and long shadows were stretching over lake and meadow; the Snake hitched up and down impatiently, and Lily dissolved in tears.

      In this extreme need, the Snake kept looking round on all sides; for she was afraid every moment that the Sun would set, and corruption penetrate the magic circle, and the fair youth immediately moulder away. At last she noticed sailing high in the air, with purple-red feathers, the Prince's Hawk, whose breast was catching the last beams of the Sun. She shook herself for joy at this good omen; nor was she deceived; for shortly afterwards the Man with the Lamp was seen gliding towards them across the Lake, fast and smoothly, as if he had been travelling on skates.

      The Snake did not change her posture; but Lily rose and called to him: "What good spirit sends thee, at the moment when we were desiring thee, and needing thee, so much?"

      "The spirit of my Lamp," replied the Man, "has impelled me, and the Hawk has conducted me. My Lamp sparkles when I am needed, and I just look about me in the sky for a signal; some bird or meteor points to the quarter towards which I am to turn. Be calm, fairest Maiden! Whether I can help, I know not; an individual helps not, but he who combines himself with many at the proper hour. We will postpone the evil, and keep hoping. Hold thy circle fast," continued he, turning to the Snake; then set himself upon a hillock beside her, and illuminated the dead body. "Bring the little Bird hither too, and lay it in the circle!" The maidens took the little corpse from the basket, which the old Woman had left standing, and did as he directed.

      Meanwhile the Sun had set; and as the darkness increased, not only the Snake and the old Man's Lamp began shining in their fashion, but also Lily's veil gave-out a soft light, which gracefully tinged, as with a meek dawning red, her pale cheeks and her white robe. The party looked at one another, silently reflecting; care and sorrow were mitigated by a sure hope.

      It was no unpleasing entrance, therefore, that the Woman made, attended by the two gay Flames, which in truth appeared to have been very lavish in the interim, for they had again become extremely meagre; yet they only bore themselves the more prettily for that, towards Lily and the other ladies. With great tact and expressiveness, they said a multitude of rather common things to these fair persons; and declared themselves particularly ravished by the charm which the gleaming veil spread over Lily and her attendants. The ladies modestly cast down their eyes, and the praise of their beauty made them really beautiful. All were peaceful and calm, except the old Woman. In spite of the assurance of her husband, that her hand could diminish no farther, while the Lamp shone on it, she asserted more than once, that if things went on thus, before midnight this noble member would have utterly vanished.

      The Man with the Lamp had listened attentively to the conversation of the Lights; and was gratified that Lily had been cheered, in some measure, and amused by it. And, in truth, midnight had arrived they knew not how. The old Man looked to the stars, and then began speaking: "We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will swallow-up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes individual joys."

      At these words arose a wondrous hubbub; for all the persons in the party spoke aloud, each for himself, declaring what they had to do; only the three maids were silent; one of them had fallen asleep beside the harp, another near the parasol, the third by the stool; and you could not blame them much, for it was late. The Fiery Youths, after some passing compliments which they devoted to the waiting-maids, had turned their sole attention to the Princess, as alone worthy of exclusive homage.

      "Take the mirror," said the Man to the Hawk; "and with the first sunbeam illuminate the three sleepers, and awake them, with light reflected from above."

      The Snake now began to move; she loosened her circle, and rolled slowly, in large rings, forward to the River. The two Will-o'-wisps followed with a solemn air: you would have taken them for the most serious Flames in Nature. The old Woman and her husband seized the Basket, whose mild light they had scarcely observed till now; they lifted it at both sides, and it grew still larger and more luminous; they lifted the body of the Youth into it, laying the Canary-bird upon his breast; the Basket rose into the air and hovered above the old Woman's head, and she followed the Will-o'-wisps on foot. The fair Lily took Mops on her arm, and followed the Woman; the Man with the Lamp concluded the procession; and the scene was curiously illuminated by these many lights.

      But it was with no small wonder that the party saw, when they approached the River, a glorious arch mount over it, by which the helpful Snake was affording them a glittering path. If by day they had admired the beautiful transparent precious stones, of which the Bridge seemed formed; by night they were astonished at its gleaming brilliancy. On the upper side the clear circle marked itself sharp against the dark sky, but below, vivid beams were darting to the centre, and exhibiting the airy firmness of the edifice. The procession slowly moved across it; and the Ferryman, who saw it from his hut afar off, considered with astonishment the gleaming circle, and the strange lights which were passing over it

      No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the arch began, in its usual way, to swag up and down, and with a wavy motion to approach the water. The Snake then came on land, the Basket placed itself upon the ground, and the Snake again drew her circle round it. The old Man stooped towards her, and said: "What hast thou resolved on?"

      "To sacrifice myself rather than be sacrificed," replied the Snake; "promise me that thou wilt leave no stone on shore."

      The old Man promised; then addressing Lily: "Touch the Snake," said he, "with thy left hand, and thy lover with thy right." Lily knelt, and touched the Snake and the Prince's body. The latter in the instant seemed to come to life; he moved in the Basket, nay he raised himself into a sitting posture; Lily was about to clasp him; but the old Man held her back, and himself assisted the Youth to rise, and led him forth from the Basket and the circle.

      The Prince was standing; the Canary-bird was fluttering on his shoulder; there was life again in both of them, but the spirit had not yet returned; the fair Youth's eyes were open, yet he did not see, at least he seemed to look on all without participation. Scarcely had their admiration of this incident a little calmed, when they observed how strangely it had fared in the meanwhile with the Snake. Her fair taper body had crumbled into thousands and thousands of shining jewels: the old Woman reaching at her Basket had chanced to come against the circle; and of the shape or structure of the Snake there was now nothing to be seen, only a bright ring of luminous jewels was lying in the grass.

      The old Man forthwith set himself to gather the stones into the Basket; a task in which his wife assisted him. They next carried the Basket to an elevated point on the bank; and here the man threw its whole lading, not without contradiction from the fair one and his wife, who would gladly have retained some part of it, down into the River. Like gleaming twinkling stars the stones floated down with the waves; and you could not say whether they lost themselves in the distance, or sank to the bottom.

      "Gentlemen," said he with the Lamp, in a respectful tone to the Lights, "I will now show you the way, and open you the passage; but you will do us an essential service, if you please to unbolt the door, by which the Sanctuary must be entered at present, and which none but you can unfasten."

      The Lights made a stately bow of assent, and kept their place. The old Man of the Lamp went foremost into the rock, which opened at his presence; the Youth followed him, as if mechanically; silent and uncertain, Lily kept at some distance from him; the old Woman would not be left, and stretched-out her hand, that the light of her husband's Lamp might still fall upon it. The rear was closed by the two Will-o'-wisps, who bent the peaks of their flames towards one another, and appeared to be engaged in conversation.

      They had not gone far till the procession halted in front of a large brazen door, the leaves of which were bolted with a golden lock. The Man now called upon the Lights to advance; who required small entreaty, and with their pointed flames soon ate both bar and lock.

      The brass gave a loud clang, as the doors sprang suddenly asunder; and the stately figures of the Kings appeared within the Sanctuary, illuminated by the entering Lights. All bowed before these dread sovereigns, especially the Flames made a profusion of the daintiest reverences.

      After a pause, the gold King asked: "Whence come ye?" "From the world," said the old Man. "Whither go ye?" said the silver King. "Into the world," replied the Man. "What would ye with us?" cried the brazen King. "Accompany you," replied the Man.

      The composite King was about to speak, when the gold one addressed the Lights, who had got too near him: "Take yourselves away from me, my metal was not made for you." Thereupon they turned to the silver King, and clasped themselves about him; and his robe glittered beautifully in their yellow brightness. "You are welcome," said he, "but I cannot feed you; satisfy yourselves elsewhere, and bring me your light." They removed; and gliding past the brazen King, who did not seem to notice them, they fixed on the compounded King. "Who will govern the world?" cried he, with a broken voice. "He who stands upon his feet," replied the old Man. "I am he," said the mixed King. "We shall see," replied the Man; "for the time is at hand."

      The fair Lily fell upon the old Man's neck, and kissed him cordially. "Holy Sage!" cried she, "a thousand times I thank thee; for I hear that fateful word the third time." She had scarcely spoken, when she clasped the old Man still faster; for the ground began to move beneath them; the Youth and the old Woman also held by one another; the Lights alone did not regard it.

      You could feel plainly that the whole temple was in motion; as a ship that softly glides away from the harbour, when her anchors are lifted; the depths of the Earth seemed to open for the Building as it went along. It struck on nothing; no rock came in its way.

      For a few instants, a small rain seemed to drizzle from the opening of the dome; the old Man held the fair Lily fast, and said to her: "We are now beneath the River; we shall soon be at the mark." Ere long they thought the Temple made a halt; but they were in an error; it was mounting upwards.

      And now a strange uproar rose above their heads. Planks and beams in disordered combination now came pressing and crashing in at the opening of the dome. Lily and the Woman started to a side; the Man with the Lamp laid hold of the Youth, and kept standing still. The little cottage of the Ferryman, for it was this which the Temple in ascending had severed from the ground and carried up with it, sank gradually down, and covered the old Man and the Youth.

      The women screamed aloud, and the Temple shook, like a ship running unexpectedly aground. In sorrowful perplexity, the Princess and her old attendant wandered round the cottage in the dawn; the door was bolted, and to their knocking no one answered. They knocked more loudly, and were not a little struck, when at length the wood began to ring. By virtue of the Lamp locked up in it, the hut had been converted from the inside to the outside into solid silver. Ere long too its form changed; for the noble metal shook aside the accidental shape of planks, posts and beams, and stretched itself out into a noble case of beaten ornamented workmanship. Thus a fair little temple stood erected in the middle of the large one; or if you will, an Altar worthy of the Temple.

      By a staircase which ascended from within, the noble Youth now mounted aloft, lighted by the old Man with the Lamp, and, as it seemed, supported by another, who advanced in a white short robe, with a silver rudder in his hand; and was soon recognised as the Ferryman, the former possessor of the cottage.

      The fair Lily mounted the outer steps, which led from the floor of the Temple to the Altar; but she was still obliged to keep herself apart from her Lover. The old Woman, whose hand in the absence of the Lamp had grown still smaller, cried: "Am I, then, to be unhappy after all? Among so many miracles, can there be nothing done to save my hand?" Her husband pointed to the open door, and said to her: "See, the day is breaking; haste, bathe thyself in the River." "What an advice!" cried she; "it will make me all black; it will make me vanish together; for my debt is not yet paid." "Go," said the man, "and do as I advise thee; all debts are now paid."

      The old Woman hastened away; and at that moment appeared the rising Sun, upon the rim of the dome. The old Man stept between Virgin and the Youth, and cried with a loud voice: "There are three which have rule on Earth; Wisdom, Appearance and Strength." the first word, the gold King rose; at the second, the silver one; and at the third, the brass King slowly rose, while the mixed King on a sudden very awkwardly plumped down.

      Whoever noticed him could scarcely keep from laughing, solemn as the moment was; for he was not sitting, he was not lying, he was — leaning, but shapelessly sunk together.

      The Lights, who till now had been employed upon him, drew to side; they appeared, although pale in the morning radiance, yet the more well-fed, and in good burning condition; with their peaked tongues, they had dexterously licked-out the gold veins of the colossal figure to its very heart. The irregular vacuities which this occasioned had continued empty for a time, and the figure had maintained its standing posture. But when at last the very tenderest filaments were eaten out, the image crashed suddenly together; and then, alas, in the very parts which continue unaltered when one sits down; whereas the limbs, which should have bent, sprawled themselves out unbowed and stiff. Whoever could not laugh was obliged to turn away his eyes; this miserable shape and no-shape was offensive to behold.

      The Man with the Lamp now led the handsome Youth, who still kept gazing vacantly before him, down from the Altar, and straight to the brazen King. At the feet of this mighty Potentate lay a sword in a brazen sheath. The young man girt it round him. "The sword on left, the right free!" cried the brazen voice. They next proceeded to the silver King; he bent his sceptre to the Youth; the latter seized it with his left hand, and the King in a pleasing voice said: "Feed the sheep!" On turning to the golden King, he stooped with gestures of paternal blessing, and pressing his oaken garland on the young man's head, said: "Understand what is highest!"

      During this progress, the old Man had carefully observed the Prince. After girding-on the sword, his breast swelled, his arms waved, and his feet trod firmer; when he took the sceptre in his hand, his strength appeared to soften, and by an unspeakable charm to become still more subduing; but as the oaken garland came to deck his hair, his features kindled, his eyes gleamed with inexpressible spirit, and the first word of his mouth was "Lily!"

      "Dearest Lily!" cried he, hastening up the silver stairs to her, for she had viewed his progress from the pinnacle of the Altar; "Dearest Lily! what more precious can a man, equipt with all, desire for himself than innocence and the still affection which thy bosom brings me? O my friend!" continued he, turning to the old Man, and looking at the three statues; "glorious and secure is the kingdom of our fathers; but thou hast forgotten the fourth power, which rules the world, earlier, more universally, more certainly, the power of Love." With these words, he fell upon the lovely maiden's neck; she had cast away her veil, and her cheeks were tinged with the fairest, most imperishable red.

      Here the old Man said with a smile: "Love does not rule; but it trains, and that is more."

      Amid this solemnity, this happiness and rapture, no one had observed that it was now broad day; and all at once, on looking through the open portal, a crowd of altogether unexpected objects met the eye. A large space surrounded with pillars formed the forecourt, at the end of which was seen a broad and stately Bridge stretching with many arches across the River. It was furnished, on both sides, with commodious and magnificent colonnades for foot-travellers, many thousands of whom were already there, busily passing this way or that. The broad pavement in the centre was thronged with herds and mules, with horsemen and carriages, flowing like two streams, on their several sides, and neither interrupting the other. All admired the splendour and convenience of the structure; and the new King and his Spouse were delighted with the motion and activity of this great people, as they were already happy in their own mutual love.

      "Remember the Snake in honour," said the Man with the Lamp; "thou owest her thy life; thy people owe her the Bridge, by which these neighbouring banks are now animated and combined into one land. Those swimming and shining jewels, the remains of her sacrificed body, are the piers of this royal bridge; upon these she has built and will maintain herself."

      The party were about to ask some explanation of this strange mystery, when there entered four lovely maidens at the portal of the Temple. By the Harp, the Parasol, and the Folding-stool, it was not difficult to recognise the waiting-maids of Lily; but the fourth, more beautiful than any of the rest, was an unknown fair one, and in sisterly sportfulness she hastened with them through the Temple, and mounted the steps of the Altar.

      "Wilt thou have better trust in me another time, good wife?" said the Man with the Lamp to the fair one: "Well for thee, and every living thing that bathes this morning in the River!"

      The renewed and beautified old Woman, of whose former shape no trace remained, embraced with young eager arms the Man with the Lamp, who kindly received her caresses. "If I am too old for thee," said he, smiling, "thou mayest choose another husband today; from this hour no marriage is of force, which is not contracted anew."

      "Dost thou not know, then," answered she, "that thou too art grown younger?" "It delights me if to thy young eyes I seem a handsome youth: I take thy hand anew, and am well content to live with thee another thousand years."

      The Queen welcomed her new friend, and went down with her into the interior of the Altar, while the King stood between his two men, looking towards the Bridge, and attentively contemplating the busy tumult of the people.

      But his satisfaction did not last; for ere long he saw an object which excited his displeasure. The great Giant, who appeared not yet to have awoke completely from his morning sleep, came stumbling along the Bridge, producing great confusion all around him. As usual, he had risen stupefied with sleep, and had meant to bathe in the well-known bay of the River; instead of which he found firm land, and plunged upon the broad pavement of the Bridge. Yet although he reeled into the midst of men and cattle in the clumsiest way, his presence, wondered at by all, was felt by none; but as the sunshine came into his eyes, and he raised his hands to rub them, the shadows of his monstrous fists moved to and fro behind him with such force and awkwardness, that men and beasts were heaped together in great masses, were hurt by such rude contact, and in danger of being pitched into the River.

      The King, as he saw this mischief, grasped with an involuntary movement at his sword; but he bethought himself, and looked calmly at his septre, then at the Lamp and the Rudder of his attendants. "I guess thy thoughts," said the Man with the Lamp; "but we and our gifts are powerless against this powerless monster. Be calm! He is doing hurt for the last time, and happily his shadow is not turned to us."

      Meanwhile the Giant was approaching nearer; in astonishment at what he saw with open eyes, he had dropt his hands; he was now doing no injury, and came staring and agape into the fore-court.

      He was walking straight to the door of the Temple, when all at once in the middle of the court, he halted, and was fixed to the ground. He stood there like a strong colossal statue, of reddish glittering stone, and his shadow pointed out the hours, which were marked in a circle on the floor around him, not in numbers, but in noble and expressive emblems.

      Much delighted was the King to see the monster's shadow turned to some useful purpose; much astonished was the Queen, who, on mounting from within the Altar, decked in royal pomp, with her virgins, first noticed the huge figure, which almost closed the prospect from the Temple to the Bridge.

      Meanwhile the people had crowded after the Giant, as he ceased to move; they were walking round him, wondering at his metamorphosis. From him they turned to the Temple, which they now first appeared to notice, and pressed towards the door.

      At this instant the Hawk with the mirror soared aloft above the dome; caught the light of the Sun, and reflected it upon the group, which was standing on the Altar. The King, the Queen, and their attendants, in the dusky concave of the Temple, seemed illuminated by a heavenly splendour, and the people fe

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

    • Durward Starman
      ******* I hope the few people who get e-mail in this group have read the Fairy Tale by now. Once you have, perhaps we can discuss it in the weeks leading up to
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 27, 2007
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        ******* I hope the few people who get e-mail in this group have read the Fairy Tale by now. Once you have, perhaps we can discuss it in the weeks leading up to the Holy Nights. Steiner's first Mystery Play was based on this "legend."
           Years ago, I had the privilege to act in this drama. To understand it, I divided it into its "scenes" and studied them. What I have to say here about it will be nonsense unless you've read it---- so if you have not, please read it first (it's below) and then come back to read a few thoughts about it I'll put here and perhaps discuss it.
         
                                                        *******
           The setting is in some never-named land. But that land's beings are as if under a spell, and have a prophecy about how one day the spell will be lifted, the enchantment broken.
          That land is ours. In the state all but exceptional souls are born into, we are under the spell of seeing only the external world and speculating about it with the brain-bound intellect. But there is a way out we hear about. We must find it.
           There is a river that runs through this land of ours. We are sometimes on one side of the river, sometimes on the other. On the other side is a beautiful being, but she is cursed in that every living creature she touches must die. A man who sees her loses all desire for anything except to see her again.
           Lily is the spirit-world. After each life a Ferryman takes us across to her. It is so beautiful there that life in this world seems a tragedy compared to it. But the only way to be with her is to die. Must it always be so? No, the prophecy says that when the spell is lifted, we shall be able to travel to and fro across the river at will --- the spirit-world will not always be estranged from the earthly one.
           Deep in the earth, a temple with Four Kings speaks of the secret. As merely natural beings, we can dimly sense that temple, but only if we take in the light of the most ethereal forces of Nature can we also see that holy place. The Green Snake is our merely natural selves, but when it absorbs nature's secrets it glows with the light of thinking. Then we know the essence of the earth. As it represents our scientific selves, like Goethe himself, there is another way to travel with vision to that temple: the Man with the Lamp. He is the path of inspiration, revelation.
          More later.

        Starman
        www.DrStarman.com



        Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 14:49:19 -0500
        Subject: [steiner] Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

        *******Here is the "fairy tale" that Steiner's first Mystery Play is based on/a transformation of, in the wonderful English translation by Thomas Carlyle.  -starman

        The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

        By:
        Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
        Translated by: Thomas Carlyle (1832)

         

        In his little hut by the great river, which a heavy rain had swoln to overflowing, lay the ancient Ferryman, asleep, wearied by the toil of the day. In the middle of the night, loud voices awoke him; he heard that it was travellers wishing to be carried over.

        Stepping out, he saw two large Will-o'-wisps, hovering to and fro on his boat, which lay moored: they said, they were in violent haste, and should have been already on the other side. The old Ferryman made no loitering; pushed off, and steered with his usual skill obliquely through the stream; while the two strangers whiffled and hissed together, in an unknown very rapid tongue, and every now and then broke out in loud laughter, hopping about, at one time on e gunwale and the seats, at another on the bottom of the boat.

        "The boat is heeling!" cried the old man; "if you don't be quiet, it'll overset; be seated, gentlemen of the wisp!"

        At this advice they burst into a fit of laughter, mocked the old man, and were more unquiet than ever. He bore their mischief with silence, and soon reached the farther shore.

        "Here is for your labour!" cried the travellers; and as they shook themselves, a heap of glittering gold-pieces jingled down into the wet boat. "For Heaven's sake, what are you about?" cried the old man; "you will ruin me forever! Had a single piece of gold got into the water, the stream, which cannot suffer gold, would have risen in horrid waves, and swallowed both my skiff and me; and who knows how it might have fared with you in that case? here, take back your gold."

        "We can take nothing back, which we have once shaken from us," said the Lights.

        "Then you give me the trouble," said the old man, stooping down, and gathering the pieces into his cap, "of raking them together, and carrying them ashore and burying them."

        The Lights had leaped from the boat, but the old man cried: "Stay; where is my fare?"

        "If you take no gold, you may work for nothing," cried the Will-o'-wisps. "You must know that I am only to be paid with fruits of the earth." "Fruits of the earth? we despise them, and have never tasted them." "And yet I cannot let you go, till you have promised that you will deliver me three Cabbages, three Artichokes, and three large Onions.

        The Lights were making-off with jests; but they felt themselves, in some inexplicable manner, fastened to the ground: it was the unpleasantest feeling they had ever had. They engaged to pay him his demand as soon as possible: he let them go, and pushed away. He was gone a good distance, when they called to him: "Old man! Holla, old man! the main point is forgotten!" He was off, however, and did not hear them. He had fallen quietly down that side of the River, where, in a rocky spot, which the water never reached, he meant to bury the pernicious gold. Here, between two high crags, he found a monstrous chasm; shook the metal into it, and steered back to his cottage.

        Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from her sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her eye on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were scattered in the chinks of the rock.

        Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all over her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was grown transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last, her curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to admire her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled along through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass. Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory. It was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes rose high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a brilliancy resembling her own. "Shall I find my like at last, then?" cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through bog and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and for most pare fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild dew and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in the hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you could propose to her.

        At last, with much fatigue, she reached a wee rushy spot in the swamp, where our two Will-o'-wisps were frisking to and fro. She shoved herself along to them; saluted them, was happy to meet such pleasant gentlemen related to her family. The Lights glided towards her, skipped up over her, and laughed in their fashion. "Lady Cousin," said they, "you are of the horizontal line, yet what of that? It is true we are related only by the look; for, observe you," here both the Flames, compressing their whole breadth, made themselves as high and peaked as possible, "how prettily this taper length beseems us gentlemen of the vertical line! Take it not amiss of us, good Lady; what family can boast of such a thing? Since there ever was a Jack-o'-lantern in the world, no one of them has either sat or lain."

        The Snake felt exceedingly uncomfortable in the company of these relations; for, let her hold her head as high as possible, she found that she must bend it to the earth again, would she stir from the spot; and if in the dark thicket she had been extremely satisfied with her appearance, her splendour in the presence of these cousins seemed to lessen every moment, nay she was afraid that at last it would go out entirely.

        In this embarrassment she hastily asked: If the gentlemen could not inform her, whence the glittering gold came, that had fallen a short while ago into the cleft of the rock; her own opinion was, that it had been a golden shower, and had trickled down direct from the sky. The Will-o'-wisps laughed, and shook themselves, and a multitude of gold-pieces came clinking down about them. The Snake pushed nimbly forwards to eat the coin. "Much good may it do you, Mistress," said the dapper gentlemen: "we can help you to a little more." They shook themselves again several times with great quickness, so that the Snake could scarcely gulp the precious victuals fast enough. Her splendour visibly began increasing; she was really shining beautifully, while the Lights had in the meantime grown rather lean and short of stature, without however in the smallest losing their good-humour.

        "I am obliged to you forever," said the Snake, having got her wind again after the repast; "ask of me what you will; all that I can I will do."

        "Very good!" cried the Lights. "Then tell us where the fair Lily dwells? Lead us to the fair Lily's palace and garden; and do not lose a moment, we are dying of impatience to fall down at her feet."

        "This service," said the Snake with a deep sigh, "I can not now do for you. The fair Lily dwells, alas, on the other side of the water." "Other side of the water? And we have come across it, this stormy night! How cruel is the River to divide us! Would it not be possible to call the old man back?"

        "It would be useless," said the Snake; "for if you found him ready on the bank, he would not take you in; he can carry anyone to this side, none to yonder."

        "Here is a pretty kettle of fish!" cried the Lights: "are there no other means of getting through the water?" "There are other means, but not at this moment. I myself could take you over, gentlemen, but not till noon." "That is an hour we do not like to travel in." "Then you may go across in the evening, on the great Giant's shadow."

        "How is that?" "The great Giant lives not far from this; with his body he has no power; his hands cannot lift a straw, his shoulders could not bear a faggot of twigs; but with his shadow he has power over much, nay all. At sunrise and sunset therefore he is strongest; so at evening you merely put yourself upon the back of his shadow, the Giant walks softly to the bank, and the shadow carries you across the water. But if you please, about the hour of noon, to be in waiting at that corner of the wood where the bushes overhang the bank, I myself will take you over and present you to the fair Lily: or on the other hand, if you dislike the noontide, you have just to go at nightfall to that bend of the rocks, and pay a visit to the Giant; he will certainly receive you like a gentleman."

        With a slight bow, the Flames went off; and the Snake at bottom was not discontented to get rid of them; partly that she might enjoy the brightness of her own light, partly [to] satisfy a curiosity with which, for a long time, she had been agitated in a singular way.

        In the chasm, where she often crawled hither and thither, she had made a strange discovery. For although in creeping up and down this abyss, she had never had a ray of light, she could well enough discriminate the objects in it, by her sense of touch. Generally she met with nothing but irregular productions of Nature; at one time she would wind between the teeth of large crystals, at another she would feel the barbs and hairs of native silver, and now and then carry out with her to the light some straggling jewels. But to her no small wonder, in a rock which was closed on every side, she had come on certain objects which betrayed the shaping hand of man. Smooth walls on which she could not climb, sharp regular corners, well-formed pillars; and what seemed strangest of all; human figures which she had entwined more than once, and which appeared to her to be of brass, or of the finest polished marble. All these experiences she now wished to combine by the sense of sight, thereby to confirm what as yet she only guessed. She believed she could illuminate the whole of that subterranean vault by her own light; and hoped to get acquainted with these curious things at once. She hastened back; and soon found, by the usual way, the cleft by which she used to penetrate the Sanctuary.

        On reaching the place, she gazed around with eager curiosity; and though her shining could not enlighten every object in the rotunda, yet those nearest her were plain enough. With astonishment and reverence she looked up into a glancing niche, where the image of an august King stood formed of pure Gold. In size the figure was beyond the stature of man, but by its shape it seemed the likeness of a little rather than a tall person. His handsome body was encircled with an unadorned mantle; and a garland of oak bound his hair together.

        No sooner had the Snake beheld this reverend figure, than the King began to speak, and asked: "Whence comest thou?" "From the chasms where the gold dwells," said the Snake. "What is grander than gold?" inquired the King. "Light," replied the Snake. "What is more refreshing than light?" said he. "Speech," answered she.

        During this conversation, she had squinted to a side, and in the nearest niche perceived another glorious image. It was a Silver King in a sitting posture; his shape was long and rather languid; he was covered with a decorated robe; crown, girdle and sceptre were adorned with precious stones: the cheerfulness of pride was in his countenance; he seemed about to speak, when a vein which ran dimly-coloured over the marble wall, on a sudden became bright, and diffused a cheerful light throughout the whole Temple. By this brilliancy the Snake perceived a third King, made of Brass, and sitting mighty in shape, leaning on his club, adorned with a laurel garland, and more like a rock than a man. She was looking for the fourth, which was standing at the greatest distance from her; but the wall opened, while the glittering vein started and split, as lightning does, and disappeared.

        A Man of middle stature, entering through the cleft, attracted the attention of the Snake. He was dressed like a peasant, and carried in his hand a little Lamp, on whose still flame you liked to look, and which in a strange manner, without casting any shadow, enlightened the whole dome.

        "Why comest thou, since we have light?" said the golden King." You know that I may not enlighten what is dark." "Will my Kingdom end?" said the silver King. "Late or never," said the old Man.

        With a stronger voice the brazen King began to ask: "When shall I arise?" "Soon," replied the Man. "With whom shall I combine?" said the King. "With thy elder brothers," said the Man. "What will the youngest do?" inquired the King. "He will sit down," replied the Man.

        "I am not tired," cried the fourth King, with a rough faltering voice.

        While this speech was going on, the Snake had glided softly round the Temple, viewing everything; she was now looking at the fourth King close by him. He stood leaning on a pillar; his considerable form was heavy rather than beautiful. But what metal it was made of could not be determined. Closely inspected, it seemed a mixture of the three metals which its brothers had been formed of. But in the founding, these materials did not seem to have combined together fully; gold and silver veins ran irregularly through a brazen mass, and gave the figure an unpleasant aspect.

        Meanwhile the gold King was asking of the Man, "How many secrets knowest thou?" "Three," replied the Man. "Which is the most important?" said the silver King. "The open one," replied the other. "Wilt thou open it to us also?" said the brass King."When I know the fourth," replied the Man."What care I" grumbled the composite King, in an undertone.

        "I know the fourth," said the Snake; approached the old Man, and hissed somewhat in his ear. "The time is at hand!" cried the old Man, with a strong voice. The temple reechoed, the metal statues sounded; and that instant the old Man sank away to the westward, and the Snake to the eastward; and both of them passed through the clefts of the rock, with the greatest speed.

        All the passages, through which the old Man travelled, filled themselves, immediately behind him, with gold; for his Lamp had the strange property of changing stone into gold, wood into silver, dead animals into precious stones, and of annihilating all metals. But to display this power, it must shine alone. If another light were beside it, the Lamp only cast from it a pure clear brightness, and all living things were refreshed by it.

        The old Man entered his cottage, which was built on the slope of the hill. He found his Wife in extreme distress. She was sitting at the fire weeping, and refusing to be consoled. "How unhappy am I!" cried she: "Did not I entreat thee not to go away tonight?""What is the matter, then?" inquired the husband, quite composed.

        "Scarcely wert thou gone," said she, sobbing, "when there came two noisy Travellers to the door: unthinkingly I let them in; they seemed to be a couple of genteel, very honourable people; they were dressed in flames, you would have taken them for Will-o'-wisps. But no sooner were they in the house, than they began, like impudent varlets, to compliment me, and grew so forward that I feel ashamed to think of it."

        "No doubt," said the husband with a smile, "the gentlemen were jesting: considering thy age, they might have held by general politeness."

        "Age! what age?" cried the Wife: "wilt thou always be talking of my age? How old am I, then?General politeness! But I know what I know. Look around there what a face the walls have; look at the old stones, which I have not seen these hundred years; every film of gold have they licked away, thou couldst not think how fast; and still they kept assuring me that it tasted far beyond common gold. Once they had swept the walls, the fellows seemed to be in high spirits, and truly in that little while they had grown much broader and brighter. They now began to be impertinent again, they patted me, and called me their queen, they shook themselves, and a shower of gold-pieces sprang from them; see how they are shining under the bench! But ah, what misery! Poor Mops ate a coin or two; and look, he is lying in the chimney, dead. Poor Pug. O well-a-day! I did not see it till they were gone; else I had never promised to pay the Ferryman the debt they owe him.""What do they owe him?" said the Man. "Three Cabbages," replied the Wife, "three Artichokes and three Onions: I engaged to go when it was day, and take them to the River."

        "Thou mayest do them that civility," said the old Man; "they may chance to be of use to us again."

        "Whether they will be of use to us I know not; but they promised and vowed that they would."

        Meantime the fire on the hearth had burnt low; the old Man covered-up the embers with a heap of ashes, and put the glittering gold-pieces aside; so that his little Lamp now gleamed alone, in the fairest brightness. The walls again coated themselves with gold, and Mops changed into the prettiest onyx that could be imagined. The alternation of the brown and black in this precious stone made it the most curious piece of workmanship.

        "Take thy basket," said the old Man, "and put the onyx into it; then take the three Cabbages, the three Artichokes and the three Onions; place them round little Mops, and carry them to the River. At noon the Snake will take thee over; visit the fair Lily, give her the onyx, she will make it alive by her touch, as by her touch she kills whatever is alive already. She will have a true companion in the little dog. Tell her, Not to mourn; her deliverance is near; the greatest misfortune she may look upon as the greatest happiness; for the time is at hand."

        The old Woman filled her basket, and set out as soon as it was day. The rising sun shone clear from the other side of the River, which was glittering in the distance; the old Woman walked with slow steps, for the basket pressed upon her head, and it was not the onyx that so burdened her. Whatever lifeless thing she might be carrying, she did not feel the weight of it; on the other hand, in those cases the basket rose aloft, and hovered above her head. But to carry any fresh herbage, or any little living animal, she found exceedingly laborious. She had travelled on for some time, in a sullen humour, when she halted suddenly in fright, for she had almost trod upon the Giant's shadow which was stretching towards her across the plain. And now, lifting up her eyes, she saw the monster of a Giant himself, who had been bathing in the River, and was just come out, and she knew not how she should avoid him. The moment he perceived her, he began saluting her in sport, and the hands of his shadow soon caught hold of the basket. With dexterous ease they picked away from it a Cabbage, an Artichoke and an Onion, and brought them to the Giant's mouth, who then went his way up the River, and let the Woman go in peace.

        She considered whether it would not be better to return, and supply from her garden the pieces she had lost; and amid these doubts, she still kept walking on, so that in a little while she was at the bank of the River. She sat long waiting for the Ferryman, whom she perceived at last, steering over with a very singular traveller. A young, noble-looking, handsome man, whom she could not gaze upon enough, stept out of the boat.

        "What is it you bring?" cried the old Man. "The greens which those two Will-o'-wisps owe you," said the Woman, pointing to her ware. As the Ferryman found only two of each sort, he grew angry, and declared he would have none of them. The Woman earnestly entreated him to take them; told him that she could not now go home, and that her burden for the way which still remained was very heavy. He stood by his refusal, and assured her that it did not rest with him. "What belongs to me," said he, "I must leave lying nine hours in a heap, touching none of it, till I have given the River its third." After much higgling, the old Man at last replied: "There is still another way. If you like to pledge yourself to the River, and declare yourself its debtor, I will take the six pieces; but there is some risk in it." "If I keep my word, I shall run no risk?" "Not the smallest. Put your hand into the stream," continued he, "and promise that within four-and-twenty hours you will pay the debt."

        The old Woman did so; but what was her affright, when on drawing out her hand, she found it black as coal! She loudly scolded the old Ferryman; declared that her hands had always been the fairest part of her; that in spite of her hard work, she had all along contrived to keep these noble members white and dainty. She looked at the hand with indignation, and exclaimed in a despairing tone: "Worse and worse! Look, it is vanishing entirely; it is grown far smaller than the other."

        "For the present it but seems so," said the old Man; "if you do not keep your word, however, it may prove so in earnest. The hand will gradually diminish, and at length disappear altogether, though you have the use of it as formerly. Everything as usual you will be able to perform with it, only nobody will see it." "I had rather that I could not use it, and no one could observe the want," cried she: "but what of that, I will keep my word, and rid myself of this black skin, and all anxieties about it." Thereupon she hastily took up her basket, which mounted of itself over her head, and hovered free above her in the air, as she hurried after the Youth, who was walking softly and thoughtfully down the bank. His noble form and strange dress had made a deep impression on her.

        His breast was covered with a glittering coat of mail; in whose wavings might be traced every motion of his fair body. From his shoulders hung a purple cloak; around his uncovered head flowed abundant brown hair in beautiful locks: his graceful face, and his well-formed feet were exposed to the scorching of the sun. With bare soles, he walked composedly over the hot sand; and a deep inward sorrow seemed to blunt him against all external things.

        The garrulous old Woman tried to lead him into conversation; but with his short answers he gave her small encouragement or information; so that in the end, notwithstanding the beauty of his eyes, she grew tired of speaking with him to no purpose, and took leave of him with these words: "You walk too slow for me, worthy sir; I must not lose a moment, for I have to pass the River on the green Snake, and carry.this fine present from my husband to the fair Lily." So saying she stept faster forward; but the fair Youth pushed on with equal speed, and hastened to keep up with her. "You are going to the fair Lily!" cried he; "then our roads are the same. But what present is this you are bringing her?"

        "Sir," said the Woman, "it is hardly fair, after so briefly dismissing the questions I put to you, to inquire with such vivacity about my secrets. But if you like to barter, and tell me your adventures, I will not conceal from you how it stands with me and my presents." They soon made a bargain: the dame disclosed her circumstances to him; told the history of the Pug, and let him see the singular gift.

        He lifted this natural curiosity from the basket, and took Mops, who seemed as if sleeping softly, into his arms. "Happy beast!" cried he; "thou wilt be touched by her hands, thou wilt be made alive by her; while the living are obliged to fly from her presence to escape a mournful doom. Yet why say I mournful? Is it not far sadder and more frightful to be injured by her look, than it would be to die by her hand? Behold me," said he to the Woman; "at my years, what a miserable fate have I to undergo! This mail which I have honourably borne in war, this purple which I sought to merit by a wise reign, Destiny has left me; the one as a useless burden, the other as an empty ornament. Crown, and sceptre, and sword are gone; and I am as bare and needy as any other son of earth; for so unblessed are her bright eyes, that they take from every living creature they look on all its force, and those whom the touch of her hand does not kill are changed to the state of shadows wandering alive."

        Thus did he continue to bewail, nowise contenting the old Woman's curiosity, who wished for information not so much of his internal as of his external situation. She learned neither the name of his father, nor of his kingdom. He stroked the hard Mops, whom the sunbeams and the bosom of the youth had warmed as if he had been living. He inquired narrowly about the Man with the Lamp, about the influences of the sacred light, appearing to expect much good from it in his melancholy case.

        Amid such conversation, they descried from afar the majestic arch of the Bridge, which extended from the one bank to the other, glittering with the strangest colours in the splendours of the sun. Both were astonished; for until now they had never seen this edifice so grand. "How!" cried the Prince, "was it not beautiful enough, as it stood before our eyes, piled out of jasper and agate? Shall we not fear to tread it, now that it appears combined, in graceful complexity of emerald and chrysopras and chrysolite?" Neither of them knew the alteration that had taken place upon the Snake: for it was indeed the Snake, who every day at noon curved herself over the River, and stood forth in the form of a bold-swelling bridge. The travellers stept upon it with a reverential feeling, and passed over it in silence.

        No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the bridge began to heave and stir; in a little while, it touched the surface of the water, and the green Snake in her proper form came gliding after the wanderers. They had scarcely thanked her for the privilege of crossing on her back, when they found that, besides them three, there must be other persons in the company, whom their eyes could not discern. They heard a hissing, which the Snake also answered with a hissing; they listened, and at length caught what follows: "We shall first look about us in the fair Lily's Park," said a pair of alternating voices; "and then request you at nightfall, so soon as we are anywise presentable, to introduce us to this paragon of beauty. At the shore of the great Lake you will find us." "Be it so," replied the Snake; and a hissing sound died away in the air.

        Our three travellers now consulted in what order they should introduce themselves to the fair Lady; for however many people might be in her company, they were obliged to enter and depart singly, under pain of suffering very hard severities.

        The Woman with the metamorphosed Pug in the basket first approached the garden, looking round for her Patroness; who was not difficult to find, being just engaged in singing to her harp. The finest tones proceeded from her, first like circles on the surface of the still lake, then like a light breath they set the grass and the bushes in motion. In a green enclosure, under the shadow of a stately group of many diverse trees, was she seated; and again did she enchant the eyes, the ears and the heart of the Woman, who approached with rapture, and swore within herself that since she saw her last, the fair one had grown fairer than ever. With eager gladness, from a distance, she expressed her reverence and admiration for the lovely maiden. "What a happiness to see you! what a Heaven does your presence spread around you! How charmingly the harp is leaning on your bosom, how softly your arms surround it, how it seems as if longing to be near you, and how it sounds so meekly under the touch of your slim fingers! Thrice-happy youth, to whom it were permitted to be there!"

        So speaking she approached; the fair Lily raised her eyes; let her hands drop from the harp, and answered: "Trouble me not with untimely praise; I feel my misery but the more deeply. Look here, at my feet lies the poor Canary-bird, which used so beautifully to accompany my singing; it would sit upon my harp, and was trained not to touch me; but today, while I, refreshed by sleep, was raising a peaceful morning hymn, and my little singer was pouring forth his harmonious tones more gaily than ever, a Hawk darts over my head; the poor little creature, in affright, takes refuge in my bosom, and I feel the last palpitations of its departing life. The plundering Hawk indeed was caught by my look, and fluttered fainting down into the water; but what can his punishment avail me? my darling is dead, and his grave will but increase the mournful bushes of my garden."

        "Take courage, fairest Lily!" cried the Woman, wiping off a tear, which the story of the hapless maiden had called into her eyes; "compose yourself; my old man bids me tell you to moderate your lamenting, to look upon the greatest misfortune as a forerunner of the greatest happiness, for the time is at hand; and truly," continued she, "the world is going strangely on of late. Do but look at my hand, how black it is! As I live and breathe, it is grown far smaller: I must hasten, before it vanish altogether! Why did I engage to do the Will-o'-wisps a service, why did I meet the Giant's shadow, and dip my hand in the River? Could you not afford me a single cabbage, an artichoke and an onion? I would give them to the River, and my hand were white as ever, so that I could almost show it with one of yours."

        "Cabbages and onions thou mayest still find; but artichokes thou wilt search for in vain. No plant in my garden bears either flowers or fruit; but every twig that I break, and plant upon the grave of a favourite, grows green straightway, and shoots up in fair boughs. All these groups, these bushes, these groves my hard destiny has so raised around me. These pines stretching out like parasols, these obelisks of cypresses, these colossal oaks and beeches, were all little twigs planted by my hand, as mournful memorials in a soil that otherwise is barren."

        To this speech the old Woman had paid little heed; she was looking at her hand, which, in presence of the fair Lily, seemed every moment growing blacker and smaller. She was about to snatch her basket and hasten off, when she noticed that the best part of her errand had been forgotten. She lifted out the onyx Pug, and set him down, not far from the fair one, in the grass. "My husband," said she, "sends you this memorial; you know that you can make a jewel live by touching it. This pretty faithful dog will certainly afford you much enjoyment; and my grief at losing him is brightened only by the thought that he will be in your possession."

        The fair Lily viewed the dainty creature with a pleased and, as it seemed, with an astonished look. "Many signs combine," said she, "that breathe some hope into me: but ah! is it not a natural deception which makes us fancy, when misfortunes crowd upon us, that a better day is near?

        What can these many signs avail me?
        My Singer's Death, thy coal black Hand?
        This Dog of Onyx, that can never fail me?
        And coming at the Lamp's command?
        From human joys removed forever,
        With sorrows compassed round I sit:
        Is there a Temple at the River?
        Is there a Bridge? Alas, not yet!

        The good old dame had listened with impatience to this singing, which the fair Lily accompanied with her harp, in a way that would have charmed any other. She was on the point of taking leave, when the arrival of the green Snake again detained her. The Snake had caught the last lines of the song, and on this matter forthwith began to speak comfort to the fair Lily.

        "The prophecy of the Bridge is fulfilled" cried the Snake: "you may ask this worthy dame how royally the arch looks now. What formerly was untransparent jasper or agate, allowing but a gleam of light to pass about its edges, is now become transparent precious stone. No beryl is so clear, no emerald so beautiful of hue."

        "I wish you joy of it," said Lily; "but you will pardon me if I regard the prophecy as yet unaccomplished. The lofty arch of your bridge can still but admit foot passengers; and it is promised us that horses and carriages and travellers of every sort shall, at the same moment, cross this bridge in both directions. Is there not something said, too, about pillars, which are to arise of themselves from the waters of the River?"

        The old Woman still kept her eyes fixed on her hand; she here interrupted their dialogue, and was taking leave. "Wait a moment," said the fair Lily, "and carry my little bird with you. Bid the Lamp change it into topaz; I will enliven it by my touch; with your good Mops it shall form my dearest pastime: but hasten, hasten; for, at sunset, intolerable putrefaction will fasten on the hapless bird, and tear asunder the fair combination of its form forever."

        The old Woman laid the little corpse, wrapped in soft leaves, into her basket, and hastened away.

        "However it may be," said the Snake, recommencing their interrupted dialogue, "the Temple is built."

        "But it is not at the River," said the fair one.

        "It is yet resting in the depths of the Earth," said the Snake; "I have seen the Kings and conversed with them."

        "But when will they arise?" inquired Lily.

        The Snake replied: "I heard resounding in the Temple these deep words, The time is at hand. "

        A pleasing cheerfulness spread over the fair Lily's face: " 'Tis the second time," said she, "that I have heard these happy words today: when will the day come for me to hear them thrice?"

        She arose, and immediately there came a lovely maiden from the grove, and took away her harp. Another followed her, and folded-up the fine carved ivory stool, on which the fair one had been sitting, and put the silvery cushion under her arm. A third then made her appearance, with a large parasol worked with pearls; and looked whether Lily would require her in walking. These three maidens were beyond expression beautiful; and yet their beauty but exalted that of Lily, for it was plain to every one that they could never be compared to her.

        Meanwhile the fair one had been looking, with a satisfied aspect, at the strange onyx Mops. She bent down and touched him, and that instant he started up. Gaily he looked around, ran hither and thither, and at last, in his kindest manner, hastened to salute his benefactress. She took him in her arms, and pressed him to her. "Cold as thou art," cried she, "and though but a half-life works in thee, thou art welcome to me; tenderly will I love thee, prettily will I play with thee, softly caress thee, and firmly press thee to my bosom." She then let him go, chased him from her, called him back, and played so daintily with him, and ran about so gaily and so innocently with him on the grass, that with new rapture you viewed and participated in her joy, as a little while ago her sorrow had attuned every heart to sympathy.

        This cheerfulness, these graceful sports were interrupted by the entrance of the woeful Youth. He stepped forward, in his former guise and aspect; save that the heat of the day appeared to have fatigued him still more, and in the presence of his mistress he grew paler every moment. He bore upon his hand a Hawk, which was sitting quiet as a dove, with its body shrunk, and its wings drooping.

        "It is not kind in thee," cried Lily to him, "to bring that hateful thing before my eyes, the monster, which today has killed my little singer."

        "Blame not the unhappy bird!" replied the Youth; "rather blame thyself and thy destiny; and leave me to keep beside me the companion of my woe."

        Meanwhile Mops ceased not teasing the fair Lily; and she replied to her transparent favourite, with friendly gestures. She clapped her hands to scare him off; then ran, to entice him after her. She tried to get him when he fled, and she chased him away when he attempted to press near her. The Youth looked on in silence, with increasing anger; but at last, when she took the odious beast, which seemed to him unutterably ugly, on her arm, pressed it to her white bosom, and kissed its black snout with her heavenly lips, his patience altogether failed him, and full of desperation he exclaimed: "Must I, who by a baleful fate exist beside thee, perhaps to the end, in an absent presence; who by thee have lost my all, my very self; must I see before my eyes, that so unnatural a monster can charm thee into gladness, can awaken thy attachment, and enjoy thy embrace? Shall I any longer keep wandering to and fro, measuring my dreary course to that side of the River and to this? No, there is still a spark of the old heroic spirit sleeping in my bosom; let it start this instant into its expiring flame! If stones may rest in thy bosom, let me be changed to stone; if thy touch kills, I will die by thy hands."

        So saying he made a violent movement; the Hawk flew from his finger, but he himself rushed towards the fair one; she held out her hands to keep him off, and touched him only the sooner. Consciousness forsook him; and she felt with horror the beloved burden lying on her bosom. With a shriek she started back, and the gentle Youth sank lifeless from her arms upon the ground.

        The misery had happened! The sweet Lily stood motionless gazing on the corpse. Her heart seemed to pause in her bosom; and her eyes were without tears. In vain did Mops try to gain from her any kindly gesture; with her friend, the world for her was all dead as the grave. Her silent despair did not look round for help; she knew not of any help.

        On the other hand, the Snake bestirred herself the more actively; she seemed to meditate deliverance; and in fact her strange movements served at least to keep away, for a little, the immediate consequences of the mischief. With her limber body, she formed a wide circle round the corpse, and seizing the end of her tail between her teeth, she lay quite still.

        Ere long one of Lily's fair waiting-maids appeared; brought the ivory folding-stool, and with friendly beckoning constrained her mistress to sit down on it. Soon afterwards there came a second; she had in her hand a fire-coloured veil, with which she rather decorated than concealed the fair Lily's head. The third handed her the harp, and scarcely had she drawn the gorgeous instrument towards her, and struck some tones from its strings, when the first maid returned with a clear round mirror; took her station opposite the fair one; caught her looks in the glass, and threw back to her the loveliest image that was to be found in Nature. Sorrow heightened her beauty, the veil her charms, the harp her grace; and deeply as you wished to see her mournful situation altered, not less deeply did you wish to keep her image, as she now looked, forever present with you.

        With a still look at the mirror, she touched the harp; now melting tones proceeded from the strings, now her pain seemed to mount, and the music in strong notes responded to her woe; sometimes she opened her lips to sing, but her voice failed her; and ere long her sorrow melted into tears, two maidens caught her helpfully in their arms, the harp sank from her bosom, scarcely could the quick servant snatch the instrument and carry it aside.

        "Who gets us the Man with the Lamp, before the Sun set?" hissed the Snake, faintly, but audibly: the maids looked at one another, and Lily's tears fell faster. At this moment came the Woman with the Basket, panting and altogether breathless. "I am lost, and maimed for life!" cried she, "see how my hand is almost vanished; neither Ferryman nor Giant would take me over, because I am the River's debtor; in vain did I promise hundreds of cabbages and hundreds of onions; they will take no more than three; and no artichoke is now to be found in all this quarter."

        "Forget your own care," said the Snake, "and try to bring help here; perhaps it may come to yourself also. Haste with your utmost speed to seek the Will-o'-wisps; it is too light for you to see them, but perhaps you will hear them laughing and hopping to and fro. If they be speedy, they may cross upon the Giant's shadow, and seek the Man with the Lamp, and send him to us."

        The Woman hurried off at her quickest pace, and the Snake seemed expecting as impatiently as Lily the return of the Flames. Alas! the beam of the sinking Sun was already gliding only the highest summits of the trees in the thicket, and long shadows were stretching over lake and meadow; the Snake hitched up and down impatiently, and Lily dissolved in tears.

        In this extreme need, the Snake kept looking round on all sides; for she was afraid every moment that the Sun would set, and corruption penetrate the magic circle, and the fair youth immediately moulder away. At last she noticed sailing high in the air, with purple-red feathers, the Prince's Hawk, whose breast was catching the last beams of the Sun. She shook herself for joy at this good omen; nor was she deceived; for shortly afterwards the Man with the Lamp was seen gliding towards them across the Lake, fast and smoothly, as if he had been travelling on skates.

        The Snake did not change her posture; but Lily rose and called to him: "What good spirit sends thee, at the moment when we were desiring thee, and needing thee, so much?"

        "The spirit of my Lamp," replied the Man, "has impelled me, and the Hawk has conducted me. My Lamp sparkles when I am needed, and I just look about me in the sky for a signal; some bird or meteor points to the quarter towards which I am to turn. Be calm, fairest Maiden! Whether I can help, I know not; an individual helps not, but he who combines himself with many at the proper hour. We will postpone the evil, and keep hoping. Hold thy circle fast," continued he, turning to the Snake; then set himself upon a hillock beside her, and illuminated the dead body. "Bring the little Bird hither too, and lay it in the circle!" The maidens took the little corpse from the basket, which the old Woman had left standing, and did as he directed.

        Meanwhile the Sun had set; and as the darkness increased, not only the Snake and the old Man's Lamp began shining in their fashion, but also Lily's veil gave-out a soft light, which gracefully tinged, as with a meek dawning red, her pale cheeks and her white robe. The party looked at one another, silently reflecting; care and sorrow were mitigated by a sure hope.

        It was no unpleasing entrance, therefore, that the Woman made, attended by the two gay Flames, which in truth appeared to have been very lavish in the interim, for they had again become extremely meagre; yet they only bore themselves the more prettily for that, towards Lily and the other ladies. With great tact and expressiveness, they said a multitude of rather common things to these fair persons; and declared themselves particularly ravished by the charm which the gleaming veil spread over Lily and her attendants. The ladies modestly cast down their eyes, and the praise of their beauty made them really beautiful. All were peaceful and calm, except the old Woman. In spite of the assurance of her husband, that her hand could diminish no farther, while the Lamp shone on it, she asserted more than once, that if things went on thus, before midnight this noble member would have utterly vanished.

        The Man with the Lamp had listened attentively to the conversation of the Lights; and was gratified that Lily had been cheered, in some measure, and amused by it. And, in truth, midnight had arrived they knew not how. The old Man looked to the stars, and then began speaking: "We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will swallow-up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes individual joys."

        At these words arose a wondrous hubbub; for all the persons in the party spoke aloud, each for himself, declaring what they had to do; only the three maids were silent; one of them had fallen asleep beside the harp, another near the parasol, the third by the stool; and you could not blame them much, for it was late. The Fiery Youths, after some passing compliments which they devoted to the waiting-maids, had turned their sole attention to the Princess, as alone worthy of exclusive homage.

        "Take the mirror," said the Man to the Hawk; "and with the first sunbeam illuminate the three sleepers, and awake them, with light reflected from above."

        The Snake now began to move; she loosened her circle, and rolled slowly, in large rings, forward to the River. The two Will-o'-wisps followed with a solemn air: you would have taken them for the most serious Flames in Nature. The old Woman and her husband seized the Basket, whose mild light they had scarcely observed till now; they lifted it at both sides, and it grew still larger and more luminous; they lifted the body of the Youth into it, laying the Canary-bird upon his breast; the Basket rose into the air and hovered above the old Woman's head, and she followed the Will-o'-wisps on foot. The fair Lily took Mops on her arm, and followed the Woman; the Man with the Lamp concluded the procession; and the scene was curiously illuminated by these many lights.

        But it was with no small wonder that the party saw, when they approached the River, a glorious arch mount over it, by which the helpful Snake was affording them a glittering path. If by day they had admired the beautiful transparent precious stones, of which the Bridge seemed formed; by night they were astonished at its gleaming brilliancy. On the upper side the clear circle marked itself sharp against the dark sky, but below, vivid beams were darting to the centre, and exhibiting the airy firmness of the edifice. The procession slowly moved across it; and the Ferryman, who saw it from his hut afar off, considered with astonishment the gleaming circle, and the strange lights which were passing over it

        No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the arch began, in its usual way, to swag up and down, and with a wavy motion to approach the water. The Snake then came on land, the Basket placed itself upon the ground, and the Snake again drew her circle round it. The old Man stooped towards her, and said: "What hast thou resolved on?"

        "To sacrifice myself rather than be sacrificed," replied the Snake; "promise me that thou wilt leave no stone on shore."

        The old Man promised; then addressing Lily: "Touch the Snake," said he, "with thy left hand, and thy lover with thy right." Lily knelt, and touched the Snake and the Prince's body. The latter in the instant seemed to come to life; he moved in the Basket, nay he raised himself into a sitting posture; Lily was about to clasp him; but the old Man held her back, and himself assisted the Youth to rise, and led him forth from the Basket and the circle.

        The Prince was standing; the Canary-bird was fluttering on his shoulder; there was life again in both of them, but the spirit had not yet returned; the fair Youth's eyes were open, yet he did not see, at least he seemed to look on all without participation. Scarcely had their admiration of this incident a little calmed, when they observed how strangely it had fared in the meanwhile with the Snake. Her fair taper body had crumbled into thousands and thousands of shining jewels: the old Woman reaching at her Basket had chanced to come against the circle; and of the shape or structure of the Snake there was now nothing to be seen, only a bright ring of luminous jewels was lying in the grass.

        The old Man forthwith set himself to gather the stones into the Basket; a task in which his wife assisted him. They next carried the Basket to an elevated point on the bank; and here the man threw its whole lading, not without contradiction from the fair one and his wife, who would gladly have retained some part of it, down into the River. Like gleaming twinkling stars the stones floated down with the waves; and you could not say whether they lost themselves in the distance, or sank to the bottom.

        "Gentlemen," said he with the Lamp, in a respectful tone to the Lights, "I will now show you the way, and open you the passage; but you will do us an essential service, if you please to unbolt the door, by which the Sanctuary must be entered at present, and which none but you can unfasten."

        The Lights made a stately bow of assent, and kept their place. The old Man of the Lamp went foremost into the rock, which opened at his presence; the Youth followed him, as if mechanically; silent and uncertain, Lily kept at some distance from him; the old Woman would not be left, and stretched-out her hand, that the light of her husband's Lamp might still fall upon it. The rear was closed by the two Will-o'-wisps, who bent the peaks of their flames towards one another, and appeared to be engaged in conversation.

        They had not gone far till the procession halted in front of a large brazen door, the leaves of which were bolted with a golden lock. The Man now called upon the Lights to advance; who required small entreaty, and with their pointed flames soon ate both bar and lock.

        The brass gave a loud clang, as the doors sprang suddenly asunder; and the stately figures of the Kings appeared within the Sanctuary, illuminated by the entering Lights. All bowed before these dread sovereigns, especially the Flames made a profusion of the daintiest reverences.

        After a pause, the gold King asked: "Whence come ye?" "From the world," said the old Man. "Whither go ye?" said the silver King. "Into the world," replied the Man. "What would ye with us?" cried the brazen King. "Accompany you," replied the Man.

        The composite King was about to speak, when the gold one addressed the Lights, who had got too near him: "Take yourselves away from me, my metal was not made for you." Thereupon they turned to the silver King, and clasped themselves about him; and his robe glittered beautifully in their yellow brightness. "You are welcome," said he, "but I cannot feed you; satisfy yourselves elsewhere, and bring me your light." They removed; and gliding past the brazen King, who did not seem to notice them, they fixed on the compounded King. "Who will govern the world?" cried he, with a broken voice. "He who stands upon his feet," replied the old Man. "I am he," said the mixed King. "We shall see," replied the Man; "for the time is at hand."

        The fair Lily fell upon the old Man's neck, and kissed him cordially. "Holy Sage!" cried she, "a thousand times I thank thee; for I hear that fateful word the third time." She had scarcely spoken, when she clasped the old Man still faster; for the ground began to move beneath them; the Youth and the old Woman also held by one another; the Lights alone did not regard it.

        You could feel plainly that the whole temple was in motion; as a ship that softly glides away from the harbour, when her anchors are lifted; the depths of the Earth seemed to open for the Building as it went along. It struck on nothing; no rock came in its way.

        For a few instants, a small rain seemed to drizzle from the opening of the dome; the old Man held the fair Lily fast, and said to her: "We are now beneath the River; we shall soon be at the mark." Ere long they thought the Temple made a halt; but they were in an error; it was mounting upwards.

        And now a strange uproar rose above their heads. Planks and beams in disordered combination now came pressing and crashing in at the opening of the dome. Lily and the Woman started to a side; the Man with the Lamp laid hold of the Youth, and kept standing still. The little cottage of the Ferryman, for it was this which the Temple in ascending had severed from the ground and carried up with it, sank gradually down, and covered the old Man and the Youth.

        The women screamed aloud, and the Temple shook, like a ship running unexpectedly aground. In sorrowful perplexity, the Princess and her old attendant wandered round the cottage in the dawn; the door was bolted, and to their knocking no one answered. They knocked more loudly, and were not a little struck, when at length the wood began to ring. By virtue of the Lamp locked up in it, the hut had been converted from the inside to the outside into solid silver. Ere long too its form changed; for the noble metal shook aside the accidental shape of planks, posts and beams, and stretched itself out into a noble case of beaten ornamented workmanship. Thus a fair little temple stood erected in the middle of the large one; or if you will, an Altar worthy of the Temple.

        By a staircase which ascended from within, the noble Youth now mounted aloft, lighted by the old Man with the Lamp, and, as it seemed, supported by another, who advanced in a white short robe, with a silver rudder in his hand; and was soon recognised as the Ferryman, the former possessor of the cottage.

        The fair Lily mounted the outer steps, which led from the floor of the Temple to the Altar; but she was still obliged to keep herself apart from her Lover. The old Woman, whose hand in the absence of the Lamp had grown still smaller, cried: "Am I, then, to be unhappy after all? Among so many miracles, can there be nothing done to save my hand?" Her husband pointed to the open door, and said to her: "See, the day is breaking; haste, bathe thyself in the River." "What an advice!" cried she; "it will make me all black; it will make me vanish together; for my debt is not yet paid." "Go," said the man, "and do as I advise thee; all debts are now paid."

        The old Woman hastened away; and at that moment appeared the rising Sun, upon the rim of the dome. The old Man stept between Virgin and the Youth, and cried with a loud voice: "There are three which have rule on Earth; Wisdom, Appearance and Strength." the first word, the gold King rose; at the second, the silver one; and at the third, the brass King slowly rose, while the mixed King on a sudden very awkwardly plumped down.

        Whoever noticed him could scarcely keep from laughing, solemn as the moment was; for he was not sitting, he was not lying, he was — leaning, but shapelessly sunk together.

        The Lights, who till now had been employed upon him, drew to side; they appeared, although pale in the morning radiance, yet the more well-fed, and in good burning condition; with their peaked tongues, they had dexterously licked-out the gold veins of the colossal figure to its very heart. The irregular vacuities which this occasioned had continued empty for a time, and the figure had maintained its standing posture. But when at last the very tenderest filaments were eaten out, the image crashed suddenly together; and then, alas, in the very parts which continue unaltered when one sits down; whereas the limbs, which should have bent, sprawled themselves out unbowed and stiff. Whoever could not laugh was obliged to turn away his eyes; this miserable shape and no-shape was offensive to behold.

        The Man with the Lamp now led the handsome Youth, who still kept gazing vacantly before him, down from the Altar, and straight to the brazen King. At the feet of this mighty Potentate lay a sword in a brazen sheath. The young man girt it round him. "The sword on left, the right free!" cried the brazen voice. They next proceeded to the silver King; he bent his sceptre to the Youth; the latter seized it with his left hand, and the King in a pleasing voice said: "Feed the sheep!" On turning to the golden King, he stooped with gestures of paternal blessing, and pressing his oaken garland on the young man's head, said: "Understand what is highest!"

        During this progress, the old Man had carefully observed the Prince. After girding-on the sword, his breast swelled, his arms waved, and his feet trod firmer; when he took the sceptre in his hand, his strength appeared to soften, and by an unspeakable charm to become still more subduing; but as the oaken garland came to deck his hair, his features kindled, his eyes gleamed with inexpressible spirit, and the first word of his mouth was "Lily!"

        "Dearest Lily!" cried he, hastening up the silver stairs to her, for she had viewed his progress from the pinnacle of the Altar; "Dearest Lily! what more precious can a man, equipt with all, desire for himself than innocence and the still affection which thy bosom brings me? O my friend!" continued he, turning to the old Man, and looking at the three statues; "glorious and secure is the kingdom of our fathers; but thou hast forgotten the fourth power, which rules the world, earlier, more universally, more certainly, the power of Love." With these words, he fell upon the lovely maiden's neck; she had cast away her veil, and her cheeks were tinged with the fairest, most imperishable red.

        Here the old Man said with a smile: "Love does not rule; but it trains, and that is more."

        Amid this solemnity, this happiness and rapture, no one had observed that it was now broad day; and all at once, on looking through the open portal, a crowd of altogether unexpected objects met the eye. A large space surrounded with pillars formed the forecourt, at the end of which was seen a broad and stately Bridge stretching with many arches across the River. It was furnished, on both sides, with commodious and magnificent colonnades for foot-travellers, many thousands of whom were already there, busily passing this way or that. The broad pavement in the centre was thronged with herds and mules, with horsemen and carriages, flowing like two streams, on their several sides, and neither interrupting the other. All admired the splendour and convenience of the structure; and the new King and his Spouse were delighted with the motion and activity of this great people, as they were already happy in their own mutual love.

        "Remember the Snake in honour," said the Man with the Lamp; "thou owest her thy life; thy people owe her the Bridge, by which these neighbouring banks are now animated and combined into one land. Those swimming and shining jewels, the remains of her sacrificed body, are the piers of this royal bridge; upon these she has built and will maintain herself."

        The party were about to ask some explanation of this strange mystery, when there entered four lovely maidens at the portal of the Temple. By the Harp, the Parasol, and the Folding-stool, it was not difficult to recognise the waiting-maids of Lily; but the fourth, more beautiful than any of the rest, was an unknown fair one, and in sisterly sportfulness she hastened with them through the Temple, and mounted the steps of the Altar.

        "Wilt thou have better trust in me another time, good wife?" said the Man with the Lamp to the fair one: "Well for thee, and every living thing that bathes this morning in the River!"

        The renewed and beautified old Woman, of whose former shape no trace remained, embraced with young eager arms the Man with the Lamp, who kindly received her caresses. "If I am too old for thee," said he, smiling, "thou mayest choose another husband today; from this hour no marriage is of force, which is not contracted anew."

        "Dost thou not know, then," answered she, "that thou too art grown younger?" "It delights me if to thy young eyes I seem a handsome youth: I take thy hand anew, and am well content to live with thee another thousand years."

        The Queen welcomed her new friend, and went down with her into the interior of the

        (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

      • happypick2000
        Dr. Starman, †hank you so very much for this wonderfully insightful gift - perhaps it might help readers understanding knowing that all 4 main human
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 27, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Dr. Starman, †hank you so very much for this wonderfully insightful
          gift - perhaps it might help readers' understanding knowing that all 4
          main human dispositions are represented in Goethe's wonderful tale. I
          apologize for "sitting on the sidelines" due to 1 badly fractured
          wrist and 1 sprained wrist, but I shall be participating in spirit.

          Blessings,
          Sheila
          [typed by husband]

          --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, Durward Starman <DrStarman@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > ******* I hope the few people who get e-mail in this group have read
          the Fairy Tale by now. Once you have, perhaps we can discuss it in the
          weeks leading up to the Holy Nights. Steiner's first Mystery Play was
          based on this "legend."
          > Years ago, I had the privilege to act in this drama. To
          understand it, I divided it into its "scenes" and studied them. What I
          have to say here about it will be nonsense unless you've read it----
          so if you have not, please read it first (it's below) and then come
          back to read a few thoughts about it I'll put here and perhaps discuss it.
          >
          > *******
          > The setting is in some never-named land. But that land's beings
          are as if under a spell, and have a prophecy about how one day the
          spell will be lifted, the enchantment broken.
          > That land is ours. In the state all but exceptional souls are born
          into, we are under the spell of seeing only the external world and
          speculating about it with the brain-bound intellect. But there is a
          way out we hear about. We must find it.
          > There is a river that runs through this land of ours. We are
          sometimes on one side of the river, sometimes on the other. On the
          other side is a beautiful being, but she is cursed in that every
          living creature she touches must die. A man who sees her loses all
          desire for anything except to see her again.
          > Lily is the spirit-world. After each life a Ferryman takes us
          across to her. It is so beautiful there that life in this world seems
          a tragedy compared to it. But the only way to be with her is to die.
          Must it always be so? No, the prophecy says that when the spell is
          lifted, we shall be able to travel to and fro across the river at will
          --- the spirit-world will not always be estranged from the earthly one.
          > Deep in the earth, a temple with Four Kings speaks of the secret.
          As merely natural beings, we can dimly sense that temple, but only if
          we take in the light of the most ethereal forces of Nature can we also
          see that holy place. The Green Snake is our merely natural selves, but
          when it absorbs nature's secrets it glows with the light of thinking.
          Then we know the essence of the earth. As it represents our scientific
          selves, like Goethe himself, there is another way to travel with
          vision to that temple: the Man with the Lamp. He is the path of
          inspiration, revelation.
          > More later.
          > Starmanwww.DrStarman.com
          >
          >
          > Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 14:49:19 -0500Subject: [steiner] Goethe's
          Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
          >
          >
          >
          > *******Here is the "fairy tale" that Steiner's first Mystery Play is
          based on/a transformation of, in the wonderful English translation by
          Thomas Carlyle. -starman
          > The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
          >
          > By:Johann Wolfgang von GoetheTranslated by: Thomas Carlyle (1832)
          >
          > In his little hut by the great river, which a heavy rain had swoln
          to overflowing, lay the ancient Ferryman, asleep, wearied by the toil
          of the day. In the middle of the night, loud voices awoke him; he
          heard that it was travellers wishing to be carried over.
          >
          > Stepping out, he saw two large Will-o'-wisps, hovering to and fro on
          his boat, which lay moored: they said, they were in violent haste, and
          should have been already on the other side. The old Ferryman made no
          loitering; pushed off, and steered with his usual skill obliquely
          through the stream; while the two strangers whiffled and hissed
          together, in an unknown very rapid tongue, and every now and then
          broke out in loud laughter, hopping about, at one time on e gunwale
          and the seats, at another on the bottom of the boat.
          > "The boat is heeling!" cried the old man; "if you don't be quiet,
          it'll overset; be seated, gentlemen of the wisp!"
          > At this advice they burst into a fit of laughter, mocked the old
          man, and were more unquiet than ever. He bore their mischief with
          silence, and soon reached the farther shore.
          > "Here is for your labour!" cried the travellers; and as they shook
          themselves, a heap of glittering gold-pieces jingled down into the wet
          boat. "For Heaven's sake, what are you about?" cried the old man; "you
          will ruin me forever! Had a single piece of gold got into the water,
          the stream, which cannot suffer gold, would have risen in horrid
          waves, and swallowed both my skiff and me; and who knows how it might
          have fared with you in that case? here, take back your gold."
          > "We can take nothing back, which we have once shaken from us," said
          the Lights.
          > "Then you give me the trouble," said the old man, stooping down, and
          gathering the pieces into his cap, "of raking them together, and
          carrying them ashore and burying them."
          > The Lights had leaped from the boat, but the old man cried: "Stay;
          where is my fare?"
          > "If you take no gold, you may work for nothing," cried the
          Will-o'-wisps. "You must know that I am only to be paid with fruits of
          the earth." "Fruits of the earth? we despise them, and have never
          tasted them." "And yet I cannot let you go, till you have promised
          that you will deliver me three Cabbages, three Artichokes, and three
          large Onions.
          > The Lights were making-off with jests; but they felt themselves, in
          some inexplicable manner, fastened to the ground: it was the
          unpleasantest feeling they had ever had. They engaged to pay him his
          demand as soon as possible: he let them go, and pushed away. He was
          gone a good distance, when they called to him: "Old man! Holla, old
          man! the main point is forgotten!" He was off, however, and did not
          hear them. He had fallen quietly down that side of the River, where,
          in a rocky spot, which the water never reached, he meant to bury the
          pernicious gold. Here, between two high crags, he found a monstrous
          chasm; shook the metal into it, and steered back to his cottage.
          > Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from her
          sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her eye
          on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest
          relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were
          scattered in the chinks of the rock.
          > Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she
          began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all over
          her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was grown
          transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was
          possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last, her
          curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her
          from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this
          precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to admire
          her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled along
          through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass.
          Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory. It
          was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes rose
          high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a
          brilliancy resembling her own. "Shall I find my like at last, then?"
          cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through bog
          and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live
          in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and
          for most pare fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild dew
          and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in the
          hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you
          could propose to her.
          > At last, with much fatigue, she reached a wee rushy spot in the
          swamp, where our two Will-o'-wisps were frisking to and fro. She
          shoved herself along to them; saluted them, was happy to meet such
          pleasant gentlemen related to her family. The Lights glided towards
          her, skipped up over her, and laughed in their fashion. "Lady Cousin,"
          said they, "you are of the horizontal line, yet what of that? It is
          true we are related only by the look; for, observe you," here both the
          Flames, compressing their whole breadth, made themselves as high and
          peaked as possible, "how prettily this taper length beseems us
          gentlemen of the vertical line! Take it not amiss of us, good Lady;
          what family can boast of such a thing? Since there ever was a
          Jack-o'-lantern in the world, no one of them has either sat or lain."
          > The Snake felt exceedingly uncomfortable in the company of these
          relations; for, let her hold her head as high as possible, she found
          that she must bend it to the earth again, would she stir from the
          spot; and if in the dark thicket she had been extremely satisfied with
          her appearance, her splendour in the presence of these cousins seemed
          to lessen every moment, nay she was afraid that at last it would go
          out entirely.
          > In this embarrassment she hastily asked: If the gentlemen could not
          inform her, whence the glittering gold came, that had fallen a short
          while ago into the cleft of the rock; her own opinion was, that it had
          been a golden shower, and had trickled down direct from the sky. The
          Will-o'-wisps laughed, and shook themselves, and a multitude of
          gold-pieces came clinking down about them. The Snake pushed nimbly
          forwards to eat the coin. "Much good may it do you, Mistress," said
          the dapper gentlemen: "we can help you to a little more." They shook
          themselves again several times with great quickness, so that the Snake
          could scarcely gulp the precious victuals fast enough. Her splendour
          visibly began increasing; she was really shining beautifully, while
          the Lights had in the meantime grown rather lean and short of stature,
          without however in the smallest losing their good-humour.
          > "I am obliged to you forever," said the Snake, having got her wind
          again after the repast; "ask of me what you will; all that I can I
          will do."
          > "Very good!" cried the Lights. "Then tell us where the fair Lily
          dwells? Lead us to the fair Lily's palace and garden; and do not lose
          a moment, we are dying of impatience to fall down at her feet."
          > "This service," said the Snake with a deep sigh, "I can not now do
          for you. The fair Lily dwells, alas, on the other side of the water."
          "Other side of the water? And we have come across it, this stormy
          night! How cruel is the River to divide us! Would it not be possible
          to call the old man back?"
          > "It would be useless," said the Snake; "for if you found him ready
          on the bank, he would not take you in; he can carry anyone to this
          side, none to yonder."
          > "Here is a pretty kettle of fish!" cried the Lights: "are there no
          other means of getting through the water?" "There are other means, but
          not at this moment. I myself could take you over, gentlemen, but not
          till noon." "That is an hour we do not like to travel in." "Then you
          may go across in the evening, on the great Giant's shadow."
          > "How is that?" "The great Giant lives not far from this; with his
          body he has no power; his hands cannot lift a straw, his shoulders
          could not bear a faggot of twigs; but with his shadow he has power
          over much, nay all. At sunrise and sunset therefore he is strongest;
          so at evening you merely put yourself upon the back of his shadow, the
          Giant walks softly to the bank, and the shadow carries you across the
          water. But if you please, about the hour of noon, to be in waiting at
          that corner of the wood where the bushes overhang the bank, I myself
          will take you over and present you to the fair Lily: or on the other
          hand, if you dislike the noontide, you have just to go at nightfall to
          that bend of the rocks, and pay a visit to the Giant; he will
          certainly receive you like a gentleman."
          > With a slight bow, the Flames went off; and the Snake at bottom was
          not discontented to get rid of them; partly that she might enjoy the
          brightness of her own light, partly [to] satisfy a curiosity with
          which, for a long time, she had been agitated in a singular way.
          > In the chasm, where she often crawled hither and thither, she had
          made a strange discovery. For although in creeping up and down this
          abyss, she had never had a ray of light, she could well enough
          discriminate the objects in it, by her sense of touch. Generally she
          met with nothing but irregular productions of Nature; at one time she
          would wind between the teeth of large crystals, at another she would
          feel the barbs and hairs of native silver, and now and then carry out
          with her to the light some straggling jewels. But to her no small
          wonder, in a rock which was closed on every side, she had come on
          certain objects which betrayed the shaping hand of man. Smooth walls
          on which she could not climb, sharp regular corners, well-formed
          pillars; and what seemed strangest of all; human figures which she had
          entwined more than once, and which appeared to her to be of brass, or
          of the finest polished marble. All these experiences she now wished to
          combine by the sense of sight, thereby to confirm what as yet she only
          guessed. She believed she could illuminate the whole of that
          subterranean vault by her own light; and hoped to get acquainted with
          these curious things at once. She hastened back; and soon found, by
          the usual way, the cleft by which she used to penetrate the Sanctuary.
          > On reaching the place, she gazed around with eager curiosity; and
          though her shining could not enlighten every object in the rotunda,
          yet those nearest her were plain enough. With astonishment and
          reverence she looked up into a glancing niche, where the image of an
          august King stood formed of pure Gold. In size the figure was beyond
          the stature of man, but by its shape it seemed the likeness of a
          little rather than a tall person. His handsome body was encircled with
          an unadorned mantle; and a garland of oak bound his hair together.
          > No sooner had the Snake beheld this reverend figure, than the King
          began to speak, and asked: "Whence comest thou?" "From the chasms
          where the gold dwells," said the Snake. "What is grander than gold?"
          inquired the King. "Light," replied the Snake. "What is more
          refreshing than light?" said he. "Speech," answered she.
          > During this conversation, she had squinted to a side, and in the
          nearest niche perceived another glorious image. It was a Silver King
          in a sitting posture; his shape was long and rather languid; he was
          covered with a decorated robe; crown, girdle and sceptre were adorned
          with precious stones: the cheerfulness of pride was in his
          countenance; he seemed about to speak, when a vein which ran
          dimly-coloured over the marble wall, on a sudden became bright, and
          diffused a cheerful light throughout the whole Temple. By this
          brilliancy the Snake perceived a third King, made of Brass, and
          sitting mighty in shape, leaning on his club, adorned with a laurel
          garland, and more like a rock than a man. She was looking for the
          fourth, which was standing at the greatest distance from her; but the
          wall opened, while the glittering vein started and split, as lightning
          does, and disappeared.
          > A Man of middle stature, entering through the cleft, attracted the
          attention of the Snake. He was dressed like a peasant, and carried in
          his hand a little Lamp, on whose still flame you liked to look, and
          which in a strange manner, without casting any shadow, enlightened the
          whole dome.
          > "Why comest thou, since we have light?" said the golden King." You
          know that I may not enlighten what is dark." "Will my Kingdom end?"
          said the silver King. "Late or never," said the old Man.
          > With a stronger voice the brazen King began to ask: "When shall I
          arise?" "Soon," replied the Man. "With whom shall I combine?" said the
          King. "With thy elder brothers," said the Man. "What will the youngest
          do?" inquired the King. "He will sit down," replied the Man.
          > "I am not tired," cried the fourth King, with a rough faltering voice.
          > While this speech was going on, the Snake had glided softly round
          the Temple, viewing everything; she was now looking at the fourth King
          close by him. He stood leaning on a pillar; his considerable form was
          heavy rather than beautiful. But what metal it was made of could not
          be determined. Closely inspected, it seemed a mixture of the three
          metals which its brothers had been formed of. But in the founding,
          these materials did not seem to have combined together fully; gold and
          silver veins ran irregularly through a brazen mass, and gave the
          figure an unpleasant aspect.
          > Meanwhile the gold King was asking of the Man, "How many secrets
          knowest thou?" "Three," replied the Man. "Which is the most
          important?" said the silver King. "The open one," replied the other.
          "Wilt thou open it to us also?" said the brass King."When I know the
          fourth," replied the Man."What care I" grumbled the composite King, in
          an undertone.
          > "I know the fourth," said the Snake; approached the old Man, and
          hissed somewhat in his ear. "The time is at hand!" cried the old Man,
          with a strong voice. The temple reechoed, the metal statues sounded;
          and that instant the old Man sank away to the westward, and the Snake
          to the eastward; and both of them passed through the clefts of the
          rock, with the greatest speed.
          > All the passages, through which the old Man travelled, filled
          themselves, immediately behind him, with gold; for his Lamp had the
          strange property of changing stone into gold, wood into silver, dead
          animals into precious stones, and of annihilating all metals. But to
          display this power, it must shine alone. If another light were beside
          it, the Lamp only cast from it a pure clear brightness, and all living
          things were refreshed by it.
          > The old Man entered his cottage, which was built on the slope of the
          hill. He found his Wife in extreme distress. She was sitting at the
          fire weeping, and refusing to be consoled. "How unhappy am I!" cried
          she: "Did not I entreat thee not to go away tonight?""What is the
          matter, then?" inquired the husband, quite composed.
          > "Scarcely wert thou gone," said she, sobbing, "when there came two
          noisy Travellers to the door: unthinkingly I let them in; they seemed
          to be a couple of genteel, very honourable people; they were dressed
          in flames, you would have taken them for Will-o'-wisps. But no sooner
          were they in the house, than they began, like impudent varlets, to
          compliment me, and grew so forward that I feel ashamed to think of it."
          > "No doubt," said the husband with a smile, "the gentlemen were
          jesting: considering thy age, they might have held by general
          politeness."
          > "Age! what age?" cried the Wife: "wilt thou always be talking of my
          age? How old am I, then?General politeness! But I know what I know.
          Look around there what a face the walls have; look at the old stones,
          which I have not seen these hundred years; every film of gold have
          they licked away, thou couldst not think how fast; and still they kept
          assuring me that it tasted far beyond common gold. Once they had swept
          the walls, the fellows seemed to be in high spirits, and truly in that
          little while they had grown much broader and brighter. They now began
          to be impertinent again, they patted me, and called me their queen,
          they shook themselves, and a shower of gold-pieces sprang from them;
          see how they are shining under the bench! But ah, what misery! Poor
          Mops ate a coin or two; and look, he is lying in the chimney, dead.
          Poor Pug. O well-a-day! I did not see it till they were gone; else I
          had never promised to pay the Ferryman the debt they owe him.""What do
          they owe him?" said the Man. "Three Cabbages," replied the Wife,
          "three Artichokes and three Onions: I engaged to go when it was day,
          and take them to the River."
          > "Thou mayest do them that civility," said the old Man; "they may
          chance to be of use to us again."
          > "Whether they will be of use to us I know not; but they promised and
          vowed that they would."
          > Meantime the fire on the hearth had burnt low; the old Man
          covered-up the embers with a heap of ashes, and put the glittering
          gold-pieces aside; so that his little Lamp now gleamed alone, in the
          fairest brightness. The walls again coated themselves with gold, and
          Mops changed into the prettiest onyx that could be imagined. The
          alternation of the brown and black in this precious stone made it the
          most curious piece of workmanship.
          > "Take thy basket," said the old Man, "and put the onyx into it; then
          take the three Cabbages, the three Artichokes and the three Onions;
          place them round little Mops, and carry them to the River. At noon the
          Snake will take thee over; visit the fair Lily, give her the onyx, she
          will make it alive by her touch, as by her touch she kills whatever is
          alive already. She will have a true companion in the little dog. Tell
          her, Not to mourn; her deliverance is near; the greatest misfortune
          she may look upon as the greatest happiness; for the time is at hand."
          > The old Woman filled her basket, and set out as soon as it was day.
          The rising sun shone clear from the other side of the River, which was
          glittering in the distance; the old Woman walked with slow steps, for
          the basket pressed upon her head, and it was not the onyx that so
          burdened her. Whatever lifeless thing she might be carrying, she did
          not feel the weight of it; on the other hand, in those cases the
          basket rose aloft, and hovered above her head. But to carry any fresh
          herbage, or any little living animal, she found exceedingly laborious.
          She had travelled on for some time, in a sullen humour, when she
          halted suddenly in fright, for she had almost trod upon the Giant's
          shadow which was stretching towards her across the plain. And now,
          lifting up her eyes, she saw the monster of a Giant himself, who had
          been bathing in the River, and was just come out, and she knew not how
          she should avoid him. The moment he perceived her, he began saluting
          her in sport, and the hands of his shadow soon caught hold of the
          basket. With dexterous ease they picked away from it a Cabbage, an
          Artichoke and an Onion, and brought them to the Giant's mouth, who
          then went his way up the River, and let the Woman go in peace.
          > She considered whether it would not be better to return, and supply
          from her garden the pieces she had lost; and amid these doubts, she
          still kept walking on, so that in a little while she was at the bank
          of the River. She sat long waiting for the Ferryman, whom she
          perceived at last, steering over with a very singular traveller. A
          young, noble-looking, handsome man, whom she could not gaze upon
          enough, stept out of the boat.
          > "What is it you bring?" cried the old Man. "The greens which those
          two Will-o'-wisps owe you," said the Woman, pointing to her ware. As
          the Ferryman found only two of each sort, he grew angry, and declared
          he would have none of them. The Woman earnestly entreated him to take
          them; told him that she could not now go home, and that her burden for
          the way which still remained was very heavy. He stood by his refusal,
          and assured her that it did not rest with him. "What belongs to me,"
          said he, "I must leave lying nine hours in a heap, touching none of
          it, till I have given the River its third." After much higgling, the
          old Man at last replied: "There is still another way. If you like to
          pledge yourself to the River, and declare yourself its debtor, I will
          take the six pieces; but there is some risk in it." "If I keep my
          word, I shall run no risk?" "Not the smallest. Put your hand into the
          stream," continued he, "and promise that within four-and-twenty hours
          you will pay the debt."
          > The old Woman did so; but what was her affright, when on drawing out
          her hand, she found it black as coal! She loudly scolded the old
          Ferryman; declared that her hands had always been the fairest part of
          her; that in spite of her hard work, she had all along contrived to
          keep these noble members white and dainty. She looked at the hand with
          indignation, and exclaimed in a despairing tone: "Worse and worse!
          Look, it is vanishing entirely; it is grown far smaller than the other."
          > "For the present it but seems so," said the old Man; "if you do not
          keep your word, however, it may prove so in earnest. The hand will
          gradually diminish, and at length disappear altogether, though you
          have the use of it as formerly. Everything as usual you will be able
          to perform with it, only nobody will see it." "I had rather that I
          could not use it, and no one could observe the want," cried she: "but
          what of that, I will keep my word, and rid myself of this black skin,
          and all anxieties about it." Thereupon she hastily took up her basket,
          which mounted of itself over her head, and hovered free above her in
          the air, as she hurried after the Youth, who was walking softly and
          thoughtfully down the bank. His noble form and strange dress had made
          a deep impression on her.
          > His breast was covered with a glittering coat of mail; in whose
          wavings might be traced every motion of his fair body. From his
          shoulders hung a purple cloak; around his uncovered head flowed
          abundant brown hair in beautiful locks: his graceful face, and his
          well-formed feet were exposed to the scorching of the sun. With bare
          soles, he walked composedly over the hot sand; and a deep inward
          sorrow seemed to blunt him against all external things.
          > The garrulous old Woman tried to lead him into conversation; but
          with his short answers he gave her small encouragement or information;
          so that in the end, notwithstanding the beauty of his eyes, she grew
          tired of speaking with him to no purpose, and took leave of him with
          these words: "You walk too slow for me, worthy sir; I must not lose a
          moment, for I have to pass the River on the green Snake, and
          carry.this fine present from my husband to the fair Lily." So saying
          she stept faster forward; but the fair Youth pushed on with equal
          speed, and hastened to keep up with her. "You are going to the fair
          Lily!" cried he; "then our roads are the same. But what present is
          this you are bringing her?"
          > "Sir," said the Woman, "it is hardly fair, after so briefly
          dismissing the questions I put to you, to inquire with such vivacity
          about my secrets. But if you like to barter, and tell me your
          adventures, I will not conceal from you how it stands with me and my
          presents." They soon made a bargain: the dame disclosed her
          circumstances to him; told the history of the Pug, and let him see the
          singular gift.
          > He lifted this natural curiosity from the basket, and took Mops, who
          seemed as if sleeping softly, into his arms. "Happy beast!" cried he;
          "thou wilt be touched by her hands, thou wilt be made alive by her;
          while the living are obliged to fly from her presence to escape a
          mournful doom. Yet why say I mournful? Is it not far sadder and more
          frightful to be injured by her look, than it would be to die by her
          hand? Behold me," said he to the Woman; "at my years, what a miserable
          fate have I to undergo! This mail which I have honourably borne in
          war, this purple which I sought to merit by a wise reign, Destiny has
          left me; the one as a useless burden, the other as an empty ornament.
          Crown, and sceptre, and sword are gone; and I am as bare and needy as
          any other son of earth; for so unblessed are her bright eyes, that
          they take from every living creature they look on all its force, and
          those whom the touch of her hand does not kill are changed to the
          state of shadows wandering alive."
          > Thus did he continue to bewail, nowise contenting the old Woman's
          curiosity, who wished for information not so much of his internal as
          of his external situation. She learned neither the name of his father,
          nor of his kingdom. He stroked the hard Mops, whom the sunbeams and
          the bosom of the youth had warmed as if he had been living. He
          inquired narrowly about the Man with the Lamp, about the influences of
          the sacred light, appearing to expect much good from it in his
          melancholy case.
          > Amid such conversation, they descried from afar the majestic arch of
          the Bridge, which extended from the one bank to the other, glittering
          with the strangest colours in the splendours of the sun. Both were
          astonished; for until now they had never seen this edifice so grand.
          "How!" cried the Prince, "was it not beautiful enough, as it stood
          before our eyes, piled out of jasper and agate? Shall we not fear to
          tread it, now that it appears combined, in graceful complexity of
          emerald and chrysopras and chrysolite?" Neither of them knew the
          alteration that had taken place upon the Snake: for it was indeed the
          Snake, who every day at noon curved herself over the River, and stood
          forth in the form of a bold-swelling bridge. The travellers stept upon
          it with a reverential feeling, and passed over it in silence.
          > No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the bridge began to
          heave and stir; in a little while, it touched the surface of the
          water, and the green Snake in her proper form came gliding after the
          wanderers. They had scarcely thanked her for the privilege of crossing
          on her back, when they found that, besides them three, there must be
          other persons in the company, whom their eyes could not discern. They
          heard a hissing, which the Snake also answered with a hissing; they
          listened, and at length caught what follows: "We shall first look
          about us in the fair Lily's Park," said a pair of alternating voices;
          "and then request you at nightfall, so soon as we are anywise
          presentable, to introduce us to this paragon of beauty. At the shore
          of the great Lake you will find us." "Be it so," replied the Snake;
          and a hissing sound died away in the air.
          > Our three travellers now consulted in what order they should
          introduce themselves to the fair Lady; for however many people might
          be in her company, they were obliged to enter and depart singly, under
          pain of suffering very hard severities.
          > The Woman with the metamorphosed Pug in the basket first approached
          the garden, looking round for her Patroness; who was not difficult to
          find, being just engaged in singing to her harp. The finest tones
          proceeded from her, first like circles on the surface of the still
          lake, then like a light breath they set the grass and the bushes in
          motion. In a green enclosure, under the shadow of a stately group of
          many diverse trees, was she seated; and again did she enchant the
          eyes, the ears and the heart of the Woman, who approached with
          rapture, and swore within herself that since she saw her last, the
          fair one had grown fairer than ever. With eager gladness, from a
          distance, she expressed her reverence and admiration for the lovely
          maiden. "What a happiness to see you! what a Heaven does your presence
          spread around you! How charmingly the harp is leaning on your bosom,
          how softly your arms surround it, how it seems as if longing to be
          near you, and how it sounds so meekly under the touch of your slim
          fingers! Thrice-happy youth, to whom it were permitted to be there!"
          > So speaking she approached; the fair Lily raised her eyes; let her
          hands drop from the harp, and answered: "Trouble me not with untimely
          praise; I feel my misery but the more deeply. Look here, at my feet
          lies the poor Canary-bird, which used so beautifully to accompany my
          singing; it would sit upon my harp, and was trained not to touch me;
          but today, while I, refreshed by sleep, was raising a peaceful morning
          hymn, and my little singer was pouring forth his harmonious tones more
          gaily than ever, a Hawk darts over my head; the poor little creature,
          in affright, takes refuge in my bosom, and I feel the last
          palpitations of its departing life. The plundering Hawk indeed was
          caught by my look, and fluttered fainting down into the water; but
          what can his punishment avail me? my darling is dead, and his grave
          will but increase the mournful bushes of my garden."
          > "Take courage, fairest Lily!" cried the Woman, wiping off a tear,
          which the story of the hapless maiden had called into her eyes;
          "compose yourself; my old man bids me tell you to moderate your
          lamenting, to look upon the greatest misfortune as a forerunner of the
          greatest happiness, for the time is at hand; and truly," continued
          she, "the world is going strangely on of late. Do but look at my hand,
          how black it is! As I live and breathe, it is grown far smaller: I
          must hasten, before it vanish altogether! Why did I engage to do the
          Will-o'-wisps a service, why did I meet the Giant's shadow, and dip my
          hand in the River? Could you not afford me a single cabbage, an
          artichoke and an onion? I would give them to the River, and my hand
          were white as ever, so that I could almost show it with one of yours."
          > "Cabbages and onions thou mayest still find; but artichokes thou
          wilt search for in vain. No plant in my garden bears either flowers or
          fruit; but every twig that I break, and plant upon the grave of a
          favourite, grows green straightway, and shoots up in fair boughs. All
          these groups, these bushes, these groves my hard destiny has so raised
          around me. These pines stretching out like parasols, these obelisks of
          cypresses, these colossal oaks and beeches, were all little twigs
          planted by my hand, as mournful memorials in a soil that otherwise is
          barren."
          > To this speech the old Woman had paid little heed; she was looking
          at her hand, which, in presence of the fair Lily, seemed every moment
          growing blacker and smaller. She was about to snatch her basket and
          hasten off, when she noticed that the best part of her errand had been
          forgotten. She lifted out the onyx Pug, and set him down, not far from
          the fair one, in the grass. "My husband," said she, "sends you this
          memorial; you know that you can make a jewel live by touching it. This
          pretty faithful dog will certainly afford you much enjoyment; and my
          grief at losing him is brightened only by the thought that he will be
          in your possession."
          > The fair Lily viewed the dainty creature with a pleased and, as it
          seemed, with an astonished look. "Many signs combine," said she, "that
          breathe some hope into me: but ah! is it not a natural deception which
          makes us fancy, when misfortunes crowd upon us, that a better day is
          near?
          > What can these many signs avail me?My Singer's Death, thy coal black
          Hand?This Dog of Onyx, that can never fail me?And coming at the Lamp's
          command? From human joys removed forever,With sorrows compassed round
          I sit:Is there a Temple at the River?Is there a Bridge? Alas, not yet!
          > The good old dame had listened with impatience to this singing,
          which the fair Lily accompanied with her harp, in a way that would
          have charmed any other. She was on the point of taking leave, when the
          arrival of the green Snake again detained her. The Snake had caught
          the last lines of the song, and on this matter forthwith began to
          speak comfort to the fair Lily.
          > "The prophecy of the Bridge is fulfilled" cried the Snake: "you may
          ask this worthy dame how royally the arch looks now. What formerly was
          untransparent jasper or agate, allowing but a gleam of light to pass
          about its edges, is now become transparent precious stone. No beryl is
          so clear, no emerald so beautiful of hue."
          > "I wish you joy of it," said Lily; "but you will pardon me if I
          regard the prophecy as yet unaccomplished. The lofty arch of your
          bridge can still but admit foot passengers; and it is promised us that
          horses and carriages and travellers of every sort shall, at the same
          moment, cross this bridge in both directions. Is there not something
          said, too, about pillars, which are to arise of themselves from the
          waters of the River?"
          > The old Woman still kept her eyes fixed on her hand; she here
          interrupted their dialogue, and was taking leave. "Wait a moment,"
          said the fair Lily, "and carry my little bird with you. Bid the Lamp
          change it into topaz; I will enliven it by my touch; with your good
          Mops it shall form my dearest pastime: but hasten, hasten; for, at
          sunset, intolerable putrefaction will fasten on the hapless bird, and
          tear asunder the fair combination of its form forever."
          > The old Woman laid the little corpse, wrapped in soft leaves, into
          her basket, and hastened away.
          > "However it may be," said the Snake, recommencing their interrupted
          dialogue, "the Temple is built."
          > "But it is not at the River," said the fair one.
          > "It is yet resting in the depths of the Earth," said the Snake; "I
          have seen the Kings and conversed with them."
          > "But when will they arise?" inquired Lily.
          > The Snake replied: "I heard resounding in the Temple these deep
          words, The time is at hand. "
          > A pleasing cheerfulness spread over the fair Lily's face: " 'Tis the
          second time," said she, "that I have heard these happy words today:
          when will the day come for me to hear them thrice?"
          > She arose, and immediately there came a lovely maiden from the
          grove, and took away her harp. Another followed her, and folded-up the
          fine carved ivory stool, on which the fair one had been sitting, and
          put the silvery cushion under her arm. A third then made her
          appearance, with a large parasol worked with pearls; and looked
          whether Lily would require her in walking. These three maidens were
          beyond expression beautiful; and yet their beauty but exalted that of
          Lily, for it was plain to every one that they could never be compared
          to her.
          > Meanwhile the fair one had been looking, with a satisfied aspect, at
          the strange onyx Mops. She bent down and touched him, and that instant
          he started up. Gaily he looked around, ran hither and thither, and at
          last, in his kindest manner, hastened to salute his benefactress. She
          took him in her arms, and pressed him to her. "Cold as thou art,"
          cried she, "and though but a half-life works in thee, thou art welcome
          to me; tenderly will I love thee, prettily will I play with thee,
          softly caress thee, and firmly press thee to my bosom." She then let
          him go, chased him from her, called him back, and played so daintily
          with him, and ran about so gaily and so innocently with him on the
          grass, that with new rapture you viewed and participated in her joy,
          as a little while ago her sorrow had attuned every heart to sympathy.
          > This cheerfulness, these graceful sports were interrupted by the
          entrance of the woeful Youth. He stepped forward, in his former guise
          and aspect; save that the heat of the day appeared to have fatigued
          him still more, and in the presence of his mistress he grew paler
          every moment. He bore upon his hand a Hawk, which was sitting quiet as
          a dove, with its body shrunk, and its wings drooping.
          > "It is not kind in thee," cried Lily to him, "to bring that hateful
          thing before my eyes, the monster, which today has killed my little
          singer."
          > "Blame not the unhappy bird!" replied the Youth; "rather blame
          thyself and thy destiny; and leave me to keep beside me the companion
          of my woe."
          > Meanwhile Mops ceased not teasing the fair Lily; and she replied to
          her transparent favourite, with friendly gestures. She clapped her
          hands to scare him off; then ran, to entice him after her. She tried
          to get him when he fled, and she chased him away when he attempted to
          press near her. The Youth looked on in silence, with increasing anger;
          but at last, when she took the odious beast, which seemed to him
          unutterably ugly, on her arm, pressed it to her white bosom, and
          kissed its black snout with her heavenly lips, his patience altogether
          failed him, and full of desperation he exclaimed: "Must I, who by a
          baleful fate exist beside thee, perhaps to the end, in an absent
          presence; who by thee have lost my all, my very self; must I see
          before my eyes, that so unnatural a monster can charm thee into
          gladness, can awaken thy attachment, and enjoy thy embrace? Shall I
          any longer keep wandering to and fro, measuring my dreary course to
          that side of the River and to this? No, there is still a spark of the
          old heroic spirit sleeping in my bosom; let it start this instant into
          its expiring flame! If stones may rest in thy bosom, let me be changed
          to stone; if thy touch kills, I will die by thy hands."
          > So saying he made a violent movement; the Hawk flew from his finger,
          but he himself rushed towards the fair one; she held out her hands to
          keep him off, and touched him only the sooner. Consciousness forsook
          him; and she felt with horror the beloved burden lying on her bosom.
          With a shriek she started back, and the gentle Youth sank lifeless
          from her arms upon the ground.
          > The misery had happened! The sweet Lily stood motionless gazing on
          the corpse. Her heart seemed to pause in her bosom; and her eyes were
          without tears. In vain did Mops try to gain from her any kindly
          gesture; with her friend, the world for her was all dead as the grave.
          Her silent despair did not look round for help; she knew not of any help.
          > On the other hand, the Snake bestirred herself the more actively;
          she seemed to meditate deliverance; and in fact her strange movements
          served at least to keep away, for a little, the immediate consequences
          of the mischief. With her limber body, she formed a wide circle round
          the corpse, and seizing the end of her tail between her teeth, she lay
          quite still.
          > Ere long one of Lily's fair waiting-maids appeared; brought the
          ivory folding-stool, and with friendly beckoning constrained her
          mistress to sit down on it. Soon afterwards there came a second; she
          had in her hand a fire-coloured veil, with which she rather decorated
          than concealed the fair Lily's head. The third handed her the harp,
          and scarcely had she drawn the gorgeous instrument towards her, and
          struck some tones from its strings, when the first maid returned with
          a clear round mirror; took her station opposite the fair one; caught
          her looks in the glass, and threw back to her the loveliest image that
          was to be found in Nature. Sorrow heightened her beauty, the veil her
          charms, the harp her grace; and deeply as you wished to see her
          mournful situation altered, not less deeply did you wish to keep her
          image, as she now looked, forever present with you.
          > With a still look at the mirror, she touched the harp; now melting
          tones proceeded from the strings, now her pain seemed to mount, and
          the music in strong notes responded to her woe; sometimes she opened
          her lips to sing, but her voice failed her; and ere long her sorrow
          melted into tears, two maidens caught her helpfully in their arms, the
          harp sank from her bosom, scarcely could the quick servant snatch the
          instrument and carry it aside.
          > "Who gets us the Man with the Lamp, before the Sun set?" hissed the
          Snake, faintly, but audibly: the maids looked at one another, and
          Lily's tears fell faster. At this moment came the Woman with the
          Basket, panting and altogether breathless. "I am lost, and maimed for
          life!" cried she, "see how my hand is almost vanished; neither
          Ferryman nor Giant would take me over, because I am the River's
          debtor; in vain did I promise hundreds of cabbages and hundreds of
          onions; they will take no more than three; and no artichoke is now to
          be found in all this quarter."
          > "Forget your own care," said the Snake, "and try to bring help here;
          perhaps it may come to yourself also. Haste with your utmost speed to
          seek the Will-o'-wisps; it is too light for you to see them, but
          perhaps you will hear them laughing and hopping to and fro. If they be
          speedy, they may cross upon the Giant's shadow, and seek the Man with
          the Lamp, and send him to us."
          > The Woman hurried off at her quickest pace, and the Snake seemed
          expecting as impatiently as Lily the return of the Flames. Alas! the
          beam of the sinking Sun was already gliding only the highest summits
          of the trees in the thicket, and long shadows were stretching over
          lake and meadow; the Snake hitched up and down impatiently, and Lily
          dissolved in tears.
          > In this extreme need, the Snake kept looking round on all sides; for
          she was afraid every moment that the Sun would set, and corruption
          penetrate the magic circle, and the fair youth immediately moulder
          away. At last she noticed sailing high in the air, with purple-red
          feathers, the Prince's Hawk, whose breast was catching the last beams
          of the Sun. She shook herself for joy at this good omen; nor was she
          deceived; for shortly afterwards the Man with the Lamp was seen
          gliding towards them across the Lake, fast and smoothly, as if he had
          been travelling on skates.
          > The Snake did not change her posture; but Lily rose and called to
          him: "What good spirit sends thee, at the moment when we were desiring
          thee, and needing thee, so much?"
          > "The spirit of my Lamp," replied the Man, "has impelled me, and the
          Hawk has conducted me. My Lamp sparkles when I am needed, and I just
          look about me in the sky for a signal; some bird or meteor points to
          the quarter towards which I am to turn. Be calm, fairest Maiden!
          Whether I can help, I know not; an individual helps not, but he who
          combines himself with many at the proper hour. We will postpone the
          evil, and keep hoping. Hold thy circle fast," continued he, turning to
          the Snake; then set himself upon a hillock beside her, and illuminated
          the dead body. "Bring the little Bird hither too, and lay it in the
          circle!" The maidens took the little corpse from the basket, which the
          old Woman had left standing, and did as he directed.
          > Meanwhile the Sun had set; and as the darkness increased, not only
          the Snake and the old Man's Lamp began shining in their fashion, but
          also Lily's veil gave-out a soft light, which gracefully tinged, as
          with a meek dawning red, her pale cheeks and her white robe. The party
          looked at one another, silently reflecting; care and sorrow were
          mitigated by a sure hope.
          > It was no unpleasing entrance, therefore, that the Woman made,
          attended by the two gay Flames, which in truth appeared to have been
          very lavish in the interim, for they had again become extremely
          meagre; yet they only bore themselves the more prettily for that,
          towards Lily and the other ladies. With great tact and expressiveness,
          they said a multitude of rather common things to these fair persons;
          and declared themselves particularly ravished by the charm which the
          gleaming veil spread over Lily and her attendants. The ladies modestly
          cast down their eyes, and the praise of their beauty made them really
          beautiful. All were peaceful and calm, except the old Woman. In spite
          of the assurance of her husband, that her hand could diminish no
          farther, while the Lamp shone on it, she asserted more than once, that
          if things went on thus, before midnight this noble member would have
          utterly vanished.
          > The Man with the Lamp had listened attentively to the conversation
          of the Lights; and was gratified that Lily had been cheered, in some
          measure, and amused by it. And, in truth, midnight had arrived they
          knew not how. The old Man looked to the stars, and then began
          speaking: "We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform
          his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will
          swallow-up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes
          individual joys."
          > At these words arose a wondrous hubbub; for all the persons in the
          party spoke aloud, each for himself, declaring what they had to do;
          only the three maids were silent; one of them had fallen asleep beside
          the harp, another near the parasol, the third by the stool; and you
          could not blame them much, for it was late. The Fiery Youths, after
          some passing compliments which they devoted to the waiting-maids, had
          turned their sole attention to the Princess, as alone worthy of
          exclusive homage.
          > "Take the mirror," said the Man to the Hawk; "and with the first
          sunbeam illuminate the three sleepers, and awake them, with light
          reflected from above."
          > The Snake now began to move; she loosened her circle, and rolled
          slowly, in large rings, forward to the River. The two Will-o'-wisps
          followed with a solemn air: you would have taken them for the most
          serious Flames in Nature. The old Woman and her husband seized the
          Basket, whose mild light they had scarcely observed till now; they
          lifted it at both sides, and it grew still larger and more luminous;
          they lifted the body of the Youth into it, laying the Canary-bird upon
          his breast; the Basket rose into the air and hovered above the old
          Woman's head, and she followed the Will-o'-wisps on foot. The fair
          Lily took Mops on her arm, and followed the Woman; the Man with the
          Lamp concluded the procession; and the scene was curiously illuminated
          by these many lights.
          > But it was with no small wonder that the party saw, when they
          approached the River, a glorious arch mount over it, by which the
          helpful Snake was affording them a glittering path. If by day they had
          admired the beautiful transparent precious stones, of which the Bridge
          seemed formed; by night they were astonished at its gleaming
          brilliancy. On the upper side the clear circle marked itself sharp
          against the dark sky, but below, vivid beams were darting to the
          centre, and exhibiting the airy firmness of the edifice. The
          procession slowly moved across it; and the Ferryman, who saw it from
          his hut afar off, considered with astonishment the gleaming circle,
          and the strange lights which were passing over it
          > No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the arch began, in
          its usual way, to swag up and down, and with a wavy motion to approach
          the water. The Snake then came on land, the Basket placed itself upon
          the ground, and the Snake again drew her circle round it. The old Man
          stooped towards her, and said: "What hast thou resolved on?"
          > "To sacrifice myself rather than be sacrificed," replied the Snake;
          "promise me that thou wilt leave no stone on shore."
          > The old Man promised; then addressing Lily: "Touch the Snake," said
          he, "with thy left hand, and thy lover with thy right." Lily knelt,
          and touched the Snake and the Prince's body. The latter in the instant
          seemed to come to life; he moved in the Basket, nay he raised himself
          into a sitting posture; Lily was about to clasp him; but the old Man
          held her back, and himself assisted the Youth to rise, and led him
          forth from the Basket and the circle.
          > The Prince was standing; the Canary-bird was fluttering on his
          shoulder; there was life again in both of them, but the spirit had not
          yet returned; the fair Youth's eyes were open, yet he did not see, at
          least he seemed to look on all without participation. Scarcely had
          their admiration of this incident a little calmed, when they observed
          how strangely it had fared in the meanwhile with the Snake. Her fair
          taper body had crumbled into thousands and thousands of shining
          jewels: the old Woman reaching at her Basket had chanced to come
          against the circle; and of the shape or structure of the Snake there
          was now nothing to be seen, only a bright ring of luminous jewels was
          lying in the grass.
          > The old Man forthwith set himself to gather the stones into the
          Basket; a task in which his wife assisted him. They next carried the
          Basket to an elevated point on the bank; and here the man threw its
          whole lading, not without contradiction from the fair one and his
          wife, who would gladly have retained some part of it, down into the
          River. Like gleaming twinkling stars the stones floated down with the
          waves; and you could not say whether they lost themselves in the
          distance, or sank to the bottom.
          > "Gentlemen," said he with the Lamp, in a respectful tone to the
          Lights, "I will now show you the way, and open you the passage; but
          you will do us an essential service, if you please to unbolt the door,
          by which the Sanctuary must be entered at present, and which none but
          you can unfasten."
          > The Lights made a stately bow of assent, and kept their place. The
          old Man of the Lamp went foremost into the rock, which opened at his
          presence; the Youth followed him, as if mechanically; silent and
          uncertain, Lily kept at some distance from him; the old Woman would
          not be left, and stretched-out her hand, that the light of her
          husband's Lamp might still fall upon it. The rear was closed by the
          two Will-o'-wisps, who bent the peaks of their flames towards one
          another, and appeared to be engaged in conversation.
          > They had not gone far till the procession halted in front of a large
          brazen door, the leaves of which were bolted with a golden lock. The
          Man now called upon the Lights to advance; who required small
          entreaty, and with their pointed flames soon ate both bar and lock.
          > The brass gave a loud clang, as the doors sprang suddenly asunder;
          and the stately figures of the Kings appeared within the Sanctuary,
          illuminated by the entering Lights. All bowed before these dread
          sovereigns, especially the Flames made a profusion of the daintiest
          reverences.
          > After a pause, the gold King asked: "Whence come ye?" "From the
          world," said the old Man. "Whither go ye?" said the silver King. "Into
          the world," replied the Man. "What would ye with us?" cried the brazen
          King. "Accompany you," replied the Man.
          > The composite King was about to speak, when the gold one addressed
          the Lights, who had got too near him: "Take yourselves away from me,
          my metal was not made for you." Thereupon they turned to the silver
          King, and clasped themselves about him; and his robe glittered
          beautifully in their yellow brightness. "You are welcome," said he,
          "but I cannot feed you; satisfy yourselves elsewhere, and bring me
          your light." They removed; and gliding past the brazen King, who did
          not seem to notice them, they fixed on the compounded King. "Who will
          govern the world?" cried he, with a broken voice. "He who stands upon
          his feet," replied the old Man. "I am he," said the mixed King. "We
          shall see," replied the Man; "for the time is at hand."
          > The fair Lily fell upon the old Man's neck, and kissed him
          cordially. "Holy Sage!" cried she, "a thousand times I thank thee; for
          I hear that fateful word the third time." She had scarcely spoken,
          when she clasped the old Man still faster; for the ground began to
          move beneath them; the Youth and the old Woman also held by one
          another; the Lights alone did not regard it.
          > You could feel plainly that the whole temple was in motion; as a
          ship that softly glides away from the harbour, when her anchors are
          lifted; the depths of the Earth seemed to open for the Building as it
          went along. It struck on nothing; no rock came in its way.
          > For a few instants, a small rain seemed to drizzle from the opening
          of the dome; the old Man held the fair Lily fast, and said to her: "We
          are now beneath the River; we shall soon be at the mark." Ere long
          they thought the Temple made a halt; but they were in an error; it was
          mounting upwards.
          > And now a strange uproar rose above their heads. Planks and beams in
          disordered combination now came pressing and crashing in at the
          opening of the dome. Lily and the Woman started to a side; the Man
          with the Lamp laid hold of the Youth, and kept standing still. The
          little cottage of the Ferryman, for it was this which the Temple in
          ascending had severed from the ground and carried up with it, sank
          gradually down, and covered the old Man and the Youth.
          > The women screamed aloud, and the Temple shook, like a ship running
          unexpectedly aground. In sorrowful perplexity, the Princess and her
          old attendant wandered round the cottage in the dawn; the door was
          bolted, and to their knocking no one answered. They knocked more
          loudly, and were not a little struck, when at length the wood began to
          ring. By virtue of the Lamp locked up in it, the hut had been
          converted from the inside to the outside into solid silver. Ere long
          too its form changed; for the noble metal shook aside the accidental
          shape of planks, posts and beams, and stretched itself out into a
          noble case of beaten ornamented workmanship. Thus a fair little temple
          stood erected in the middle of the large one; or if you will, an Altar
          worthy of the Temple.
          > By a staircase which ascended from within, the noble Youth now
          mounted aloft, lighted by the old Man with the Lamp, and, as it
          seemed, supported by another, who advanced in a white short robe, with
          a silver rudder in his hand; and was soon recognised as the Ferryman,
          the former possessor of the cottage.
          > The fair Lily mounted the outer steps, which led from the floor of
          the Temple to the Altar; but she was still obliged to keep herself
          apart from her Lover. The old Woman, whose hand in the absence of the
          Lamp had grown still smaller, cried: "Am I, then, to be unhappy after
          all? Among so many miracles, can there be nothing done to save my
          hand?" Her husband pointed to the open door, and said to her: "See,
          the day is breaking; haste, bathe thyself in the River." "What an
          advice!" cried she; "it will make me all black; it will make me vanish
          together; for my debt is not yet paid." "Go," said the man, "and do as
          I advise thee; all debts are now paid."
          > The old Woman hastened away; and at that moment appeared the rising
          Sun, upon the rim of the dome. The old Man stept between Virgin and
          the Youth, and cried with a loud voice: "There are three which have
          rule on Earth; Wisdom, Appearance and Strength." the first word, the
          gold King rose; at the second, the silver one; and at the third, the
          brass King slowly rose, while the mixed King on a sudden very
          awkwardly plumped down.
          > Whoever noticed him could scarcely keep from laughing, solemn as the
          moment was; for he was not sitting, he was not lying, he was —
          leaning, but shapelessly sunk together.
          > The Lights, who till now had been employed upon him, drew to side;
          they appeared, although pale in the morning radiance, yet the more
          well-fed, and in good burning condition; with their peaked tongues,
          they had dexterously licked-out the gold veins of the colossal figure
          to its very heart. The irregular vacuities which this occasioned had
          continued empty for a time, and the figure had maintained its standing
          posture. But when at last the very tenderest filaments were eaten out,
          the image crashed suddenly together; and then, alas, in the very parts
          which continue unaltered when one sits down; whereas the limbs, which
          should have bent, sprawled themselves out unbowed and stiff. Whoever
          could not laugh was obliged to turn away his eyes; this miserable
          shape and no-shape was offensive to behold.
          > The Man with the Lamp now led the handsome Youth, who still kept
          gazing vacantly before him, down from the Altar, and straight to the
          brazen King. At the feet of this mighty Potentate lay a sword in a
          brazen sheath. The young man girt it round him. "The sword on left,
          the right free!" cried the brazen voice. They next proceeded to the
          silver King; he bent his sceptre to the Youth; the latter seized it
          with his left hand, and the King in a pleasing voice said: "Feed the
          sheep!" On turning to the golden King, he stooped with gestures of
          paternal blessing, and pressing his oaken garland on the young man's
          head, said: "Understand what is highest!"
          > During this progress, the old Man had carefully observed the Prince.
          After girding-on the sword, his breast swelled, his arms waved, and
          his feet trod firmer; when he took the sceptre in his hand, his
          strength appeared to soften, and by an unspeakable charm to become
          still more subduing; but as the oaken garland came to deck his hair,
          his features kindled, his eyes gleamed with inexpressible spirit, and
          the first word of his mouth was "Lily!"
          > "Dearest Lily!" cried he, hastening up the silver stairs to her, for
          she had viewed his progress from the pinnacle of the Altar; "Dearest
          Lily! what more precious can a man, equipt with all, desire for
          himself than innocence and the still affection which thy bosom brings
          me? O my friend!" continued he, turning to the old Man, and looking at
          the three statues; "glorious and secure is the kingdom of our fathers;
          but thou hast forgotten the fourth power, which rules the world,
          earlier, more universally, more certainly, the power of Love." With
          these words, he fell upon the lovely maiden's neck; she had cast away
          her veil, and her cheeks were tinged with the fairest, most
          imperishable red.
          > Here the old Man said with a smile: "Love does not rule; but it
          trains, and that is more."
          > Amid this solemnity, this happiness and rapture, no one had observed
          that it was now broad day; and all at once, on looking through the
          open portal, a crowd of altogether unexpected objects met the eye. A
          large space surrounded with pillars formed the forecourt, at the end
          of which was seen a broad and stately Bridge stretching with many
          arches across the River. It was furnished, on both sides, with
          commodious and magnificent colonnades for foot-travellers, many
          thousands of whom were already there, busily passing this way or that.
          The broad pavement in the centre was thronged with herds and mules,
          with horsemen and carriages, flowing like two streams, on their
          several sides, and neither interrupting the other. All admired the
          splendour and convenience of the structure; and the new King and his
          Spouse were delighted with the motion and activity of this great
          people, as they were already happy in their own mutual love.
          > "Remember the Snake in honour," said the Man with the Lamp; "thou
          owest her thy life; thy people owe her the Bridge, by which these
          neighbouring banks are now animated and combined into one land. Those
          swimming and shining jewels, the remains of her sacrificed body, are
          the piers of this royal bridge; upon these she has built and will
          maintain herself."
          > The party were about to ask some explanation of this strange
          mystery, when there entered four lovely maidens at the portal of the
          Temple. By the Harp, the Parasol, and the Folding-stool, it was not
          difficult to recognise the waiting-maids of Lily; but the fourth, more
          beautiful than any of the rest, was an unknown fair one, and in
          sisterly sportfulness she hastened with them through the Temple, and
          mounted the steps of the Altar.
          > "Wilt thou have better trust in me another time, good wife?" said
          the Man with the Lamp to the fair one: "Well for thee, and every
          living thing that bathes this morning in the River!"
          > The renewed and beautified old Woman, of whose former shape no trace
          remained, embraced with young eager arms the Man with the Lamp, who
          kindly received her caresses. "If I am too old for thee," said he,
          smiling, "thou mayest choose another husband today; from this hour no
          marriage is of force, which is not contracted anew."
          > "Dost thou not know, then," answered she, "that thou too art grown
          younger?" "It delights me if to thy young eyes I seem a handsome
          youth: I take thy hand anew, and am well content to live with thee
          another thousand years."
          > The Queen welcomed her new friend, and went down with her into the
          interior of the Altar, while the King stood between his two men,
          looking towards the Bridge, and attentively contemplating the busy
          tumult of the people.
          > But his satisfaction did not last; for ere long he saw an object
          which excited his displeasure. The great Giant, who appeared not yet
          to have awoke completely from his morning sleep, came stumbling along
          the Bridge, producing great confusion all around him. As usual, he had
          risen stupefied with sleep, and had meant to bathe in the well-known
          bay of the River; instead of which he found firm land, and plunged
          upon the broad pavement of the Bridge. Yet although he reeled into the
          midst of men and cattle in the clumsiest way, his presence, wondered
          at by all, was felt by none; but as the sunshine came into his eyes,
          and he raised his hands to rub them, the shadows of his monstrous
          fists moved to and fro behind him with such force and awkwardness,
          that men and beasts were heaped together in great masses, were hurt by
          such rude contact, and in danger of being pitched into the River.
          > The King, as he saw this mischief, grasped with an involuntary
          movement at his sword; but he bethought himself, and looked calmly at
          his septre, then at the Lamp and the Rudder of his attendants. "I
          guess thy thoughts," said the Man with the Lamp; "but we and our gifts
          are powerless against this powerless monster. Be calm! He is doing
          hurt for the last time, and happily his shadow is not turned to us."
          > Meanwhile the Giant was approaching nearer; in astonishment at what
          he saw with open eyes, he had dropt his hands; he was now doing no
          injury, and came staring and agape into the fore-court.
          > He was walking straight to the door of the Temple, when all at once
          in the middle of the court, he halted, and was fixed to the ground. He
          stood there like a strong colossal statue, of reddish glittering
          stone, and his shadow pointed out the hours, which were marked in a
          circle on the floor around him, not in numbers, but in noble and
          expressive emblems.
          > Much delighted was the King to see the monster's shadow turned to
          some useful purpose; much astonished was the Queen, who, on mounting
          from within the Altar, decked in royal pomp, with her virgins, first
          noticed the huge figure, which almost closed the prospect from the
          Temple to the Bridge.
          > Meanwhile the people had crowded after the Giant, as he ceased to
          move; they were walking round him, wondering at his metamorphosis.
          From him they turned to the Temple, which they now first appeared to
          notice, and pressed towards the door.
          > At this instant the Hawk with the mirror soared aloft above the
          dome; caught the light of the Sun, and reflected it upon the group,
          which was standing on the Altar. The King, the Queen, and the<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
        • Mathew Morrell
          ** We hope you get well soon, Shiela. I would like to know how you broke your arm. Thrown off one of your horses? ** School work is hot and heavy right now.
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 29, 2007
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            ** We hope you get well soon, Shiela. I would like to know how you
            broke your arm. Thrown off one of your horses?

            ** School work is hot and heavy right now. That's why I haven't
            done anything with the "Green Snake" story except print it out. In
            10 days or so I'll have the opportunity to sink into one of the arm
            chairs at Starbucks and start reading the story. Look forward to it.



            --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "happypick2000" <happypick@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dr. Starman, †hank you so very much for this wonderfully insightful
            > gift - perhaps it might help readers' understanding knowing that
            all 4
            > main human dispositions are represented in Goethe's wonderful tale.
            I
            > apologize for "sitting on the sidelines" due to 1 badly fractured
            > wrist and 1 sprained wrist, but I shall be participating in spirit.
            >
            > Blessings,
            > Sheila
            > [typed by husband]
            >
            > --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, Durward Starman <DrStarman@> wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > ******* I hope the few people who get e-mail in this group have
            read
            > the Fairy Tale by now. Once you have, perhaps we can discuss it in
            the
            > weeks leading up to the Holy Nights. Steiner's first Mystery Play
            was
            > based on this "legend."
            > > Years ago, I had the privilege to act in this drama. To
            > understand it, I divided it into its "scenes" and studied them.
            What I
            > have to say here about it will be nonsense unless you've read it----
            > so if you have not, please read it first (it's below) and then come
            > back to read a few thoughts about it I'll put here and perhaps
            discuss it.
            > >
            > > *******
            > > The setting is in some never-named land. But that land's beings
            > are as if under a spell, and have a prophecy about how one day the
            > spell will be lifted, the enchantment broken.
            > > That land is ours. In the state all but exceptional souls are
            born
            > into, we are under the spell of seeing only the external world and
            > speculating about it with the brain-bound intellect. But there is a
            > way out we hear about. We must find it.
            > > There is a river that runs through this land of ours. We are
            > sometimes on one side of the river, sometimes on the other. On the
            > other side is a beautiful being, but she is cursed in that every
            > living creature she touches must die. A man who sees her loses all
            > desire for anything except to see her again.
            > > Lily is the spirit-world. After each life a Ferryman takes us
            > across to her. It is so beautiful there that life in this world
            seems
            > a tragedy compared to it. But the only way to be with her is to die.
            > Must it always be so? No, the prophecy says that when the spell is
            > lifted, we shall be able to travel to and fro across the river at
            will
            > --- the spirit-world will not always be estranged from the earthly
            one.
            > > Deep in the earth, a temple with Four Kings speaks of the
            secret.
            > As merely natural beings, we can dimly sense that temple, but only
            if
            > we take in the light of the most ethereal forces of Nature can we
            also
            > see that holy place. The Green Snake is our merely natural selves,
            but
            > when it absorbs nature's secrets it glows with the light of
            thinking.
            > Then we know the essence of the earth. As it represents our
            scientific
            > selves, like Goethe himself, there is another way to travel with
            > vision to that temple: the Man with the Lamp. He is the path of
            > inspiration, revelation.
            > > More later.
            > > Starmanwww.DrStarman.com
            > >
            > >
            > > Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 14:49:19 -0500Subject: [steiner] Goethe's
            > Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > *******Here is the "fairy tale" that Steiner's first Mystery Play
            is
            > based on/a transformation of, in the wonderful English translation
            by
            > Thomas Carlyle. -starman
            > > The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
            > >
            > > By:Johann Wolfgang von GoetheTranslated by: Thomas Carlyle (1832)
            > >
            > > In his little hut by the great river, which a heavy rain had swoln
            > to overflowing, lay the ancient Ferryman, asleep, wearied by the
            toil
            > of the day. In the middle of the night, loud voices awoke him; he
            > heard that it was travellers wishing to be carried over.
            > >
            > > Stepping out, he saw two large Will-o'-wisps, hovering to and fro
            on
            > his boat, which lay moored: they said, they were in violent haste,
            and
            > should have been already on the other side. The old Ferryman made no
            > loitering; pushed off, and steered with his usual skill obliquely
            > through the stream; while the two strangers whiffled and hissed
            > together, in an unknown very rapid tongue, and every now and then
            > broke out in loud laughter, hopping about, at one time on e gunwale
            > and the seats, at another on the bottom of the boat.
            > > "The boat is heeling!" cried the old man; "if you don't be quiet,
            > it'll overset; be seated, gentlemen of the wisp!"
            > > At this advice they burst into a fit of laughter, mocked the old
            > man, and were more unquiet than ever. He bore their mischief with
            > silence, and soon reached the farther shore.
            > > "Here is for your labour!" cried the travellers; and as they shook
            > themselves, a heap of glittering gold-pieces jingled down into the
            wet
            > boat. "For Heaven's sake, what are you about?" cried the old
            man; "you
            > will ruin me forever! Had a single piece of gold got into the water,
            > the stream, which cannot suffer gold, would have risen in horrid
            > waves, and swallowed both my skiff and me; and who knows how it
            might
            > have fared with you in that case? here, take back your gold."
            > > "We can take nothing back, which we have once shaken from us,"
            said
            > the Lights.
            > > "Then you give me the trouble," said the old man, stooping down,
            and
            > gathering the pieces into his cap, "of raking them together, and
            > carrying them ashore and burying them."
            > > The Lights had leaped from the boat, but the old man cried: "Stay;
            > where is my fare?"
            > > "If you take no gold, you may work for nothing," cried the
            > Will-o'-wisps. "You must know that I am only to be paid with fruits
            of
            > the earth." "Fruits of the earth? we despise them, and have never
            > tasted them." "And yet I cannot let you go, till you have promised
            > that you will deliver me three Cabbages, three Artichokes, and three
            > large Onions.
            > > The Lights were making-off with jests; but they felt themselves,
            in
            > some inexplicable manner, fastened to the ground: it was the
            > unpleasantest feeling they had ever had. They engaged to pay him his
            > demand as soon as possible: he let them go, and pushed away. He was
            > gone a good distance, when they called to him: "Old man! Holla, old
            > man! the main point is forgotten!" He was off, however, and did not
            > hear them. He had fallen quietly down that side of the River, where,
            > in a rocky spot, which the water never reached, he meant to bury the
            > pernicious gold. Here, between two high crags, he found a monstrous
            > chasm; shook the metal into it, and steered back to his cottage.
            > > Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from
            her
            > sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her
            eye
            > on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest
            > relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were
            > scattered in the chinks of the rock.
            > > Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she
            > began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all
            over
            > her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was
            grown
            > transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was
            > possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last,
            her
            > curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her
            > from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this
            > precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to
            admire
            > her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled
            along
            > through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass.
            > Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory.
            It
            > was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes
            rose
            > high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a
            > brilliancy resembling her own. "Shall I find my like at last, then?"
            > cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through
            bog
            > and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live
            > in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and
            > for most pare fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild
            dew
            > and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in
            the
            > hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you
            > could propose to her.
            > > At last, with much fatigue, she reached a wee rushy spot in the
            > swamp, where our two Will-o'-wisps were frisking to and fro. She
            > shoved herself along to them; saluted them, was happy to meet such
            > pleasant gentlemen related to her family. The Lights glided towards
            > her, skipped up over her, and laughed in their fashion. "Lady
            Cousin,"
            > said they, "you are of the horizontal line, yet what of that? It is
            > true we are related only by the look; for, observe you," here both
            the
            > Flames, compressing their whole breadth, made themselves as high and
            > peaked as possible, "how prettily this taper length beseems us
            > gentlemen of the vertical line! Take it not amiss of us, good Lady;
            > what family can boast of such a thing? Since there ever was a
            > Jack-o'-lantern in the world, no one of them has either sat or
            lain."
            > > The Snake felt exceedingly uncomfortable in the company of these
            > relations; for, let her hold her head as high as possible, she found
            > that she must bend it to the earth again, would she stir from the
            > spot; and if in the dark thicket she had been extremely satisfied
            with
            > her appearance, her splendour in the presence of these cousins
            seemed
            > to lessen every moment, nay she was afraid that at last it would go
            > out entirely.
            > > In this embarrassment she hastily asked: If the gentlemen could
            not
            > inform her, whence the glittering gold came, that had fallen a short
            > while ago into the cleft of the rock; her own opinion was, that it
            had
            > been a golden shower, and had trickled down direct from the sky. The
            > Will-o'-wisps laughed, and shook themselves, and a multitude of
            > gold-pieces came clinking down about them. The Snake pushed nimbly
            > forwards to eat the coin. "Much good may it do you, Mistress," said
            > the dapper gentlemen: "we can help you to a little more." They shook
            > themselves again several times with great quickness, so that the
            Snake
            > could scarcely gulp the precious victuals fast enough. Her splendour
            > visibly began increasing; she was really shining beautifully, while
            > the Lights had in the meantime grown rather lean and short of
            stature,
            > without however in the smallest losing their good-humour.
            > > "I am obliged to you forever," said the Snake, having got her wind
            > again after the repast; "ask of me what you will; all that I can I
            > will do."
            > > "Very good!" cried the Lights. "Then tell us where the fair Lily
            > dwells? Lead us to the fair Lily's palace and garden; and do not
            lose
            > a moment, we are dying of impatience to fall down at her feet."
            > > "This service," said the Snake with a deep sigh, "I can not now do
            > for you. The fair Lily dwells, alas, on the other side of the
            water."
            > "Other side of the water? And we have come across it, this stormy
            > night! How cruel is the River to divide us! Would it not be possible
            > to call the old man back?"
            > > "It would be useless," said the Snake; "for if you found him ready
            > on the bank, he would not take you in; he can carry anyone to this
            > side, none to yonder."
            > > "Here is a pretty kettle of fish!" cried the Lights: "are there no
            > other means of getting through the water?" "There are other means,
            but
            > not at this moment. I myself could take you over, gentlemen, but not
            > till noon." "That is an hour we do not like to travel in." "Then you
            > may go across in the evening, on the great Giant's shadow."
            > > "How is that?" "The great Giant lives not far from this; with his
            > body he has no power; his hands cannot lift a straw, his shoulders
            > could not bear a faggot of twigs; but with his shadow he has power
            > over much, nay all. At sunrise and sunset therefore he is strongest;
            > so at evening you merely put yourself upon the back of his shadow,
            the
            > Giant walks softly to the bank, and the shadow carries you across
            the
            > water. But if you please, about the hour of noon, to be in waiting
            at
            > that corner of the wood where the bushes overhang the bank, I myself
            > will take you over and present you to the fair Lily: or on the other
            > hand, if you dislike the noontide, you have just to go at nightfall
            to
            > that bend of the rocks, and pay a visit to the Giant; he will
            > certainly receive you like a gentleman."
            > > With a slight bow, the Flames went off; and the Snake at bottom
            was
            > not discontented to get rid of them; partly that she might enjoy the
            > brightness of her own light, partly [to] satisfy a curiosity with
            > which, for a long time, she had been agitated in a singular way.
            > > In the chasm, where she often crawled hither and thither, she had
            > made a strange discovery. For although in creeping up and down this
            > abyss, she had never had a ray of light, she could well enough
            > discriminate the objects in it, by her sense of touch. Generally she
            > met with nothing but irregular productions of Nature; at one time
            she
            > would wind between the teeth of large crystals, at another she would
            > feel the barbs and hairs of native silver, and now and then carry
            out
            > with her to the light some straggling jewels. But to her no small
            > wonder, in a rock which was closed on every side, she had come on
            > certain objects which betrayed the shaping hand of man. Smooth walls
            > on which she could not climb, sharp regular corners, well-formed
            > pillars; and what seemed strangest of all; human figures which she
            had
            > entwined more than once, and which appeared to her to be of brass,
            or
            > of the finest polished marble. All these experiences she now wished
            to
            > combine by the sense of sight, thereby to confirm what as yet she
            only
            > guessed. She believed she could illuminate the whole of that
            > subterranean vault by her own light; and hoped to get acquainted
            with
            > these curious things at once. She hastened back; and soon found, by
            > the usual way, the cleft by which she used to penetrate the
            Sanctuary.
            > > On reaching the place, she gazed around with eager curiosity; and
            > though her shining could not enlighten every object in the rotunda,
            > yet those nearest her were plain enough. With astonishment and
            > reverence she looked up into a glancing niche, where the image of an
            > august King stood formed of pure Gold. In size the figure was beyond
            > the stature of man, but by its shape it seemed the likeness of a
            > little rather than a tall person. His handsome body was encircled
            with
            > an unadorned mantle; and a garland of oak bound his hair together.
            > > No sooner had the Snake beheld this reverend figure, than the King
            > began to speak, and asked: "Whence comest thou?" "From the chasms
            > where the gold dwells," said the Snake. "What is grander than gold?"
            > inquired the King. "Light," replied the Snake. "What is more
            > refreshing than light?" said he. "Speech," answered she.
            > > During this conversation, she had squinted to a side, and in the
            > nearest niche perceived another glorious image. It was a Silver King
            > in a sitting posture; his shape was long and rather languid; he was
            > covered with a decorated robe; crown, girdle and sceptre were
            adorned
            > with precious stones: the cheerfulness of pride was in his
            > countenance; he seemed about to speak, when a vein which ran
            > dimly-coloured over the marble wall, on a sudden became bright, and
            > diffused a cheerful light throughout the whole Temple. By this
            > brilliancy the Snake perceived a third King, made of Brass, and
            > sitting mighty in shape, leaning on his club, adorned with a laurel
            > garland, and more like a rock than a man. She was looking for the
            > fourth, which was standing at the greatest distance from her; but
            the
            > wall opened, while the glittering vein started and split, as
            lightning
            > does, and disappeared.
            > > A Man of middle stature, entering through the cleft, attracted the
            > attention of the Snake. He was dressed like a peasant, and carried
            in
            > his hand a little Lamp, on whose still flame you liked to look, and
            > which in a strange manner, without casting any shadow, enlightened
            the
            > whole dome.
            > > "Why comest thou, since we have light?" said the golden King." You
            > know that I may not enlighten what is dark." "Will my Kingdom end?"
            > said the silver King. "Late or never," said the old Man.
            > > With a stronger voice the brazen King began to ask: "When shall I
            > arise?" "Soon," replied the Man. "With whom shall I combine?" said
            the
            > King. "With thy elder brothers," said the Man. "What will the
            youngest
            > do?" inquired the King. "He will sit down," replied the Man.
            > > "I am not tired," cried the fourth King, with a rough faltering
            voice.
            > > While this speech was going on, the Snake had glided softly round
            > the Temple, viewing everything; she was now looking at the fourth
            King
            > close by him. He stood leaning on a pillar; his considerable form
            was
            > heavy rather than beautiful. But what metal it was made of could not
            > be determined. Closely inspected, it seemed a mixture of the three
            > metals which its brothers had been formed of. But in the founding,
            > these materials did not seem to have combined together fully; gold
            and
            > silver veins ran irregularly through a brazen mass, and gave the
            > figure an unpleasant aspect.
            > > Meanwhile the gold King was asking of the Man, "How many secrets
            > knowest thou?" "Three," replied the Man. "Which is the most
            > important?" said the silver King. "The open one," replied the other.
            > "Wilt thou open it to us also?" said the brass King."When I know the
            > fourth," replied the Man."What care I" grumbled the composite King,
            in
            > an undertone.
            > > "I know the fourth," said the Snake; approached the old Man, and
            > hissed somewhat in his ear. "The time is at hand!" cried the old
            Man,
            > with a strong voice. The temple reechoed, the metal statues sounded;
            > and that instant the old Man sank away to the westward, and the
            Snake
            > to the eastward; and both of them passed through the clefts of the
            > rock, with the greatest speed.
            > > All the passages, through which the old Man travelled, filled
            > themselves, immediately behind him, with gold; for his Lamp had the
            > strange property of changing stone into gold, wood into silver, dead
            > animals into precious stones, and of annihilating all metals. But to
            > display this power, it must shine alone. If another light were
            beside
            > it, the Lamp only cast from it a pure clear brightness, and all
            living
            > things were refreshed by it.
            > > The old Man entered his cottage, which was built on the slope of
            the
            > hill. He found his Wife in extreme distress. She was sitting at the
            > fire weeping, and refusing to be consoled. "How unhappy am I!" cried
            > she: "Did not I entreat thee not to go away tonight?""What is the
            > matter, then?" inquired the husband, quite composed.
            > > "Scarcely wert thou gone," said she, sobbing, "when there came two
            > noisy Travellers to the door: unthinkingly I let them in; they
            seemed
            > to be a couple of genteel, very honourable people; they were dressed
            > in flames, you would have taken them for Will-o'-wisps. But no
            sooner
            > were they in the house, than they began, like impudent varlets, to
            > compliment me, and grew so forward that I feel ashamed to think of
            it."
            > > "No doubt," said the husband with a smile, "the gentlemen were
            > jesting: considering thy age, they might have held by general
            > politeness."
            > > "Age! what age?" cried the Wife: "wilt thou always be talking of
            my
            > age? How old am I, then?General politeness! But I know what I know.
            > Look around there what a face the walls have; look at the old
            stones,
            > which I have not seen these hundred years; every film of gold have
            > they licked away, thou couldst not think how fast; and still they
            kept
            > assuring me that it tasted far beyond common gold. Once they had
            swept
            > the walls, the fellows seemed to be in high spirits, and truly in
            that
            > little while they had grown much broader and brighter. They now
            began
            > to be impertinent again, they patted me, and called me their queen,
            > they shook themselves, and a shower of gold-pieces sprang from them;
            > see how they are shining under the bench! But ah, what misery! Poor
            > Mops ate a coin or two; and look, he is lying in the chimney, dead.
            > Poor Pug. O well-a-day! I did not see it till they were gone; else I
            > had never promised to pay the Ferryman the debt they owe him.""What
            do
            > they owe him?" said the Man. "Three Cabbages," replied the Wife,
            > "three Artichokes and three Onions: I engaged to go when it was day,
            > and take them to the River."
            > > "Thou mayest do them that civility," said the old Man; "they may
            > chance to be of use to us again."
            > > "Whether they will be of use to us I know not; but they promised
            and
            > vowed that they would."
            > > Meantime the fire on the hearth had burnt low; the old Man
            > covered-up the embers with a heap of ashes, and put the glittering
            > gold-pieces aside; so that his little Lamp now gleamed alone, in the
            > fairest brightness. The walls again coated themselves with gold, and
            > Mops changed into the prettiest onyx that could be imagined. The
            > alternation of the brown and black in this precious stone made it
            the
            > most curious piece of workmanship.
            > > "Take thy basket," said the old Man, "and put the onyx into it;
            then
            > take the three Cabbages, the three Artichokes and the three Onions;
            > place them round little Mops, and carry them to the River. At noon
            the
            > Snake will take thee over; visit the fair Lily, give her the onyx,
            she
            > will make it alive by her touch, as by her touch she kills whatever
            is
            > alive already. She will have a true companion in the little dog.
            Tell
            > her, Not to mourn; her deliverance is near; the greatest misfortune
            > she may look upon as the greatest happiness; for the time is at
            hand."
            > > The old Woman filled her basket, and set out as soon as it was
            day.
            > The rising sun shone clear from the other side of the River, which
            was
            > glittering in the distance; the old Woman walked with slow steps,
            for
            > the basket pressed upon her head, and it was not the onyx that so
            > burdened her. Whatever lifeless thing she might be carrying, she did
            > not feel the weight of it; on the other hand, in those cases the
            > basket rose aloft, and hovered above her head. But to carry any
            fresh
            > herbage, or any little living animal, she found exceedingly
            laborious.
            > She had travelled on for some time, in a sullen humour, when she
            > halted suddenly in fright, for she had almost trod upon the Giant's
            > shadow which was stretching towards her across the plain. And now,
            > lifting up her eyes, she saw the monster of a Giant himself, who had
            > been bathing in the River, and was just come out, and she knew not
            how
            > she should avoid him. The moment he perceived her, he began saluting
            > her in sport, and the hands of his shadow soon caught hold of the
            > basket. With dexterous ease they picked away from it a Cabbage, an
            > Artichoke and an Onion, and brought them to the Giant's mouth, who
            > then went his way up the River, and let the Woman go in peace.
            > > She considered whether it would not be better to return, and
            supply
            > from her garden the pieces she had lost; and amid these doubts, she
            > still kept walking on, so that in a little while she was at the bank
            > of the River. She sat long waiting for the Ferryman, whom she
            > perceived at last, steering over with a very singular traveller. A
            > young, noble-looking, handsome man, whom she could not gaze upon
            > enough, stept out of the boat.
            > > "What is it you bring?" cried the old Man. "The greens which those
            > two Will-o'-wisps owe you," said the Woman, pointing to her ware. As
            > the Ferryman found only two of each sort, he grew angry, and
            declared
            > he would have none of them. The Woman earnestly entreated him to
            take
            > them; told him that she could not now go home, and that her burden
            for
            > the way which still remained was very heavy. He stood by his
            refusal,
            > and assured her that it did not rest with him. "What belongs to me,"
            > said he, "I must leave lying nine hours in a heap, touching none of
            > it, till I have given the River its third." After much higgling, the
            > old Man at last replied: "There is still another way. If you like to
            > pledge yourself to the River, and declare yourself its debtor, I
            will
            > take the six pieces; but there is some risk in it." "If I keep my
            > word, I shall run no risk?" "Not the smallest. Put your hand into
            the
            > stream," continued he, "and promise that within four-and-twenty
            hours
            > you will pay the debt."
            > > The old Woman did so; but what was her affright, when on drawing
            out
            > her hand, she found it black as coal! She loudly scolded the old
            > Ferryman; declared that her hands had always been the fairest part
            of
            > her; that in spite of her hard work, she had all along contrived to
            > keep these noble members white and dainty. She looked at the hand
            with
            > indignation, and exclaimed in a despairing tone: "Worse and worse!
            > Look, it is vanishing entirely; it is grown far smaller than the
            other."
            > > "For the present it but seems so," said the old Man; "if you do
            not
            > keep your word, however, it may prove so in earnest. The hand will
            > gradually diminish, and at length disappear altogether, though you
            > have the use of it as formerly. Everything as usual you will be able
            > to perform with it, only nobody will see it." "I had rather that I
            > could not use it, and no one could observe the want," cried
            she: "but
            > what of that, I will keep my word, and rid myself of this black
            skin,
            > and all anxieties about it." Thereupon she hastily took up her
            basket,
            > which mounted of itself over her head, and hovered free above her in
            > the air, as she hurried after the Youth, who was walking softly and
            > thoughtfully down the bank. His noble form and strange dress had
            made
            > a deep impression on her.
            > > His breast was covered with a glittering coat of mail; in whose
            > wavings might be traced every motion of his fair body. From his
            > shoulders hung a purple cloak; around his uncovered head flowed
            > abundant brown hair in beautiful locks: his graceful face, and his
            > well-formed feet were exposed to the scorching of the sun. With bare
            > soles, he walked composedly over the hot sand; and a deep inward
            > sorrow seemed to blunt him against all external things.
            > > The garrulous old Woman tried to lead him into conversation; but
            > with his short answers he gave her small encouragement or
            information;
            > so that in the end, notwithstanding the beauty of his eyes, she grew
            > tired of speaking with him to no purpose, and took leave of him with
            > these words: "You walk too slow for me, worthy sir; I must not lose
            a
            > moment, for I have to pass the River on the green Snake, and
            > carry.this fine present from my husband to the fair Lily." So saying
            > she stept faster forward; but the fair Youth pushed on with equal
            > speed, and hastened to keep up with her. "You are going to the fair
            > Lily!" cried he; "then our roads are the same. But what present is
            > this you are bringing her?"
            > > "Sir," said the Woman, "it is hardly fair, after so briefly
            > dismissing the questions I put to you, to inquire with such vivacity
            > about my secrets. But if you like to barter, and tell me your
            > adventures, I will not conceal from you how it stands with me and my
            > presents." They soon made a bargain: the dame disclosed her
            > circumstances to him; told the history of the Pug, and let him see
            the
            > singular gift.
            > > He lifted this natural curiosity from the basket, and took Mops,
            who
            > seemed as if sleeping softly, into his arms. "Happy beast!" cried
            he;
            > "thou wilt be touched by her hands, thou wilt be made alive by her;
            > while the living are obliged to fly from her presence to escape a
            > mournful doom. Yet why say I mournful? Is it not far sadder and more
            > frightful to be injured by her look, than it would be to die by her
            > hand? Behold me," said he to the Woman; "at my years, what a
            miserable
            > fate have I to undergo! This mail which I have honourably borne in
            > war, this purple which I sought to merit by a wise reign, Destiny
            has
            > left me; the one as a useless burden, the other as an empty
            ornament.
            > Crown, and sceptre, and sword are gone; and I am as bare and needy
            as
            > any other son of earth; for so unblessed are her bright eyes, that
            > they take from every living creature they look on all its force, and
            > those whom the touch of her hand does not kill are changed to the
            > state of shadows wandering alive."
            > > Thus did he continue to bewail, nowise contenting the old Woman's
            > curiosity, who wished for information not so much of his internal as
            > of his external situation. She learned neither the name of his
            father,
            > nor of his kingdom. He stroked the hard Mops, whom the sunbeams and
            > the bosom of the youth had warmed as if he had been living. He
            > inquired narrowly about the Man with the Lamp, about the influences
            of
            > the sacred light, appearing to expect much good from it in his
            > melancholy case.
            > > Amid such conversation, they descried from afar the majestic arch
            of
            > the Bridge, which extended from the one bank to the other,
            glittering
            > with the strangest colours in the splendours of the sun. Both were
            > astonished; for until now they had never seen this edifice so grand.
            > "How!" cried the Prince, "was it not beautiful enough, as it stood
            > before our eyes, piled out of jasper and agate? Shall we not fear to
            > tread it, now that it appears combined, in graceful complexity of
            > emerald and chrysopras and chrysolite?" Neither of them knew the
            > alteration that had taken place upon the Snake: for it was indeed
            the
            > Snake, who every day at noon curved herself over the River, and
            stood
            > forth in the form of a bold-swelling bridge. The travellers stept
            upon
            > it with a reverential feeling, and passed over it in silence.
            > > No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the bridge began
            to
            > heave and stir; in a little while, it touched the surface of the
            > water, and the green Snake in her proper form came gliding after the
            > wanderers. They had scarcely thanked her for the privilege of
            crossing
            > on her back, when they found that, besides them three, there must be
            > other persons in the company, whom their eyes could not discern.
            They
            > heard a hissing, which the Snake also answered with a hissing; they
            > listened, and at length caught what follows: "We shall first look
            > about us in the fair Lily's Park," said a pair of alternating
            voices;
            > "and then request you at nightfall, so soon as we are anywise
            > presentable, to introduce us to this paragon of beauty. At the shore
            > of the great Lake you will find us." "Be it so," replied the Snake;
            > and a hissing sound died away in the air.
            > > Our three travellers now consulted in what order they should
            > introduce themselves to the fair Lady; for however many people might
            > be in her company, they were obliged to enter and depart singly,
            under
            > pain of suffering very hard severities.
            > > The Woman with the metamorphosed Pug in the basket first
            approached
            > the garden, looking round for her Patroness; who was not difficult
            to
            > find, being just engaged in singing to her harp. The finest tones
            > proceeded from her, first like circles on the surface of the still
            > lake, then like a light breath they set the grass and the bushes in
            > motion. In a green enclosure, under the shadow of a stately group of
            > many diverse trees, was she seated; and again did she enchant the
            > eyes, the ears and the heart of the Woman, who approached with
            > rapture, and swore within herself that since she saw her last, the
            > fair one had grown fairer than ever. With eager gladness, from a
            > distance, she expressed her reverence and admiration for the lovely
            > maiden. "What a happiness to see you! what a Heaven does your
            presence
            > spread around you! How charmingly the harp is leaning on your bosom,
            > how softly your arms surround it, how it seems as if longing to be
            > near you, and how it sounds so meekly under the touch of your slim
            > fingers! Thrice-happy youth, to whom it were permitted to be
            there!"
            > > So speaking she approached; the fair Lily raised her eyes; let her
            > hands drop from the harp, and answered: "Trouble me not with
            untimely
            > praise; I feel my misery but the more deeply. Look here, at my feet
            > lies the poor Canary-bird, which used so beautifully to accompany my
            > singing; it would sit upon my harp, and was trained not to touch me;
            > but today, while I, refreshed by sleep, was raising a peaceful
            morning
            > hymn, and my little singer was pouring forth his harmonious tones
            more
            > gaily than ever, a Hawk darts over my head; the poor little
            creature,
            > in affright, takes refuge in my bosom, and I feel the last
            > palpitations of its departing life. The plundering Hawk indeed was
            > caught by my look, and fluttered fainting down into the water; but
            > what can his punishment avail me? my darling is dead, and his grave
            > will but increase the mournful bushes of my garden."
            > > "Take courage, fairest Lily!" cried the Woman, wiping off a tear,
            > which the story of the hapless maiden had called into her eyes;
            > "compose yourself; my old man bids me tell you to moderate your
            > lamenting, to look upon the greatest misfortune as a forerunner of
            the
            > greatest happiness, for the time is at hand; and truly," continued
            > she, "the world is going strangely on of late. Do but look at my
            hand,
            > how black it is! As I live and breathe, it is grown far smaller: I
            > must hasten, before it vanish altogether! Why did I engage to do the
            > Will-o'-wisps a service, why did I meet the Giant's shadow, and dip
            my
            > hand in the River? Could you not afford me a single cabbage, an
            > artichoke and an onion? I would give them to the River, and my hand
            > were white as ever, so that I could almost show it with one of
            yours."
            > > "Cabbages and onions thou mayest still find; but artichokes thou
            > wilt search for in vain. No plant in my garden bears either flowers
            or
            > fruit; but every twig that I break, and plant upon the grave of a
            > favourite, grows green straightway, and shoots up in fair boughs.
            All
            > these groups, these bushes, these groves my hard destiny has so
            raised
            > around me. These pines stretching out like parasols, these obelisks
            of
            > cypresses, these colossal oaks and beeches, were all little twigs
            > planted by my hand, as mournful memorials in a soil that otherwise
            is
            > barren."
            > > To this speech the old Woman had paid little heed; she was looking
            > at her hand, which, in presence of the fair Lily, seemed every
            moment
            > growing blacker and smaller. She was about to snatch her basket and
            > hasten off, when she noticed that the best part of her errand had
            been
            > forgotten. She lifted out the onyx Pug, and set him down, not far
            from
            > the fair one, in the grass. "My husband," said she, "sends you this
            > memorial; you know that you can make a jewel live by touching it.
            This
            > pretty faithful dog will certainly afford you much enjoyment; and my
            > grief at losing him is brightened only by the thought that he will
            be
            > in your possession."
            > > The fair Lily viewed the dainty creature with a pleased and, as it
            > seemed, with an astonished look. "Many signs combine," said
            she, "that
            > breathe some hope into me: but ah! is it not a natural deception
            which
            > makes us fancy, when misfortunes crowd upon us, that a better day is
            > near?
            > > What can these many signs avail me?My Singer's Death, thy coal
            black
            > Hand?This Dog of Onyx, that can never fail me?And coming at the
            Lamp's
            > command? From human joys removed forever,With sorrows compassed
            round
            > I sit:Is there a Temple at the River?Is there a Bridge? Alas, not
            yet!
            > > The good old dame had listened with impatience to this singing,
            > which the fair Lily accompanied with her harp, in a way that would
            > have charmed any other. She was on the point of taking leave, when
            the
            > arrival of the green Snake again detained her. The Snake had caught
            > the last lines of the song, and on this matter forthwith began to
            > speak comfort to the fair Lily.
            > > "The prophecy of the Bridge is fulfilled" cried the Snake: "you
            may
            > ask this worthy dame how royally the arch looks now. What formerly
            was
            > untransparent jasper or agate, allowing but a gleam of light to pass
            > about its edges, is now become transparent precious stone. No beryl
            is
            > so clear, no emerald so beautiful of hue."
            > > "I wish you joy of it," said Lily; "but you will pardon me if I
            > regard the prophecy as yet unaccomplished. The lofty arch of your
            > bridge can still but admit foot passengers; and it is promised us
            that
            > horses and carriages and travellers of every sort shall, at the same
            > moment, cross this bridge in both directions. Is there not something
            > said, too, about pillars, which are to arise of themselves from the
            > waters of the River?"
            > > The old Woman still kept her eyes fixed on her hand; she here
            > interrupted their dialogue, and was taking leave. "Wait a moment,"
            > said the fair Lily, "and carry my little bird with you. Bid the Lamp
            > change it into topaz; I will enliven it by my touch; with your good
            > Mops it shall form my dearest pastime: but hasten, hasten; for, at
            > sunset, intolerable putrefaction will fasten on the hapless bird,
            and
            > tear asunder the fair combination of its form forever."
            > > The old Woman laid the little corpse, wrapped in soft leaves, into
            > her basket, and hastened away.
            > > "However it may be," said the Snake, recommencing their
            interrupted
            > dialogue, "the Temple is built."
            > > "But it is not at the River," said the fair one.
            > > "It is yet resting in the depths of the Earth," said the Snake; "I
            > have seen the Kings and conversed with them."
            > > "But when will they arise?" inquired Lily.
            > > The Snake replied: "I heard resounding in the Temple these deep
            > words, The time is at hand. "
            > > A pleasing cheerfulness spread over the fair Lily's face: " 'Tis
            the
            > second time," said she, "that I have heard these happy words today:
            > when will the day come for me to hear them thrice?"
            > > She arose, and immediately there came a lovely maiden from the
            > grove, and took away her harp. Another followed her, and folded-up
            the
            > fine carved ivory stool, on which the fair one had been sitting, and
            > put the silvery cushion under her arm. A third then made her
            > appearance, with a large parasol worked with pearls; and looked
            > whether Lily would require her in walking. These three maidens were
            > beyond expression beautiful; and yet their beauty but exalted that
            of
            > Lily, for it was plain to every one that they could never be
            compared
            > to her.
            > > Meanwhile the fair one had been looking, with a satisfied aspect,
            at
            > the strange onyx Mops. She bent down and touched him, and that
            instant
            > he started up. Gaily he looked around, ran hither and thither, and
            at
            > last, in his kindest manner, hastened to salute his benefactress.
            She
            > took him in her arms, and pressed him to her. "Cold as thou art,"
            > cried she, "and though but a half-life works in thee, thou art
            welcome
            > to me; tenderly will I love thee, prettily will I play with thee,
            > softly caress thee, and firmly press thee to my bosom." She then let
            > him go, chased him from her, called him back, and played so daintily
            > with him, and ran about so gaily and so innocently with him on the
            > grass, that with new rapture you viewed and participated in her joy,
            > as a little while ago her sorrow had attuned every heart to
            sympathy.
            > > This cheerfulness, these graceful sports were interrupted by the
            > entrance of the woeful Youth. He stepped forward, in his former
            guise
            > and aspect; save that the heat of the day appeared to have fatigued
            > him still more, and in the presence of his mistress he grew paler
            > every moment. He bore upon his hand a Hawk, which was sitting quiet
            as
            > a dove, with its body shrunk, and its wings drooping.
            > > "It is not kind in thee," cried Lily to him, "to bring that
            hateful
            > thing before my eyes, the monster, which today has killed my little
            > singer."
            > > "Blame not the unhappy bird!" replied the Youth; "rather blame
            > thyself and thy destiny; and leave me to keep beside me the
            companion
            > of my woe."
            > > Meanwhile Mops ceased not teasing the fair Lily; and she replied
            to
            > her transparent favourite, with friendly gestures. She clapped her
            > hands to scare him off; then ran, to entice him after her. She tried
            > to get him when he fled, and she chased him away when he attempted
            to
            > press near her. The Youth looked on in silence, with increasing
            anger;
            > but at last, when she took the odious beast, which seemed to him
            > unutterably ugly, on her arm, pressed it to her white bosom, and
            > kissed its black snout with her heavenly lips, his patience
            altogether
            > failed him, and full of desperation he exclaimed: "Must I, who by a
            > baleful fate exist beside thee, perhaps to the end, in an absent
            > presence; who by thee have lost my all, my very self; must I see
            > before my eyes, that so unnatural a monster can charm thee into
            > gladness, can awaken thy attachment, and enjoy thy embrace? Shall I
            > any longer keep wandering to and fro, measuring my dreary course to
            > that side of the River and to this? No, there is still a spark of
            the
            > old heroic spirit sleeping in my bosom; let it start this instant
            into
            > its expiring flame! If stones may rest in thy bosom, let me be
            changed
            > to stone; if thy touch kills, I will die by thy hands."
            > > So saying he made a violent movement; the Hawk flew from his
            finger,
            > but he himself rushed towards the fair one; she held out her hands
            to
            > keep him off, and touched him only the sooner. Consciousness forsook
            > him; and she felt with horror the beloved burden lying on her bosom.
            > With a shriek she started back, and the gentle Youth sank lifeless
            > from her arms upon the ground.
            > > The misery had happened! The sweet Lily stood motionless gazing on
            > the corpse. Her heart seemed to pause in her bosom; and her eyes
            were
            > without tears. In vain did Mops try to gain from her any kindly
            > gesture; with her friend, the world for her was all dead as the
            grave.
            > Her silent despair did not look round for help; she knew not of any
            help.
            > > On the other hand, the Snake bestirred herself the more actively;
            > she seemed to meditate deliverance; and in fact her strange
            movements
            > served at least to keep away, for a little, the immediate
            consequences
            > of the mischief. With her limber body, she formed a wide circle
            round
            > the corpse, and seizing the end of her tail between her teeth, she
            lay
            > quite still.
            > > Ere long one of Lily's fair waiting-maids appeared; brought the
            > ivory folding-stool, and with friendly beckoning constrained her
            > mistress to sit down on it. Soon afterwards there came a second; she
            > had in her hand a fire-coloured veil, with which she rather
            decorated
            > than concealed the fair Lily's head. The third handed her the harp,
            > and scarcely had she drawn the gorgeous instrument towards her, and
            > struck some tones from its strings, when the first maid returned
            with
            > a clear round mirror; took her station opposite the fair one; caught
            > her looks in the glass, and threw back to her the loveliest image
            that
            > was to be found in Nature. Sorrow heightened her beauty, the veil
            her
            > charms, the harp her grace; and deeply as you wished to see her
            > mournful situation altered, not less deeply did you wish to keep her
            > image, as she now looked, forever present with you.
            > > With a still look at the mirror, she touched the harp; now melting
            > tones proceeded from the strings, now her pain seemed to mount, and
            > the music in strong notes responded to her woe; sometimes she opened
            > her lips to sing, but her voice failed her; and ere long her sorrow
            > melted into tears, two maidens caught her helpfully in their arms,
            the
            > harp sank from her bosom, scarcely could the quick servant snatch
            the
            > instrument and carry it aside.
            > > "Who gets us the Man with the Lamp, before the Sun set?" hissed
            the
            > Snake, faintly, but audibly: the maids looked at one another, and
            > Lily's tears fell faster. At this moment came the Woman with the
            > Basket, panting and altogether breathless. "I am lost, and maimed
            for
            > life!" cried she, "see how my hand is almost vanished; neither
            > Ferryman nor Giant would take me over, because I am the River's
            > debtor; in vain did I promise hundreds of cabbages and hundreds of
            > onions; they will take no more than three; and no artichoke is now
            to
            > be found in all this quarter."
            > > "Forget your own care," said the Snake, "and try to bring help
            here;
            > perhaps it may come to yourself also. Haste with your utmost speed
            to
            > seek the Will-o'-wisps; it is too light for you to see them, but
            > perhaps you will hear them laughing and hopping to and fro. If they
            be
            > speedy, they may cross upon the Giant's shadow, and seek the Man
            with
            > the Lamp, and send him to us."
            > > The Woman hurried off at her quickest pace, and the Snake seemed
            > expecting as impatiently as Lily the return of the Flames. Alas! the
            > beam of the sinking Sun was already gliding only the highest summits
            > of the trees in the thicket, and long shadows were stretching over
            > lake and meadow; the Snake hitched up and down impatiently, and Lily
            > dissolved in tears.
            > > In this extreme need, the Snake kept looking round on all sides;
            for
            > she was afraid every moment that the Sun would set, and corruption
            > penetrate the magic circle, and the fair youth immediately moulder
            > away. At last she noticed sailing high in the air, with purple-red
            > feathers, the Prince's Hawk, whose breast was catching the last
            beams
            > of the Sun. She shook herself for joy at this good omen; nor was she
            > deceived; for shortly afterwards the Man with the Lamp was seen
            > gliding towards them across the Lake, fast and smoothly, as if he
            had
            > been travelling on skates.
            > > The Snake did not change her posture; but Lily rose and called to
            > him: "What good spirit sends thee, at the moment when we were
            desiring
            > thee, and needing thee, so much?"
            > > "The spirit of my Lamp," replied the Man, "has impelled me, and
            the
            > Hawk has conducted me. My Lamp sparkles when I am needed, and I just
            > look about me in the sky for a signal; some bird or meteor points to
            > the quarter towards which I am to turn. Be calm, fairest Maiden!
            > Whether I can help, I know not; an individual helps not, but he who
            > combines himself with many at the proper hour. We will postpone the
            > evil, and keep hoping. Hold thy circle fast," continued he, turning
            to
            > the Snake; then set himself upon a hillock beside her, and
            illuminated
            > the dead body. "Bring the little Bird hither too, and lay it in the
            > circle!" The maidens took the little corpse from the basket, which
            the
            > old Woman had left standing, and did as he directed.
            > > Meanwhile the Sun had set; and as the darkness increased, not only
            > the Snake and the old Man's Lamp began shining in their fashion, but
            > also Lily's veil gave-out a soft light, which gracefully tinged, as
            > with a meek dawning red, her pale cheeks and her white robe. The
            party
            > looked at one another, silently reflecting; care and sorrow were
            > mitigated by a sure hope.
            > > It was no unpleasing entrance, therefore, that the Woman made,
            > attended by the two gay Flames, which in truth appeared to have been
            > very lavish in the interim, for they had again become extremely
            > meagre; yet they only bore themselves the more prettily for that,
            > towards Lily and the other ladies. With great tact and
            expressiveness,
            > they said a multitude of rather common things to these fair persons;
            > and declared themselves particularly ravished by the charm which the
            > gleaming veil spread over Lily and her attendants. The ladies
            modestly
            > cast down their eyes, and the praise of their beauty made them
            really
            > beautiful. All were peaceful and calm, except the old Woman. In
            spite
            > of the assurance of her husband, that her hand could diminish no
            > farther, while the Lamp shone on it, she asserted more than once,
            that
            > if things went on thus, before midnight this noble member would have
            > utterly vanished.
            > > The Man with the Lamp had listened attentively to the conversation
            > of the Lights; and was gratified that Lily had been cheered, in some
            > measure, and amused by it. And, in truth, midnight had arrived they
            > knew not how. The old Man looked to the stars, and then began
            > speaking: "We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform
            > his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will
            > swallow-up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes
            > individual joys."
            > > At these words arose a wondrous hubbub; for all the persons in the
            > party spoke aloud, each for himself, declaring what they had to do;
            > only the three maids were silent; one of them had fallen asleep
            beside
            > the harp, another near the parasol, the third by the stool; and you
            > could not blame them much, for it was late. The Fiery Youths, after
            > some passing compliments which they devoted to the waiting-maids,
            had
            > turned their sole attention to the Princess, as alone worthy of
            > exclusive homage.
            > > "Take the mirror," said the Man to the Hawk; "and with the first
            > sunbeam illuminate the three sleepers, and awake them, with light
            > reflected from above."
            > > The Snake now began to move; she loosened her circle, and rolled
            > slowly, in large rings, forward to the River. The two Will-o'-wisps
            > followed with a solemn air: you would have taken them for the most
            > serious Flames in Nature. The old Woman and her husband seized the
            > Basket, whose mild light they had scarcely observed till now; they
            > lifted it at both sides, and it grew still larger and more luminous;
            > they lifted the body of the Youth into it, laying the Canary-bird
            upon
            > his breast; the Basket rose into the air and hovered above the old
            > Woman's head, and she followed the Will-o'-wisps on foot. The fair
            > Lily took Mops on her arm, and followed the Woman; the Man with the
            > Lamp concluded the procession; and the scene was curiously
            illuminated
            > by these many lights.
            > > But it was with no small wonder that the party saw, when they
            > approached the River, a glorious arch mount over it, by which the
            > helpful Snake was affording them a glittering path. If by day they
            had
            > admired the beautiful transparent precious stones, of which the
            Bridge
            > seemed formed; by night they were astonished at its gleaming
            > brilliancy. On the upper side the clear circle marked itself sharp
            > against the dark sky, but below, vivid beams were darting to the
            > centre, and exhibiting the airy firmness of the edifice. The
            > procession slowly moved across it; and the Ferryman, who saw it from
            > his hut afar off, considered with astonishment the gleaming circle,
            > and the strange lights which were passing over it
            > > No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the arch began,
            in
            > its usual way, to swag up and down, and with a wavy motion to
            approach
            > the water. The Snake then came on land, the Basket placed itself
            upon
            > the ground, and the Snake again drew her circle round it. The old
            Man
            > stooped towards her, and said: "What hast thou resolved on?"
            > > "To sacrifice myself rather than be sacrificed," replied the
            Snake;
            > "promise me that thou wilt leave no stone on shore."
            > > The old Man promised; then addressing Lily: "Touch the Snake,"
            said
            > he, "with thy left hand, and thy lover with thy right." Lily knelt,
            > and touched the Snake and the Prince's body. The latter in the
            instant
            > seemed to come to life; he moved in the Basket, nay he raised
            himself
            > into a sitting posture; Lily was about to clasp him; but the old Man
            > held her back, and himself assisted the Youth to rise, and led him
            > forth from the Basket and the circle.
            > > The Prince was standing; the Canary-bird was fluttering on his
            > shoulder; there was life again in both of them, but the spirit had
            not
            > yet returned; the fair Youth's eyes were open, yet he did not see,
            at
            > least he seemed to look on all without participation. Scarcely had
            > their admiration of this incident a little calmed, when they
            observed
            > how strangely it had fared in the meanwhile with the Snake. Her fair
            > taper body had crumbled into thousands and thousands of shining
            > jewels: the old Woman reaching at her Basket had chanced to come
            > against the circle; and of the shape or structure of the Snake there
            > was now nothing to be seen, only a bright ring of luminous jewels
            was
            > lying in the grass.
            > > The old Man forthwith set himself to gather the stones into the
            > Basket; a task in which his wife assisted him. They next carried the
            > Basket to an elevated point on the bank; and here the man threw its
            > whole lading, not without contradiction from the fair one and his
            > wife, who would gladly have retained some part of it, down into the
            > River. Like gleaming twinkling stars the stones floated down with
            the
            > waves; and you could not say whether they lost themselves in the
            > distance, or sank to the bottom.
            > > "Gentlemen," said he with the Lamp, in a respectful tone to the
            > Lights, "I will now show you the way, and open you the passage; but
            > you will do us an essential service, if you please to unbolt the
            door,
            > by which the Sanctuary must be entered at present, and which none
            but
            > you can unfasten."
            > > The Lights made a stately bow of assent, and kept their place. The
            > old Man of the Lamp went foremost into the rock, which opened at his
            > presence; the Youth followed him, as if mechanically; silent and
            > uncertain, Lily kept at some distance from him; the old Woman would
            > not be left, and stretched-out her hand, that the light of her
            > husband's Lamp might still fall upon it. The rear was closed by the
            > two Will-o'-wisps, who bent the peaks of their flames towards one
            > another, and appeared to be engaged in conversation.
            > > They had not gone far till the procession halted in front of a
            large
            > brazen door, the leaves of which were bolted with a golden lock. The
            > Man now called upon the Lights to advance; who required small
            > entreaty, and with their pointed flames soon ate both bar and lock.
            > > The brass gave a loud clang, as the doors sprang suddenly asunder;
            > and the stately figures of the Kings appeared within the Sanctuary,
            > illuminated by the entering Lights. All bowed before these dread
            > sovereigns, especially the Flames made a profusion of the daintiest
            > reverences.
            > > After a pause, the gold King asked: "Whence come ye?" "From the
            > world," said the old Man. "Whither go ye?" said the silver
            King. "Into
            > the world," replied the Man. "What would ye with us?" cried the
            brazen
            > King. "Accompany you," replied the Man.
            > > The composite King was about to speak, when the gold one addressed
            > the Lights, who had got too near him: "Take yourselves away from me,
            > my metal was not made for you." Thereupon they turned to the silver
            > King, and clasped themselves about him; and his robe glittered
            > beautifully in their yellow brightness. "You are welcome," said he,
            > "but I cannot feed you; satisfy yourselves elsewhere, and bring me
            > your light." They removed; and gliding past the brazen King, who did
            > not seem to notice them, they fixed on the compounded King. "Who
            will
            > govern the world?" cried he, with a broken voice. "He who stands
            upon
            > his feet," replied the old Man. "I am he," said the mixed King. "We
            > shall see," replied the Man; "for the time is at hand."
            > > The fair Lily fell upon the old Man's neck, and kissed him
            > cordially. "Holy Sage!" cried she, "a thousand times I thank thee;
            for
            > I hear that fateful word the third time." She had scarcely spoken,
            > when she clasped the old Man still faster; for the ground began to
            > move beneath them; the Youth and the old Woman also held by one
            > another; the Lights alone did not regard it.
            > > You could feel plainly that the whole temple was in motion; as a
            > ship that softly glides away from the harbour, when her anchors are
            > lifted; the depths of the Earth seemed to open for the Building as
            it
            > went along. It struck on nothing; no rock came in its way.
            > > For a few instants, a small rain seemed to drizzle from the
            opening
            > of the dome; the old Man held the fair Lily fast, and said to
            her: "We
            > are now beneath the River; we shall soon be at the mark." Ere long
            > they thought the Temple made a halt; but they were in an error; it
            was
            > mounting upwards.
            > > And now a strange uproar rose above their heads. Planks and beams
            in
            > disordered combination now came pressing and crashing in at the
            > opening of the dome. Lily and the Woman started to a side; the Man
            > with the Lamp laid hold of the Youth, and kept standing still. The
            > little cottage of the Ferryman, for it was this which the Temple in
            > ascending had severed from the ground and carried up with it, sank
            > gradually down, and covered the old Man and the Youth.
            > > The women screamed aloud, and the Temple shook, like a ship
            running
            > unexpectedly aground. In sorrowful perplexity, the Princess and her
            > old attendant wandered round the cottage in the dawn; the door was
            > bolted, and to their knocking no one answered. They knocked more
            > loudly, and were not a little struck, when at length the wood began
            to
            > ring. By virtue of the Lamp locked up in it, the hut had been
            > converted from the inside to the outside into solid silver. Ere long
            > too its form changed; for the noble metal shook aside the accidental
            > shape of planks, posts and beams, and stretched itself out into a
            > noble case of beaten ornamented workmanship. Thus a fair little
            temple
            > stood erected in the middle of the large one; or if you will, an
            Altar
            > worthy of the Temple.
            > > By a staircase which ascended from within, the noble Youth now
            > mounted aloft, lighted by the old Man with the Lamp, and, as it
            > seemed, supported by another, who advanced in a white short robe,
            with
            > a silver rudder in his hand; and was soon recognised as the
            Ferryman,
            > the former possessor of the cottage.
            > > The fair Lily mounted the outer steps, which led from the floor of
            > the Temple to the Altar; but she was still obliged to keep herself
            > apart from her Lover. The old Woman, whose hand in the absence of
            the
            > Lamp had grown still smaller, cried: "Am I, then, to be unhappy
            after
            > all? Among so many miracles, can there be nothing done to save my
            > hand?" Her husband pointed to the open door, and said to her: "See,
            > the day is breaking; haste, bathe thyself in the River." "What an
            > advice!" cried she; "it will make me all black; it will make me
            vanish
            > together; for my debt is not yet paid." "Go," said the man, "and do
            as
            > I advise thee; all debts are now paid."
            > > The old Woman hastened away; and at that moment appeared the
            rising
            > Sun, upon the rim of the dome. The old Man stept between Virgin and
            > the Youth, and cried with a loud voice: "There are three which have
            > rule on Earth; Wisdom, Appearance and Strength." the first word, the
            > gold King rose; at the second, the silver one; and at the third, the
            > brass King slowly rose, while the mixed King on a sudden very
            > awkwardly plumped down.
            > > Whoever noticed him could scarcely keep from laughing, solemn as
            the
            > moment was; for he was not sitting, he was not lying, he was —
            > leaning, but shapelessly sunk together.
            > > The Lights, who till now had been employed upon him, drew to side;
            > they appeared, although pale in the morning radiance, yet the more
            > well-fed, and in good burning condition; with their peaked tongues,
            > they had dexterously licked-out the gold veins of the colossal
            figure
            > to its very heart. The irregular vacuities which this occasioned had
            > continued empty for a time, and the figure had maintained its
            standing
            > posture. But when at last the very tenderest filaments were eaten
            out,
            > the image crashed suddenly together; and then, alas, in the very
            parts
            > which continue unaltered when one sits down; whereas the limbs,
            which
            > should have bent, sprawled themselves out unbowed and stiff. Whoever
            > could not laugh was obliged to turn away his eyes; this miserable
            > shape and no-shape was offensive to behold.
            > > The Man with the Lamp now led the handsome Youth, who still kept
            > gazing vacantly before him, down from the Altar, and straight to the
            > brazen King. At the feet of this mighty Potentate lay a sword in a
            > brazen sheath. The young man girt it round him. "The sword on left,
            > the right free!" cried the brazen voice. They next proceeded to the
            > silver King; he bent his sceptre to the Youth; the latter seized it
            > with his left hand, and the King in a pleasing voice said: "Feed the
            > sheep!" On turning to the golden King, he stooped with gestures of
            > paternal blessing, and pressing his oaken garland on the young man's
            > head, said: "Understand what is highest!"
            > > During this progress, the old Man had carefully observed the
            Prince.
            > After girding-on the sword, his breast swelled, his arms waved, and
            > his feet trod firmer; when he took the sceptre in his hand, his
            > strength appeared to soften, and by an unspeakable charm to become
            > still more subduing; but as the oaken garland came to deck his hair,
            > his features kindled, his eyes gleamed with inexpressible spirit,
            and
            > the first word of his mouth was "Lily!"
            > > "Dearest Lily!" cried he, hastening up the silver stairs to her,
            for
            > she had viewed his progress from the pinnacle of the Altar; "Dearest
            > Lily! what more precious can a man, equipt with all, desire for
            > himself than innocence and the still affection which thy bosom
            brings
            > me? O my friend!" continued he, turning to the old Man, and looking
            at
            > the three statues; "glorious and secure is the kingdom of our
            fathers;
            > but thou hast forgotten the fourth power, which rules the world,
            > earlier, more universally, more certainly, the power of Love." With
            > these words, he fell upon the lovely maiden's neck; she had cast
            away
            > her veil, and her cheeks were tinged with the fairest, most
            > imperishable red.
            > > Here the old Man said with a smile: "Love does not rule; but it
            > trains, and that is more."
            > > Amid this solemnity, this happiness and rapture, no one had
            observed
            > that it was now broad day; and all at once, on looking through the
            > open portal, a crowd of altogether unexpected objects met the eye. A
            > large space surrounded with pillars formed the forecourt, at the end
            > of which was seen a broad and stately Bridge stretching with many
            > arches across the River. It was furnished, on both sides, with
            > commodious and magnificent colonnades for foot-travellers, many
            > thousands of whom were already there, busily passing this way or
            that.
            > The broad pavement in the centre was thronged with herds and mules,
            > with horsemen and carriages, flowing like two streams, on their
            > several sides, and neither interrupting the other. All admired the
            > splendour and convenience of the structure; and the new King and his
            > Spouse were delighted with the motion and activity of this great
            > people, as they were already happy in their own mutual love.
            > > "Remember the Snake in honour," said the Man with the Lamp; "thou
            > owest her thy life; thy people owe her the Bridge, by which these
            > neighbouring banks are now animated and combined into one land.
            Those
            > swimming and shining jewels, the remains of her sacrificed body, are
            > the piers of this royal bridge; upon these she has built and will
            > maintain herself."
            > > The party were about to ask some explanation of this strange
            > mystery, when there entered four lovely maidens at the portal of the
            > Temple. By the Harp, the Parasol, and the Folding-stool, it was not
            > difficult to recognise the waiting-maids of Lily; but the fourth,
            more
            > beautiful than any of the rest, was an unknown fair one, and in
            > sisterly sportfulness she hastened with them through the Temple, and
            > mounted the steps of the Altar.
            > > "Wilt thou have better trust in me another time, good wife?" said
            > the Man with the Lamp to the fair one: "Well for thee, and every
            > living thing that bathes this morning in the River!"
            > > The renewed and beautified old Woman, of whose former shape no
            trace
            > remained, embraced with young eager arms the Man with the Lamp, who
            > kindly received her caresses. "If I am too old for thee," said he,
            > smiling, "thou mayest choose another husband today; from this hour
            no
            > marriage is of force, which is not contracted anew."
            > > "Dost thou not know, then," answered she, "that thou too art grown
            > younger?" "It delights me if to thy young eyes I seem a handsome
            > youth: I take thy hand anew, and am well content to live with thee
            > another thousand years."
            > > The Queen welcomed her new friend, and went down with her <br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
          • carynlouise24
            Hi Durward, Matthew and Sheila (hope your wrists heal well - least you don t have to do housework!) Thank you for posting Goethe s Green Snake and the
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 30, 2007
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              Hi Durward, Matthew and Sheila (hope your wrists heal well - least
              you don't have to do housework!)

              Thank you for posting Goethe's Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily -
              it is a wonderful rich story and so good to read as the story becomes
              absorbed into the soul and the soul is loosened and lifted.

              I also enjoyed reading The Portal of Initiation another rich story of
              human life. Johannes and Maria seem to be the main characters in the
              play.

              I got a bit sidetracked in reading some other material but would like
              to discuss the play further.

              Durward, while we here - i've been thinking of something. This year
              I have seen two Comets. I saw Comet McNaught on the 18th Jan 20h33
              in front of Aries constellation. Wow it was close, with a big head
              and sparkling tail and it was very bright - it made this arch jump in
              the sky before it disappeared.

              On the 10th Nov 10h05 I saw another Comet - I think it was Comet
              Holmes. This Comet was higher in the sky than McNaught and was
              travelling west to east in front of Gemini Constellation. Seeing I
              saw this Comet on a bright sunny morning - it must be very bright to
              be seen during the day. It was quite long with a sparkling tail.

              With this I have been thinking - although the Comet is of course
              travelling it is infact the rotation of the Earth moving (quite fast)
              which makes the Comet appear as if it is travelling fast across the
              sky but it is infact the Earth travelling in a anti-clockwise motion
              which makes the eye think the Comet is travelling in a rotation
              motion.

              Interesting eh.
            • Durward Starman
              ******* The cast of characters includes the go-lightly Will-o-Wisps. the Ferryman, the Green Snake, the 4 Kings, the Man with the Lamp and his wife, the Young
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 1, 2007
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                ******* The cast of characters includes the go-lightly Will-o-Wisps. the Ferryman, the Green Snake, the 4 Kings, the Man with the Lamp and his wife, the Young Prince, and the Lily.
                  If we go through this "legend", then we can see how the first Mystery Play is a transformation of it.

                -Starman
                www.DrStarman.com



                 
                                                                *******
                   The setting is in some never-named land. But that land's beings are as if under a spell, and have a prophecy about how one day the spell will be lifted, the enchantment broken.
                  That land is ours. In the state all but exceptional souls are born into, we are under the spell of seeing only the external world and speculating about it with the brain-bound intellect. But there is a way out we hear about. We must find it.
                   There is a river that runs through this land of ours. We are sometimes on one side of the river, sometimes on the other. On the other side is a beautiful being, but she is cursed in that every living creature she touches must die. A man who sees her loses all desire for anything except to see her again.
                   Lily is the spirit-world. After each life a Ferryman takes us across to her. It is so beautiful there that life in this world seems a tragedy compared to it. But the only way to be with her is to die. Must it always be so? No, the prophecy says that when the spell is lifted, we shall be able to travel to and fro across the river at will --- the spirit-world will not always be estranged from the earthly one.
                   Deep in the earth, a temple with Four Kings speaks of the secret. As merely natural beings, we can dimly sense that temple, but only if we take in the light of the most ethereal forces of Nature can we also see that holy place. The Green Snake is our merely natural selves, but when it absorbs nature's secrets it glows with the light of thinking. Then we know the essence of the earth. As it represents our scientific selves, like Goethe himself, there is another way to travel with vision to that temple: the Man with the Lamp. He is the path of inspiration, revelation.
                  More later.

                Starman
                www.DrStarman. com



                The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

                By:
                Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
                Translated by: Thomas Carlyle (1832)

                 

                In his little hut by the great river, which a heavy rain had swoln to overflowing, lay the ancient Ferryman, asleep, wearied by the toil of the day. In the middle of the night, loud voices awoke him; he heard that it was travellers wishing to be carried over.

                Stepping out, he saw two large Will-o'-wisps, hovering to and fro on his boat, which lay moored: they said, they were in violent haste, and should have been already on the other side. The old Ferryman made no loitering; pushed off, and steered with his usual skill obliquely through the stream; while the two strangers whiffled and hissed together, in an unknown very rapid tongue, and every now and then broke out in loud laughter, hopping about, at one time on e gunwale and the seats, at another on the bottom of the boat.

                "The boat is heeling!" cried the old man; "if you don't be quiet, it'll overset; be seated, gentlemen of the wisp!"

                At this advice they burst into a fit of laughter, mocked the old man, and were more unquiet than ever. He bore their mischief with silence, and soon reached the farther shore.

                "Here is for your labour!" cried the travellers; and as they shook themselves, a heap of glittering gold-pieces jingled down into the wet boat. "For Heaven's sake, what are you about?" cried the old man; "you will ruin me forever! Had a single piece of gold got into the water, the stream, which cannot suffer gold, would have risen in horrid waves, and swallowed both my skiff and me; and who knows how it might have fared with you in that case? here, take back your gold."

                "We can take nothing back, which we have once shaken from us," said the Lights.

                "Then you give me the trouble," said the old man, stooping down, and gathering the pieces into his cap, "of raking them together, and carrying them ashore and burying them."

                The Lights had leaped from the boat, but the old man cried: "Stay; where is my fare?"

                "If you take no gold, you may work for nothing," cried the Will-o'-wisps. "You must know that I am only to be paid with fruits of the earth." "Fruits of the earth? we despise them, and have never tasted them." "And yet I cannot let you go, till you have promised that you will deliver me three Cabbages, three Artichokes, and three large Onions.

                The Lights were making-off with jests; but they felt themselves, in some inexplicable manner, fastened to the ground: it was the unpleasantest feeling they had ever had. They engaged to pay him his demand as soon as possible: he let them go, and pushed away. He was gone a good distance, when they called to him: "Old man! Holla, old man! the main point is forgotten!" He was off, however, and did not hear them. He had fallen quietly down that side of the River, where, in a rocky spot, which the water never reached, he meant to bury the pernicious gold. Here, between two high crags, he found a monstrous chasm; shook the metal into it, and steered back to his cottage.

                Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from her sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her eye on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were scattered in the chinks of the rock.

                Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all over her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was grown transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last, her curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to admire her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled along through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass. Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory. It was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes rose high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a brilliancy resembling her own. "Shall I find my like at last, then?" cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through bog and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and for most pare fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild dew and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in the hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you could propose to her.

                At last, with much fatigue, she reached a wee rushy spot in the swamp, where our two Will-o'-wisps were frisking to and fro. She shoved herself along to them; saluted them, was happy to meet such pleasant gentlemen related to her family. The Lights glided towards her, skipped up over her, and laughed in their fashion. "Lady Cousin," said they, "you are of the horizontal line, yet what of that? It is true we are related only by the look; for, observe you," here both the Flames, compressing their whole breadth, made themselves as high and peaked as possible, "how prettily this taper length beseems us gentlemen of the vertical line! Take it not amiss of us, good Lady; what family can boast of such a thing? Since there ever was a Jack-o'-lantern in the world, no one of them has either sat or lain."

                The Snake felt exceedingly uncomfortable in the company of these relations; for, let her hold her head as high as possible, she found that she must bend it to the earth again, would she stir from the spot; and if in the dark thicket she had been extremely satisfied with her appearance, her splendour in the presence of these cousins seemed to lessen every moment, nay she was afraid that at last it would go out entirely.

                In this embarrassment she hastily asked: If the gentlemen could not inform her, whence the glittering gold came, that had fallen a short while ago into the cleft of the rock; her own opinion was, that it had been a golden shower, and had trickled down direct from the sky. The Will-o'-wisps laughed, and shook themselves, and a multitude of gold-pieces came clinking down about them. The Snake pushed nimbly forwards to eat the coin. "Much good may it do you, Mistress," said the dapper gentlemen: "we can help you to a little more." They shook themselves again several times with great quickness, so that the Snake could scarcely gulp the precious victuals fast enough. Her splendour visibly began increasing; she was really shining beautifully, while the Lights had in the meantime grown rather lean and short of stature, without however in the smallest losing their good-humour.

                "I am obliged to you forever," said the Snake, having got her wind again after the repast; "ask of me what you will; all that I can I will do."

                "Very good!" cried the Lights. "Then tell us where the fair Lily dwells? Lead us to the fair Lily's palace and garden; and do not lose a moment, we are dying of impatience to fall down at her feet."

                "This service," said the Snake with a deep sigh, "I can not now do for you. The fair Lily dwells, alas, on the other side of the water." "Other side of the water? And we have come across it, this stormy night! How cruel is the River to divide us! Would it not be possible to call the old man back?"

                "It would be useless," said the Snake; "for if you found him ready on the bank, he would not take you in; he can carry anyone to this side, none to yonder."

                "Here is a pretty kettle of fish!" cried the Lights: "are there no other means of getting through the water?" "There are other means, but not at this moment. I myself could take you over, gentlemen, but not till noon." "That is an hour we do not like to travel in." "Then you may go across in the evening, on the great Giant's shadow."

                "How is that?" "The great Giant lives not far from this; with his body he has no power; his hands cannot lift a straw, his shoulders could not bear a faggot of twigs; but with his shadow he has power over much, nay all. At sunrise and sunset therefore he is strongest; so at evening you merely put yourself upon the back of his shadow, the Giant walks softly to the bank, and the shadow carries you across the water. But if you please, about the hour of noon, to be in waiting at that corner of the wood where the bushes overhang the bank, I myself will take you over and present you to the fair Lily: or on the other hand, if you dislike the noontide, you have just to go at nightfall to that bend of the rocks, and pay a visit to the Giant; he will certainly receive you like a gentleman."

                With a slight bow, the Flames went off; and the Snake at bottom was not discontented to get rid of them; partly that she might enjoy the brightness of her own light, partly [to] satisfy a curiosity with which, for a long time, she had been agitated in a singular way.

                In the chasm, where she often crawled hither and thither, she had made a strange discovery. For although in creeping up and down this abyss, she had never had a ray of light, she could well enough discriminate the objects in it, by her sense of touch. Generally she met with nothing but irregular productions of Nature; at one time she would wind between the teeth of large crystals, at another she would feel the barbs and hairs of native silver, and now and then carry out with her to the light some straggling jewels. But to her no small wonder, in a rock which was closed on every side, she had come on certain objects which betrayed the shaping hand of man. Smooth walls on which she could not climb, sharp regular corners, well-formed pillars; and what seemed strangest of all; human figures which she had entwined more than once, and which appeared to her to be of brass, or of the finest polished marble. All these experiences she now wished to combine by the sense of sight, thereby to confirm what as yet she only guessed. She believed she could illuminate the whole of that subterranean vault by her own light; and hoped to get acquainted with these curious things at once. She hastened back; and soon found, by the usual way, the cleft by which she used to penetrate the Sanctuary.

                On reaching the place, she gazed around with eager curiosity; and though her shining could not enlighten every object in the rotunda, yet those nearest her were plain enough. With astonishment and reverence she looked up into a glancing niche, where the image of an august King stood formed of pure Gold. In size the figure was beyond the stature of man, but by its shape it seemed the likeness of a little rather than a tall person. His handsome body was encircled with an unadorned mantle; and a garland of oak bound his hair together.

                No sooner had the Snake beheld this reverend figure, than the King began to speak, and asked: "Whence comest thou?" "From the chasms where the gold dwells," said the Snake. "What is grander than gold?" inquired the King. "Light," replied the Snake. "What is more refreshing than light?" said he. "Speech," answered she.

                During this conversation, she had squinted to a side, and in the nearest niche perceived another glorious image. It was a Silver King in a sitting posture; his shape was long and rather languid; he was covered with a decorated robe; crown, girdle and sceptre were adorned with precious stones: the cheerfulness of pride was in his countenance; he seemed about to speak, when a vein which ran dimly-coloured over the marble wall, on a sudden became bright, and diffused a cheerful light throughout the whole Temple. By this brilliancy the Snake perceived a third King, made of Brass, and sitting mighty in shape, leaning on his club, adorned with a laurel garland, and more like a rock than a man. She was looking for the fourth, which was standing at the greatest distance from her; but the wall opened, while the glittering vein started and split, as lightning does, and disappeared.

                A Man of middle stature, entering through the cleft, attracted the attention of the Snake. He was dressed like a peasant, and carried in his hand a little Lamp, on whose still flame you liked to look, and which in a strange manner, without casting any shadow, enlightened the whole dome.

                "Why comest thou, since we have light?" said the golden King." You know that I may not enlighten what is dark." "Will my Kingdom end?" said the silver King. "Late or never," said the old Man.

                With a stronger voice the brazen King began to ask: "When shall I arise?" "Soon," replied the Man. "With whom shall I combine?" said the King. "With thy elder brothers," said the Man. "What will the youngest do?" inquired the King. "He will sit down," replied the Man.

                "I am not tired," cried the fourth King, with a rough faltering voice.

                While this speech was going on, the Snake had glided softly round the Temple, viewing everything; she was now looking at the fourth King close by him. He stood leaning on a pillar; his considerable form was heavy rather than beautiful. But what metal it was made of could not be determined. Closely inspected, it seemed a mixture of the three metals which its brothers had been formed of. But in the founding, these materials did not seem to have combined together fully; gold and silver veins ran irregularly through a brazen mass, and gave the figure an unpleasant aspect.

                Meanwhile the gold King was asking of the Man, "How many secrets knowest thou?" "Three," replied the Man. "Which is the most important?" said the silver King. "The open one," replied the other. "Wilt thou open it to us also?" said the brass King."When I know the fourth," replied the Man."What care I" grumbled the composite King, in an undertone.

                "I know the fourth," said the Snake; approached the old Man, and hissed somewhat in his ear. "The time is at hand!" cried the old Man, with a strong voice. The temple reechoed, the metal statues sounded; and that instant the old Man sank away to the westward, and the Snake to the eastward; and both of them passed through the clefts of the rock, with the greatest speed.

                All the passages, through which the old Man travelled, filled themselves, immediately behind him, with gold; for his Lamp had the strange property of changing stone into gold, wood into silver, dead animals into precious stones, and of annihilating all metals. But to display this power, it must shine alone. If another light were beside it, the Lamp only cast from it a pure clear brightness, and all living things were refreshed by it.

                The old Man entered his cottage, which was built on the slope of the hill. He found his Wife in extreme distress. She was sitting at the fire weeping, and refusing to be consoled. "How unhappy am I!" cried she: "Did not I entreat thee not to go away tonight?""What is the matter, then?" inquired the husband, quite composed.

                "Scarcely wert thou gone," said she, sobbing, "when there came two noisy Travellers to the door: unthinkingly I let them in; they seemed to be a couple of genteel, very honourable people; they were dressed in flames, you would have taken them for Will-o'-wisps. But no sooner were they in the house, than they began, like impudent varlets, to compliment me, and grew so forward that I feel ashamed to think of it."

                "No doubt," said the husband with a smile, "the gentlemen were jesting: considering thy age, they might have held by general politeness."

                "Age! what age?" cried the Wife: "wilt thou always be talking of my age? How old am I, then?General politeness! But I know what I know. Look around there what a face the walls have; look at the old stones, which I have not seen these hundred years; every film of gold have they licked away, thou couldst not think how fast; and still they kept assuring me that it tasted far beyond common gold. Once they had swept the walls, the fellows seemed to be in high spirits, and truly in that little while they had grown much broader and brighter. They now began to be impertinent again, they patted me, and called me their queen, they shook themselves, and a shower of gold-pieces sprang from them; see how they are shining under the bench! But ah, what misery! Poor Mops ate a coin or two; and look, he is lying in the chimney, dead. Poor Pug. O well-a-day! I did not see it till they were gone; else I had never promised to pay the Ferryman the debt they owe him.""What do they owe him?" said the Man. "Three Cabbages," replied the Wife, "three Artichokes and three Onions: I engaged to go when it was day, and take them to the River."

                "Thou mayest do them that civility," said the old Man; "they may chance to be of use to us again."

                "Whether they will be of use to us I know not; but they promised and vowed that they would."

                Meantime the fire on the hearth had burnt low; the old Man covered-up the embers with a heap of ashes, and put the glittering gold-pieces aside; so that his little Lamp now gleamed alone, in the fairest brightness. The walls again coated themselves with gold, and Mops changed into the prettiest onyx that could be imagined. The alternation of the brown and black in this precious stone made it the most curious piece of workmanship.

                "Take thy basket," said the old Man, "and put the onyx into it; then take the three Cabbages, the three Artichokes and the three Onions; place them round little Mops, and carry them to the River. At noon the Snake will take thee over; visit the fair Lily, give her the onyx, she will make it alive by her touch, as by her touch she kills whatever is alive already. She will have a true companion in the little dog. Tell her, Not to mourn; her deliverance is near; the greatest misfortune she may look upon as the greatest happiness; for the time is at hand."

                The old Woman filled her basket, and set out as soon as it was day. The rising sun shone clear from the other side of the River, which was glittering in the distance; the old Woman walked with slow steps, for the basket pressed upon her head, and it was not the onyx that so burdened her. Whatever lifeless thing she might be carrying, she did not feel the weight of it; on the other hand, in those cases the basket rose aloft, and hovered above her head. But to carry any fresh herbage, or any little living animal, she found exceedingly laborious. She had travelled on for some time, in a sullen humour, when she halted suddenly in fright, for she had almost trod upon the Giant's shadow which was stretching towards her across the plain. And now, lifting up her eyes, she saw the monster of a Giant himself, who had been bathing in the River, and was just come out, and she knew not how she should avoid him. The moment he perceived her, he began saluting her in sport, and the hands of his shadow soon caught hold of the basket. With dexterous ease they picked away from it a Cabbage, an Artichoke and an Onion, and brought them to the Giant's mouth, who then went his way up the River, and let the Woman go in peace.

                She considered whether it would not be better to return, and supply from her garden the pieces she had lost; and amid these doubts, she still kept walking on, so that in a little while she was at the bank of the River. She sat long waiting for the Ferryman, whom she perceived at last, steering over with a very singular traveller. A young, noble-looking, handsome man, whom she could not gaze upon enough, stept out of the boat.

                "What is it you bring?" cried the old Man. "The greens which those two Will-o'-wisps owe you," said the Woman, pointing to her ware. As the Ferryman found only two of each sort, he grew angry, and declared he would have none of them. The Woman earnestly entreated him to take them; told him that she could not now go home, and that her burden for the way which still remained was very heavy. He stood by his refusal, and assured her that it did not rest with him. "What belongs to me," said he, "I must leave lying nine hours in a heap, touching none of it, till I have given the River its third." After much higgling, the old Man at last replied: "There is still another way. If you like to pledge yourself to the River, and declare yourself its debtor, I will take the six pieces; but there is some risk in it." "If I keep my word, I shall run no risk?" "Not the smallest. Put your hand into the stream," continued he, "and promise that within four-and-twenty hours you will pay the debt."

                The old Woman did so; but what was her affright, when on drawing out her hand, she found it black as coal! She loudly scolded the old Ferryman; declared that her hands had always been the fairest part of her; that in spite of her hard work, she had all along contrived to keep these noble members white and dainty. She looked at the hand with indignation, and exclaimed in a despairing tone: "Worse and worse! Look, it is vanishing entirely; it is grown far smaller than the other."

                "For the present it but seems so," said the old Man; "if you do not keep your word, however, it may prove so in earnest. The hand will gradually diminish, and at length disappear altogether, though you have the use of it as formerly. Everything as usual you will be able to perform with it, only nobody will see it." "I had rather that I could not use it, and no one could observe the want," cried she: "but what of that, I will keep my word, and rid myself of this black skin, and all anxieties about it." Thereupon she hastily took up her basket, which mounted of itself over her head, and hovered free above her in the air, as she hurried after the Youth, who was walking softly and thoughtfully down the bank. His noble form and strange dress had made a deep impression on her.

                His breast was covered with a glittering coat of mail; in whose wavings might be traced every motion of his fair body. From his shoulders hung a purple cloak; around his uncovered head flowed abundant brown hair in beautiful locks: his graceful face, and his well-formed feet were exposed to the scorching of the sun. With bare soles, he walked composedly over the hot sand; and a deep inward sorrow seemed to blunt him against all external things.

                The garrulous old Woman tried to lead him into conversation; but with his short answers he gave her small encouragement or information; so that in the end, notwithstanding the beauty of his eyes, she grew tired of speaking with him to no purpose, and took leave of him with these words: "You walk too slow for me, worthy sir; I must not lose a moment, for I have to pass the River on the green Snake, and carry.this fine present from my husband to the fair Lily." So saying she stept faster forward; but the fair Youth pushed on with equal speed, and hastened to keep up with her. "You are going to the fair Lily!" cried he; "then our roads are the same. But what present is this you are bringing her?"

                "Sir," said the Woman, "it is hardly fair, after so briefly dismissing the questions I put to you, to inquire with such vivacity about my secrets. But if you like to barter, and tell me your adventures, I will not conceal from you how it stands with me and my presents." They soon made a bargain: the dame disclosed her circumstances to him; told the history of the Pug, and let him see the singular gift.

                He lifted this natural curiosity from the basket, and took Mops, who seemed as if sleeping softly, into his arms. "Happy beast!" cried he; "thou wilt be touched by her hands, thou wilt be made alive by her; while the living are obliged to fly from her presence to escape a mournful doom. Yet why say I mournful? Is it not far sadder and more frightful to be injured by her look, than it would be to die by her hand? Behold me," said he to the Woman; "at my years, what a miserable fate have I to undergo! This mail which I have honourably borne in war, this purple which I sought to merit by a wise reign, Destiny has left me; the one as a useless burden, the other as an empty ornament. Crown, and sceptre, and sword are gone; and I am as bare and needy as any other son of earth; for so unblessed are her bright eyes, that they take from every living creature they look on all its force, and those whom the touch of her hand does not kill are changed to the state of shadows wandering alive."

                Thus did he continue to bewail, nowise contenting the old Woman's curiosity, who wished for information not so much of his internal as of his external situation. She learned neither the name of his father, nor of his kingdom. He stroked the hard Mops, whom the sunbeams and the bosom of the youth had warmed as if he had been living. He inquired narrowly about the Man with the Lamp, about the influences of the sacred light, appearing to expect much good from it in his melancholy case.

                Amid such conversation, they descried from afar the majestic arch of the Bridge, which extended from the one bank to the other, glittering with the strangest colours in the splendours of the sun. Both were astonished; for until now they had never seen this edifice so grand. "How!" cried the Prince, "was it not beautiful enough, as it stood before our eyes, piled out of jasper and agate? Shall we not fear to tread it, now that it appears combined, in graceful complexity of emerald and chrysopras and chrysolite?" Neither of them knew the alteration that had taken place upon the Snake: for it was indeed the Snake, who every day at noon curved herself over the River, and stood forth in the form of a bold-swelling bridge. The travellers stept upon it with a reverential feeling, and passed over it in silence.

                No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the bridge began to heave and stir; in a little while, it touched the surface of the water, and the green Snake in her proper form came gliding after the wanderers. They had scarcely thanked her for the privilege of crossing on her back, when they found that, besides them three, there must be other persons in the company, whom their eyes could not discern. They heard a hissing, which the Snake also answered with a hissing; they listened, and at length caught what follows: "We shall first look about us in the fair Lily's Park," said a pair of alternating voices; "and then request you at nightfall, so soon as we are anywise presentable, to introduce us to this paragon of beauty. At the shore of the great Lake you will find us." "Be it so," replied the Snake; and a hissing sound died away in the air.

                Our three travellers now consulted in what order they should introduce themselves to the fair Lady; for however many people might be in her company, they were obliged to enter and depart singly, under pain of suffering very hard severities.

                The Woman with the metamorphosed Pug in the basket first approached the garden, looking round for her Patroness; who was not difficult to find, being just engaged in singing to her harp. The finest tones proceeded from her, first like circles on the surface of the still lake, then like a light breath they set the grass and the bushes in motion. In a green enclosure, under the shadow of a stately group of many diverse trees, was she seated; and again did she enchant the eyes, the ears and the heart of the Woman, who approached with rapture, and swore within herself that since she saw her last, the fair one had grown fairer than ever. With eager gladness, from a distance, she expressed her reverence and admiration for the lovely maiden. "What a happiness to see you! what a Heaven does your presence spread around you! How charmingly the harp is leaning on your bosom, how softly your arms surround it, how it seems as if longing to be near you, and how it sounds so meekly under the touch of your slim fingers! Thrice-happy youth, to whom it were permitted to be there!"

                So speaking she approached; the fair Lily raised her eyes; let her hands drop from the harp, and answered: "Trouble me not with untimely praise; I feel my misery but the more deeply. Look here, at my feet lies the poor Canary-bird, which used so beautifully to accompany my singing; it would sit upon my harp, and was trained not to touch me; but today, while I, refreshed by sleep, was raising a peaceful morning hymn, and my little singer was pouring forth his harmonious tones more gaily than ever, a Hawk darts over my head; the poor little creature, in affright, takes refuge in my bosom, and I feel the last palpitations of its departing life. The plundering Hawk indeed was caught by my look, and fluttered fainting down into the water; but what can his punishment avail me? my darling is dead, and his grave will but increase the mournful bushes of my garden."

                "Take courage, fairest Lily!" cried the Woman, wiping off a tear, which the story of the hapless maiden had called into her eyes; "compose yourself; my old man bids me tell you to moderate your lamenting, to look upon the greatest misfortune as a forerunner of the greatest happiness, for the time is at hand; and truly," continued she, "the world is going strangely on of late. Do but look at my hand, how black it is! As I live and breathe, it is grown far smaller: I must hasten, before it vanish altogether! Why did I engage to do the Will-o'-wisps a service, why did I meet the Giant's shadow, and dip my hand in the River? Could you not afford me a single cabbage, an artichoke and an onion? I would give them to the River, and my hand were white as ever, so that I could almost show it with one of yours."

                "Cabbages and onions thou mayest still find; but artichokes thou wilt search for in vain. No plant in my garden bears either flowers or fruit; but every twig that I break, and plant upon the grave of a favourite, grows green straightway, and shoots up in fair boughs. All these groups, these bushes, these groves my hard destiny has so raised around me. These pines stretching out like parasols, these obelisks of cypresses, these colossal oaks and beeches, were all little twigs planted by my hand, as mournful memorials in a soil that otherwise is barren."

                To this speech the old Woman had paid little heed; she was looking at her hand, which, in presence of the fair Lily, seemed every moment growing blacker and smaller. She was about to snatch her basket and hasten off, when she noticed that the best part of her errand had been forgotten. She lifted out the onyx Pug, and set him down, not far from the fair one, in the grass. "My husband," said she, "sends you this memorial; you know that you can make a jewel live by touching it. This pretty faithful dog will certainly afford you much enjoyment; and my grief at losing him is brightened only by the thought that he will be in your possession."

                The fair Lily viewed the dainty creature with a pleased and, as it seemed, with an astonished look. "Many signs combine," said she, "that breathe some hope into me: but ah! is it not a natural deception which makes us fancy, when misfortunes crowd upon us, that a better day is near?

                What can these many signs avail me?
                My Singer's Death, thy coal black Hand?
                This Dog of Onyx, that can never fail me?
                And coming at the Lamp's command?
                From human joys removed forever,
                With sorrows compassed round I sit:
                Is there a Temple at the River?
                Is there a Bridge? Alas, not yet!

                The good old dame had listened with impatience to this singing, which the fair Lily accompanied with her harp, in a way that would have charmed any other. She was on the point of taking leave, when the arrival of the green Snake again detained her. The Snake had caught the last lines of the song, and on this matter forthwith began to speak comfort to the fair Lily.

                "The prophecy of the Bridge is fulfilled" cried the Snake: "you may ask this worthy dame how royally the arch looks now. What formerly was untransparent jasper or agate, allowing but a gleam of light to pass about its edges, is now become transparent precious stone. No beryl is so clear, no emerald so beautiful of hue."

                "I wish you joy of it," said Lily; "but you will pardon me if I regard the prophecy as yet unaccomplished. The lofty arch of your bridge can still but admit foot passengers; and it is promised us that horses and carriages and travellers of every sort shall, at the same moment, cross this bridge in both directions. Is there not something said, too, about pillars, which are to arise of themselves from the waters of the River?"

                The old Woman still kept her eyes fixed on her hand; she here interrupted their dialogue, and was taking leave. "Wait a moment," said the fair Lily, "and carry my little bird with you. Bid the Lamp change it into topaz; I will enliven it by my touch; with your good Mops it shall form my dearest pastime: but hasten, hasten; for, at sunset, intolerable putrefaction will fasten on the hapless bird, and tear asunder the fair combination of its form forever."

                The old Woman laid the little corpse, wrapped in soft leaves, into her basket, and hastened away.

                "However it may be," said the Snake, recommencing their interrupted dialogue, "the Temple is built."

                "But it is not at the River," said the fair one.

                "It is yet resting in the depths of the Earth," said the Snake; "I have seen the Kings and conversed with them."

                "But when will they arise?" inquired Lily.

                The Snake replied: "I heard resounding in the Temple these deep words, The time is at hand. "

                A pleasing cheerfulness spread over the fair Lily's face: " 'Tis the second time," said she, "that I have heard these happy words today: when will the day come for me to hear them thrice?"

                She arose, and immediately there came a lovely maiden from the grove, and took away her harp. Another followed her, and folded-up the fine carved ivory stool, on which the fair one had been sitting, and put the silvery cushion under her arm. A third then made her appearance, with a large parasol worked with pearls; and looked whether Lily would require her in walking. These three maidens were beyond expression beautiful; and yet their beauty but exalted that of Lily, for it was plain to every one that they could never be compared to her.

                Meanwhile the fair one had been looking, with a satisfied aspect, at the strange onyx Mops. She bent down and touched him, and that instant he started up. Gaily he looked around, ran hither and thither, and at last, in his kindest manner, hastened to salute his benefactress. She took him in her arms, and pressed him to her. "Cold as thou art," cried she, "and though but a half-life works in thee, thou art welcome to me; tenderly will I love thee, prettily will I play with thee, softly caress thee, and firmly press thee to my bosom." She then let him go, chased him from her, called him back, and played so daintily with him, and ran about so gaily and so innocently with him on the grass, that with new rapture you viewed and participated in her joy, as a little while ago her sorrow had attuned every heart to sympathy.

                This cheerfulness, these graceful sports were interrupted by the entrance of the woeful Youth. He stepped forward, in his former guise and aspect; save that the heat of the day appeared to have fatigued him still more, and in the presence of his mistress he grew paler every moment. He bore upon his hand a Hawk, which was sitting quiet as a dove, with its body shrunk, and its wings drooping.

                "It is not kind in thee," cried Lily to him, "to bring that hateful thing before my eyes, the monster, which today has killed my little singer."

                "Blame not the unhappy bird!" replied the Youth; "rather blame thyself and thy destiny; and leave me to keep beside me the companion of my woe."

                Meanwhile Mops ceased not teasing the fair Lily; and she replied to her transparent favourite, with friendly gestures. She clapped her hands to scare him off; then ran, to entice him after her. She tried to get him when he fled, and she chased him away when he attempted to press near her. The Youth looked on in silence, with increasing anger; but at last, when she took the odious beast, which seemed to him unutterably ugly, on her arm, pressed it to her white bosom, and kissed its black snout with her heavenly lips, his patience altogether failed him, and full of desperation he exclaimed: "Must I, who by a baleful fate exist beside thee, perhaps to the end, in an absent presence; who by thee have lost my all, my very self; must I see before my eyes, that so unnatural a monster can charm thee into gladness, can awaken thy attachment, and enjoy thy embrace? Shall I any longer keep wandering to and fro, measuring my dreary course to that side of the River and to this? No, there is still a spark of the old heroic spirit sleeping in my bosom; let it start this instant into its expiring flame! If stones may rest in thy bosom, let me be changed to stone; if thy touch kills, I will die by thy hands."

                So saying he made a violent movement; the Hawk flew from his finger, but he himself rushed towards the fair one; she held out her hands to keep him off, and touched him only the sooner. Consciousness forsook him; and she felt with horror the beloved burden lying on her bosom. With a shriek she started back, and the gentle Youth sank lifeless from her arms upon the ground.

                The misery had happened! The sweet Lily stood motionless gazing on the corpse. Her heart seemed to pause in her bosom; and her eyes were without tears. In vain did Mops try to gain from her any kindly gesture; with her friend, the world for her was all dead as the grave. Her silent despair did not look round for help; she knew not of any help.

                On the other hand, the Snake bestirred herself the more actively; she seemed to meditate deliverance; and in fact her strange movements served at least to keep away, for a little, the immediate consequences of the mischief. With her limber body, she formed a wide circle round the corpse, and seizing the end of her tail between her teeth, she lay quite still.

                Ere long one of Lily's fair waiting-maids appeared; brought the ivory folding-stool, and with friendly beckoning constrained her mistress to sit down on it. Soon afterwards there came a second; she had in her hand a fire-coloured veil, with which she rather decorated than concealed the fair Lily's head. The third handed her the harp, and scarcely had she drawn the gorgeous instrument towards her, and struck some tones from its strings, when the first maid returned with a clear round mirror; took her station opposite the fair one; caught her looks in the glass, and threw back to her the loveliest image that was to be found in Nature. Sorrow heightened her beauty, the veil her charms, the harp her grace; and deeply as you wished to see her mournful situation altered, not less deeply did you wish to keep her image, as she now looked, forever present with you.

                With a still look at the mirror, she touched the harp; now melting tones proceeded from the strings, now her pain seemed to mount, and the music in strong notes responded to her woe; sometimes she opened her lips to sing, but her voice failed her; and ere long her sorrow melted into tears, two maidens caught her helpfully in their arms, the harp sank from her bosom, scarcely could the quick servant snatch the instrument and carry it aside.

                "Who gets us the Man with the Lamp, before the Sun set?" hissed the Snake, faintly, but audibly: the maids looked at one another, and Lily's tears fell faster. At this moment came the Woman with the Basket, panting and altogether breathless. "I am lost, and maimed for life!" cried she, "see how my hand is almost vanished; neither Ferryman nor Giant would take me over, because I am the River's debtor; in vain did I promise hundreds of cabbages and hundreds of onions; they will take no more than three; and no artichoke is now to be found in all this quarter."

                "Forget your own care," said the Snake, "and try to bring help here; perhaps it may come to yourself also. Haste with your utmost speed to seek the Will-o'-wisps; it is too light for you to see them, but perhaps you will hear them laughing and hopping to and fro. If they be speedy, they may cross upon the Giant's shadow, and seek the Man with the Lamp, and send him to us."

                The Woman hurried off at her quickest pace, and the Snake seemed expecting as impatiently as Lily the return of the Flames. Alas! the beam of the sinking Sun was already gliding only the highest summits of the trees in the thicket, and long shadows were stretching over lake and meadow; the Snake hitched up and down impatiently, and Lily dissolved in tears.

                In this extreme need, the Snake kept looking round on all sides; for she was afraid every moment that the Sun would set, and corruption penetrate the magic circle, and the fair youth immediately moulder away. At last she noticed sailing high in the air, with purple-red feathers, the Prince's Hawk, whose breast was catching the last beams of the Sun. She shook herself for joy at this good omen; nor was she deceived; for shortly afterwards the Man with the Lamp was seen gliding towards them across the Lake, fast and smoothly, as if he had been travelling on skates.

                The Snake did not change her posture; but Lily rose and called to him: "What good spirit sends thee, at the moment when we were desiring thee, and needing thee, so much?"

                "The spirit of my Lamp," replied the Man, "has impelled me, and the Hawk has conducted me. My Lamp sparkles when I am needed, and I just look about me in the sky for a signal; some bird or meteor points to the quarter towards which I am to turn. Be calm, fairest Maiden! Whether I can help, I know not; an individual helps not, but he who combines himself with many at the proper hour. We will postpone the evil, and keep hoping. Hold thy circle fast," continued he, turning to the Snake; then set himself upon a hillock beside her, and illuminated the dead body. "Bring the little Bird hither too, and lay it in the circle!" The maidens took the little corpse from the basket, which the old Woman had left standing, and did as he directed.

                Meanwhile the Sun had set; and as the darkness increased, not only the Snake and the old Man's Lamp began shining in their fashion, but also Lily's veil gave-out a soft light, which gracefully tinged, as with a meek dawning red, her pale cheeks and her white robe. The party looked at one another, silently reflecting; care and sorrow were mitigated by a sure hope.

                It was no unpleasing entrance, therefore, that the Woman made, attended by the two gay Flames, which in truth appeared to have been very lavish in the interim, for they had again become extremely meagre; yet they only bore themselves the more prettily for that, towards Lily and the other ladies. With great tact and expressiveness, they said a multitude of rather common things to these fair persons; and declared themselves particularly ravished by the charm which the gleaming veil spread over Lily and her attendants. The ladies modestly cast down their eyes, and the praise of their beauty made them really beautiful. All were peaceful and calm, except the old Woman. In spite of the assurance of her husband, that her hand could diminish no farther, while the Lamp shone on it, she asserted more than once, that if things went on thus, before midnight this noble member would have utterly vanished.

                The Man with the Lamp had listened attentively to the conversation of the Lights; and was gratified that Lily had been cheered, in some measure, and amused by it. And, in truth, midnight had arrived they knew not how. The old Man looked to the stars, and then began speaking: "We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will swallow-up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes individual joys."

                At these words arose a wondrous hubbub; for all the persons in the party spoke aloud, each for himself, declaring what they had to do; only the three maids were silent; one of them had fallen asleep beside the harp, another near the parasol, the third by the stool; and you could not blame them much, for it was late. The Fiery Youths, after some passing compliments which they devoted to the waiting-maids, had turned their sole attention to the Princess, as alone worthy of exclusive homage.

                "Take the mirror," said the Man to the Hawk; "and with the first sunbeam illuminate the three sleepers, and awake them, with light reflected from above."

                The Snake now began to move; she loosened her circle, and rolled slowly, in large rings, forward to the River. The two Will-o'-wisps followed with a solemn air: you would have taken them for the most serious Flames in Nature. The old Woman and her husband seized the Basket, whose mild light they had scarcely observed till now; they lifted it at both sides, and it grew still larger and more luminous; they lifted the body of the Youth into it, laying the Canary-bird upon his breast; the Basket rose into the air and hovered above the old Woman's head, and she followed the Will-o'-wisps on foot. The fair Lily took Mops on her arm, and followed the Woman; the Man with the Lamp concluded the procession; and the scene was curiously illuminated by these many lights.

                But it was with no small wonder that the party saw, when they approached the River, a glorious arch mount over it, by which the helpful Snake was affording them a glittering path. If by day they had admired the beautiful transparent precious stones, of which the Bridge seemed formed; by night they were astonished at its gleaming brilliancy. On the upper side the clear circle marked itself sharp against the dark sky, but below, vivid beams were darting to the centre, and exhibiting the airy firmness of the edifice. The procession slowly moved across it; and the Ferryman, who saw it from his hut afar off, considered with astonishment the gleaming circle, and the strange lights which were passing over it

                No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the arch began, in its usual way, to swag up and down, and with a wavy motion to approach the water. The Snake then came on land, the Basket placed itself upon the ground, and the Snake again drew her circle round it. The old Man stooped towards her, and said: "What hast thou resolved on?"

                "To sacrifice myself rather than be sacrificed," replied the Snake; "promise me that thou wilt leave no stone on shore."

                The old Man promised; then addressing Lily: "Touch the Snake," said he, "with thy left hand, and thy lover with thy right." Lily knelt, and touched the Snake and the Prince's body. The latter in the instant seemed to come to life; he moved in the Basket, nay he raised himself into a sitting posture; Lily was about to clasp him; but the old Man held her back, and himself assisted the Youth to rise, and led him forth from the Basket and the circle.

                The Prince was standing; the Canary-bird was fluttering on his shoulder; there was life again in both of them, but the spirit had not yet returned; the fair Youth's eyes were open, yet he did not see, at least he seemed to look on all without participation. Scarcely had their admiration of this incident a little calmed, when they observed how strangely it had fared in the meanwhile with the Snake. Her fair taper body had crumbled into thousands and thousands of shining jewels: the old Woman reaching at her Basket had chanced to come against the circle; and of the shape or structure of the Snake there was now nothing to be seen, only a bright ring of luminous jewels was lying in the grass.

                The old Man forthwith set himself to gather the stones into the Basket; a task in which his wife assisted him. They next carried the Basket to an elevated point on the bank; and here the man threw its whole lading, not without contradiction from the fair one and his wife, who would gladly have retained some part of it, down into the River. Like gleaming twinkling stars the stones floated down with the waves; and you could not say whether they lost themselves in the distance, or sank to the bottom.

                "Gentlemen," said he with the Lamp, in a respectful tone to the Lights, "I will now show you the way, and open you the passage; but you will do us an essential service, if you please to unbolt the door, by which the Sanctuary must be entered at present, and which none but you can unfasten."

                The Lights made a stately bow of assent, and kept their place. The old Man of the Lamp went foremost into the rock, which opened at his presence; the Youth followed him, as if mechanically; silent and uncertain, Lily kept at some distance from him; the old Woman would not be left, and stretched-out her hand, that the light of her husband's Lamp might still fall upon it. The rear was closed by the two Will-o'-wisps, who bent the peaks of their flames towards one another, and appeared to be engaged in conversation.

                They had not gone far till the procession halted in front of a large brazen door, the leaves of which were bolted with a golden lock. The Man now called upon the Lights to advance; who required small entreaty, and with their pointed flames soon ate both bar and lock.

                The brass gave a loud clang, as the doors sprang suddenly asunder; and the stately figures of the Kings appeared within the Sanctuary, illuminated by the entering Lights. All bowed before these dread sovereigns, especially the Flames made a profusion of the daintiest reverences.

                After a pause, the gold King asked: "Whence come ye?" "From the world," said the old Man. "Whither go ye?" said the silver King. "Into the world," replied the Man. "What would ye with us?" cried the brazen King. "Accompany you," replied the Man.

                The composite King was about to speak, when the gold one addressed the Lights, who had got too near him: "Take yourselves away from me, my metal was not made for you." Thereupon they turned to the silver King, and clasped themselves about him; and his robe glittered beautifully in their yellow brightness. "You are welcome," said he, "but I cannot feed you; satisfy yourselves elsewhere, and bring me your light." They removed; and gliding past the brazen King, who did not seem to notice them, they fixed on the compounded King. "Who will govern the world?" cried he, with a broken voice. "He who stands upon his feet," replied the old Man. "I am he," said the mixed King. "We shall see," replied the Man; "for the time is at hand."

                The fair Lily fell upon the old Man's neck, and kissed him cordially. "Holy Sage!" cried she, "a thousand times I thank thee; for I hear that fateful word the third time." She had scarcely spoken, when she clasped the old Man still faster; for the ground began to move beneath them; the Youth and the old Woman also held by one another; the Lights alone did not regard it.

                You could feel plainly that the whole temple was in motion; as a ship that softly glides away from the harbour, when her anchors are lifted; the depths of the Earth seemed to open for the Building as it went along. It struck on nothing; no rock came in its way.

                For a few instants, a small rain seemed to drizzle from the opening of the dome; the old Man held the fair Lily fast, and said to her: "We are now beneath the River; we shall soon be at the mark." Ere long they thought the Temple made a halt; but they were in an error; it was mounting upwards.

                And now a strange uproar rose above their heads. Planks and beams in disordered combination now came pressing and crashing in at the opening of the dome. Lily and the Woman started to a side; the Man with the Lamp laid hold of the Youth, and kept standing still. The little cottage of the Ferryman, for it was this which the Temple in ascending had severed from the ground and carried up with it, sank gradually down, and covered the old Man and the Youth.

                The women screamed aloud, and the Temple shook, like a ship running unexpectedly aground. In sorrowful perplexity, the Princess and her old attendant wandered round the cottage in the dawn; the door was bolted, and to their knocking no one answered. They knocked more loudly, and were not a little struck, when at length the wood began to ring. By virtue of the Lamp locked up in it, the hut had been converted from the inside to the outside into solid silver. Ere long too its form changed; for the noble metal shook aside the accidental shape of planks, posts and beams, and stretched itself out into a noble case of beaten ornamented workmanship. Thus a fair little temple stood erected in the middle of the large one; or if you will, an Altar worthy of the Temple.

                By a staircase which ascended from within, the noble Youth now mounted aloft, lighted by the old Man with the Lamp, and, as it seemed, supported by another, who advanced in a white short robe, with a silver rudder in his hand; and was soon recognised as the Ferryman, the former possessor of the cottage.

                The fair Lily mounted the outer steps, which led from the floor of the Temple to the Altar; but she was still obliged to keep herself apart from her Lover. The old Woman, whose hand in the absence of the Lamp had grown still smaller, cried: "Am I, then, to be unhappy after all? Among so many miracles, can there be nothing done to save my hand?" Her husband pointed to the open door, and said to her: "See, the day is breaking; haste, bathe thyself in the River." "What an advice!" cried she; "it will make me all black; it will make me vanish together; for my debt is not yet paid." "Go," said the man, "and do as I advise thee; all debts are now paid."

                The old Woman hastened away; and at that moment appeared the rising Sun, upon the rim of the dome. The old Man stept between Virgin and the Youth, and cried with a loud voice: "There are three which have rule on Earth; Wisdom, Appearance and Strength." the first word, the gold King rose; at the second, the silver one; and at the third, the brass King slowly rose, while the mixed King on a sudden very awkwardly plumped down.

                Whoever noticed him could scarcely keep from laughing, solemn as the moment was; for he was not sitting, he was not lying, he was — leaning, but shapelessly sunk together.

                The Lights, who till now had been employed upon him, drew to side; they appeared, although pale in the morning radiance, yet the more well-fed, and in good burning condition; with their peaked tongues, they had dexterously licked-out the gold veins of the colossal figure to its very heart. The irregular vacuities which this occasioned had continued empty for a time, and the figure had maintained its standing posture. But when at last the very tenderest filaments were eaten out, the image crashed suddenly together; and then, alas, in the very parts which continue unaltered when one sits down; whereas the limbs, which should have bent, sprawled themselves out unbowed and stiff. Whoever could not laugh was obliged to turn away his eyes; this miserable shape and no-shape was offensive to behold.

                The Man with the Lamp now led the handsome Youth, who still kept gazing vacantly before him, down from the Altar, and straight to the brazen King. At the feet of this mighty Potentate lay a sword in a brazen sheath. The young man girt it round him. "The sword on left, the right free!" cried the brazen voice. They next proceeded to the silver King; he bent his sceptre to the Youth; the latter seized it with his left hand, and the King in a pleasing voice said: "Feed the sheep!" On turning to the golden King, he stooped with gestures of paternal blessing, and pressing his oaken garland on the young man's head, said: "Understand what is highest!"

                During this progress, the old Man had carefully observed the Prince. After girding-on the sword, his breast swelled, his arms waved, and his feet trod firmer; when he took the sceptre in his hand, his strength appeared to soften, and by an unspeakable charm to become still more subduing; but as the oaken garland came to deck his hair, his features kindled, his eyes gleamed with inexpressible spirit, and the first word of his mouth was "Lily!"

                "Dearest Lily!" cried he, hastening up the silver stairs to her, for she had viewed his progress from the pinnacle of the Altar; "Dearest Lily! what more precious can a man, equipt with all, desire for himself than innocence and the still affection which thy bosom brings me? O my friend!" continued he, turning to the old Man, and looking at the three statues; "glorious and secure is the kingdom of our fathers; but thou hast forgotten the fourth power, which rules the world, earlier, more universally, more certainly, the power of Love." With these words, he fell upon the lovely maiden's neck; she had cast away her veil, and her cheeks were tinged with the fairest, most imperishable red.

                Here the old Man said with a smile: "Love does not rule; but it trains, and that is more."

                Amid this solemnity, this happiness and rapture, no one had observed that it was now broad day; and all at once, on looking through the open portal, a crowd of altogether unexpected objects met the eye. A large space surrounded with pillars formed the forecourt, at the end of which was seen a broad and stately Bridge stretching with many arches across the River. It was furnished, on both sides, with commodious and magnificent colonnades for foot-travellers, many thousands of whom were already there, busily passing this way or that. The broad pavement in the centre was thronged with herds and mules, with horsemen and carriages, flowing like two streams, on their several sides, and neither interrupting the other. All admired the splendour and convenience of the structure; and the new King and his Spouse were delighted with the motion and activity of this great people, as they were already happy in their own mutual love.

                "Remember the Snake in honour," said the Man with the Lamp; "thou owest her thy life; thy people owe her the Bridge, by which these neighbouring banks are now animated and combined into one land. Those swimming and shining jewels, the remains of her sacrificed body, are the piers of this royal bridge; upon these she has built and will maintain herself."

                The party were about to ask some explanation of this strange mystery, when there entered four lovely maidens at the portal of the Temple. By the Harp, the Parasol, and the Folding-stool, it was not difficult to recognise the waiting-maids of Lily; but the fourth, more beautiful than any of the rest, was an unknown fair one, and in sisterly sportfulness she hastened with them through the Temple, and mounted the steps of the Altar.

                "Wilt thou have better trust in me another time, good wife?" said the Man with the Lamp to the fair one: "Well for thee, and every living thing that bathes this morning in the River!"

                The renewed and beautified old Woman, of whose former shape no trace remained, embraced with young eager arms the Man with the Lamp, who kindly received her caresses. "If I am too old for thee," said he, smiling, "thou mayest choose another husband today; from this hour no marriage is of force, which is not contracted anew."

                "Dost thou not know, then," answered she, "that thou too art grown younger?" "It delights me if to thy young eyes I seem a handsome youth: I take thy hand anew, and am well content to live with thee another thousand years."

                The Queen welcomed her new friend, and went down with her into the interior of the Altar, while the King stood between his two men, looking towards the Bridge, and attentively contemplating the busy tumult of the people.

                But his satisfaction did not last; for ere long he saw an object which excited his displeasure. The great Giant, who appeared not yet to have awoke completely from his morning sleep, came stumbling along the Bridge, producing great confusion all around him. As usual, he had risen stupefied with sleep, and had meant to bathe in the well-known bay of the River; instead of which he fo

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              • Durward Starman
                Subject: RE: [steiner] Goethe s Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily ******* If we go through this legend , then we can see how the first
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 11, 2007
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                  Subject: RE: [steiner] Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

                  ******* 
                    If we go through this "legend", then we can see how the first Mystery Play is a transformation of it.

                   
                                                                  *******
                     The setting is in some never-named land. But that land's beings are as if under a spell, and have a prophecy about how one day the spell will be lifted, the enchantment broken.
                    That land is ours. In the state all but exceptional souls are born into, we are under the spell of seeing only the external world and speculating about it with the brain-bound intellect. But there is a way out we hear about. We must find it.
                     There is a river that runs through this land of ours. We are sometimes on one side of the river, sometimes on the other. On the other side is a beautiful being, but she is cursed in that every living creature she touches must die. A man who sees her loses all desire for anything except to see her again.
                     Lily is the spirit-world. After each life a Ferryman takes us across to her. It is so beautiful there that life in this world seems a tragedy compared to it. But the only way to be with her is to die. Must it always be so? No, the prophecy says that when the spell is lifted, we shall be able to travel to and fro across the river at will --- the spirit-world will not always be estranged from the earthly one.
                     Deep in the earth, a temple with Four Kings speaks of the secret. As merely natural beings, we can dimly sense that temple, but only if we take in the light of the most ethereal forces of Nature can we also see that holy place. The Green Snake is our merely natural selves, but when it absorbs nature's secrets it glows with the light of thinking. Then we know the essence of the earth. As it represents our scientific selves, like Goethe himself, there is another way to travel with vision to that temple: the Man with the Lamp. He is the path of inspiration, revelation.
                   
                   
                  *******Suppose we go through it scene by scene.
                  Scene One
                  It starts in a land at night, divided by a great river. A Ferryman is one way to cross the river. Two Will-O-Wisps come to him asking to be taken over, to see the beautiful Lily who they have heard lives on the other side. Will-O-Wisps are legendary fairies made of flame who can "drink" gold and then send it out of themselves in gold coins. They go to pay the Ferryman in gold, but he says he can't take it but must be paid in fruits of the earth, which they know nothing about: but a magic forces them to agree to pay him 9 fruits, 3 of each of 3 kinds. He lets them leave, and then throws the gold down a chasm in the rocks.
                  Scene Two
                     Now we switch to down below, where a mysterious creature, the Green Snake, lives. She has always lived in darkness but has heard a legend about it being possible to have light with the aid of gold; and she swallows the gold when it comes down and becomes radiant. She goes up above to find where it came from and sees the Will-o-Wisps, who offer her more. They ask where to find the Lily but are told she is on the other side of the River, and there are only three ways to cross: the Ferryman at night (but he can only bring people from the farther shore to here, not back), the Snake makes a magical bridge of her own body at noon, and a Giant has a magic shadow which, shadows being longest at sunrise and sunset, can carry people across the river then. Being creatures of the fairy-world, they do not like to travel at noon, so they decline the Snake's offer to take them across at noon and leave.
                    
                  To Be Continued


                  The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

                  By:
                  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
                  Translated by: Thomas Carlyle (1832)

                   

                  In his little hut by the great river, which a heavy rain had swoln to overflowing, lay the ancient Ferryman, asleep, wearied by the toil of the day. In the middle of the night, loud voices awoke him; he heard that it was travellers wishing to be carried over.

                  Stepping out, he saw two large Will-o'-wisps, hovering to and fro on his boat, which lay moored: they said, they were in violent haste, and should have been already on the other side. The old Ferryman made no loitering; pushed off, and steered with his usual skill obliquely through the stream; while the two strangers whiffled and hissed together, in an unknown very rapid tongue, and every now and then broke out in loud laughter, hopping about, at one time on e gunwale and the seats, at another on the bottom of the boat.

                  "The boat is heeling!" cried the old man; "if you don't be quiet, it'll overset; be seated, gentlemen of the wisp!"

                  At this advice they burst into a fit of laughter, mocked the old man, and were more unquiet than ever. He bore their mischief with silence, and soon reached the farther shore.

                  "Here is for your labour!" cried the travellers; and as they shook themselves, a heap of glittering gold-pieces jingled down into the wet boat. "For Heaven's sake, what are you about?" cried the old man; "you will ruin me forever! Had a single piece of gold got into the water, the stream, which cannot suffer gold, would have risen in horrid waves, and swallowed both my skiff and me; and who knows how it might have fared with you in that case? here, take back your gold."

                  "We can take nothing back, which we have once shaken from us," said the Lights.

                  "Then you give me the trouble," said the old man, stooping down, and gathering the pieces into his cap, "of raking them together, and carrying them ashore and burying them."

                  The Lights had leaped from the boat, but the old man cried: "Stay; where is my fare?"

                  "If you take no gold, you may work for nothing," cried the Will-o'-wisps. "You must know that I am only to be paid with fruits of the earth." "Fruits of the earth? we despise them, and have never tasted them." "And yet I cannot let you go, till you have promised that you will deliver me three Cabbages, three Artichokes, and three large Onions.

                  The Lights were making-off with jests; but they felt themselves, in some inexplicable manner, fastened to the ground: it was the unpleasantest feeling they had ever had. They engaged to pay him his demand as soon as possible: he let them go, and pushed away. He was gone a good distance, when they called to him: "Old man! Holla, old man! the main point is forgotten!" He was off, however, and did not hear them. He had fallen quietly down that side of the River, where, in a rocky spot, which the water never reached, he meant to bury the pernicious gold. Here, between two high crags, he found a monstrous chasm; shook the metal into it, and steered back to his cottage.

                  Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from her sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her eye on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were scattered in the chinks of the rock.

                  Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all over her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was grown transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last, her curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to admire her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled along through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass. Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory. It was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes rose high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a brilliancy resembling her own. "Shall I find my like at last, then?" cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through bog and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and for most pare fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild dew and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in the hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you could propose to her.

                  At last, with much fatigue, she reached a wee rushy spot in the swamp, where our two Will-o'-wisps were frisking to and fro. She shoved herself along to them; saluted them, was happy to meet such pleasant gentlemen related to her family. The Lights glided towards her, skipped up over her, and laughed in their fashion. "Lady Cousin," said they, "you are of the horizontal line, yet what of that? It is true we are related only by the look; for, observe you," here both the Flames, compressing their whole breadth, made themselves as high and peaked as possible, "how prettily this taper length beseems us gentlemen of the vertical line! Take it not amiss of us, good Lady; what family can boast of such a thing? Since there ever was a Jack-o'-lantern in the world, no one of them has either sat or lain."

                  The Snake felt exceedingly uncomfortable in the company of these relations; for, let her hold her head as high as possible, she found that she must bend it to the earth again, would she stir from the spot; and if in the dark thicket she had been extremely satisfied with her appearance, her splendour in the presence of these cousins seemed to lessen every moment, nay she was afraid that at last it would go out entirely.

                  In this embarrassment she hastily asked: If the gentlemen could not inform her, whence the glittering gold came, that had fallen a short while ago into the cleft of the rock; her own opinion was, that it had been a golden shower, and had trickled down direct from the sky. The Will-o'-wisps laughed, and shook themselves, and a multitude of gold-pieces came clinking down about them. The Snake pushed nimbly forwards to eat the coin. "Much good may it do you, Mistress," said the dapper gentlemen: "we can help you to a little more." They shook themselves again several times with great quickness, so that the Snake could scarcely gulp the precious victuals fast enough. Her splendour visibly began increasing; she was really shining beautifully, while the Lights had in the meantime grown rather lean and short of stature, without however in the smallest losing their good-humour.

                  "I am obliged to you forever," said the Snake, having got her wind again after the repast; "ask of me what you will; all that I can I will do."

                  "Very good!" cried the Lights. "Then tell us where the fair Lily dwells? Lead us to the fair Lily's palace and garden; and do not lose a moment, we are dying of impatience to fall down at her feet."

                  "This service," said the Snake with a deep sigh, "I can not now do for you. The fair Lily dwells, alas, on the other side of the water." "Other side of the water? And we have come across it, this stormy night! How cruel is the River to divide us! Would it not be possible to call the old man back?"

                  "It would be useless," said the Snake; "for if you found him ready on the bank, he would not take you in; he can carry anyone to this side, none to yonder."

                  "Here is a pretty kettle of fish!" cried the Lights: "are there no other means of getting through the water?" "There are other means, but not at this moment. I myself could take you over, gentlemen, but not till noon." "That is an hour we do not like to travel in." "Then you may go across in the evening, on the great Giant's shadow."

                  "How is that?" "The great Giant lives not far from this; with his body he has no power; his hands cannot lift a straw, his shoulders could not bear a faggot of twigs; but with his shadow he has power over much, nay all. At sunrise and sunset therefore he is strongest; so at evening you merely put yourself upon the back of his shadow, the Giant walks softly to the bank, and the shadow carries you across the water. But if you please, about the hour of noon, to be in waiting at that corner of the wood where the bushes overhang the bank, I myself will take you over and present you to the fair Lily: or on the other hand, if you dislike the noontide, you have just to go at nightfall to that bend of the rocks, and pay a visit to the Giant; he will certainly receive you like a gentleman."

                  With a slight bow, the Flames went off; and the Snake at bottom was not discontented to get rid of them; partly that she might enjoy the brightness of her own light, partly [to] satisfy a curiosity with which, for a long time, she had been agitated in a singular way.

                  In the chasm, where she often crawled hither and thither, she had made a strange discovery. For although in creeping up and down this abyss, she had never had a ray of light, she could well enough discriminate the objects in it, by her sense of touch. Generally she met with nothing but irregular productions of Nature; at one time she would wind between the teeth of large crystals, at another she would feel the barbs and hairs of native silver, and now and then carry out with her to the light some straggling jewels. But to her no small wonder, in a rock which was closed on every side, she had come on certain objects which betrayed the shaping hand of man. Smooth walls on which she could not climb, sharp regular corners, well-formed pillars; and what seemed strangest of all; human figures which she had entwined more than once, and which appeared to her to be of brass, or of the finest polished marble. All these experiences she now wished to combine by the sense of sight, thereby to confirm what as yet she only guessed. She believed she could illuminate the whole of that subterranean vault by her own light; and hoped to get acquainted with these curious things at once. She hastened back; and soon found, by the usual way, the cleft by which she used to penetrate the Sanctuary.

                  On reaching the place, she gazed around with eager curiosity; and though her shining could not enlighten every object in the rotunda, yet those nearest her were plain enough. With astonishment and reverence she looked up into a glancing niche, where the image of an august King stood formed of pure Gold. In size the figure was beyond the stature of man, but by its shape it seemed the likeness of a little rather than a tall person. His handsome body was encircled with an unadorned mantle; and a garland of oak bound his hair together.

                  No sooner had the Snake beheld this reverend figure, than the King began to speak, and asked: "Whence comest thou?" "From the chasms where the gold dwells," said the Snake. "What is grander than gold?" inquired the King. "Light," replied the Snake. "What is more refreshing than light?" said he. "Speech," answered she.

                  During this conversation, she had squinted to a side, and in the nearest niche perceived another glorious image. It was a Silver King in a sitting posture; his shape was long and rather languid; he was covered with a decorated robe; crown, girdle and sceptre were adorned with precious stones: the cheerfulness of pride was in his countenance; he seemed about to speak, when a vein which ran dimly-coloured over the marble wall, on a sudden became bright, and diffused a cheerful light throughout the whole Temple. By this brilliancy the Snake perceived a third King, made of Brass, and sitting mighty in shape, leaning on his club, adorned with a laurel garland, and more like a rock than a man. She was looking for the fourth, which was standing at the greatest distance from her; but the wall opened, while the glittering vein started and split, as lightning does, and disappeared.

                  A Man of middle stature, entering through the cleft, attracted the attention of the Snake. He was dressed like a peasant, and carried in his hand a little Lamp, on whose still flame you liked to look, and which in a strange manner, without casting any shadow, enlightened the whole dome.

                  "Why comest thou, since we have light?" said the golden King." You know that I may not enlighten what is dark." "Will my Kingdom end?" said the silver King. "Late or never," said the old Man.

                  With a stronger voice the brazen King began to ask: "When shall I arise?" "Soon," replied the Man. "With whom shall I combine?" said the King. "With thy elder brothers," said the Man. "What will the youngest do?" inquired the King. "He will sit down," replied the Man.

                  "I am not tired," cried the fourth King, with a rough faltering voice.

                  While this speech was going on, the Snake had glided softly round the Temple, viewing everything; she was now looking at the fourth King close by him. He stood leaning on a pillar; his considerable form was heavy rather than beautiful. But what metal it was made of could not be determined. Closely inspected, it seemed a mixture of the three metals which its brothers had been formed of. But in the founding, these materials did not seem to have combined together fully; gold and silver veins ran irregularly through a brazen mass, and gave the figure an unpleasant aspect.

                  Meanwhile the gold King was asking of the Man, "How many secrets knowest thou?" "Three," replied the Man. "Which is the most important?" said the silver King. "The open one," replied the other. "Wilt thou open it to us also?" said the brass King."When I know the fourth," replied the Man."What care I" grumbled the composite King, in an undertone.

                  "I know the fourth," said the Snake; approached the old Man, and hissed somewhat in his ear. "The time is at hand!" cried the old Man, with a strong voice. The temple reechoed, the metal statues sounded; and that instant the old Man sank away to the westward, and the Snake to the eastward; and both of them passed through the clefts of the rock, with the greatest speed.

                  All the passages, through which the old Man travelled, filled themselves, immediately behind him, with gold; for his Lamp had the strange property of changing stone into gold, wood into silver, dead animals into precious stones, and of annihilating all metals. But to display this power, it must shine alone. If another light were beside it, the Lamp only cast from it a pure clear brightness, and all living things were refreshed by it.

                  The old Man entered his cottage, which was built on the slope of the hill. He found his Wife in extreme distress. She was sitting at the fire weeping, and refusing to be consoled. "How unhappy am I!" cried she: "Did not I entreat thee not to go away tonight?""What is the matter, then?" inquired the husband, quite composed.

                  "Scarcely wert thou gone," said she, sobbing, "when there came two noisy Travellers to the door: unthinkingly I let them in; they seemed to be a couple of genteel, very honourable people; they were dressed in flames, you would have taken them for Will-o'-wisps. But no sooner were they in the house, than they began, like impudent varlets, to compliment me, and grew so forward that I feel ashamed to think of it."

                  "No doubt," said the husband with a smile, "the gentlemen were jesting: considering thy age, they might have held by general politeness."

                  "Age! what age?" cried the Wife: "wilt thou always be talking of my age? How old am I, then?General politeness! But I know what I know. Look around there what a face the walls have; look at the old stones, which I have not seen these hundred years; every film of gold have they licked away, thou couldst not think how fast; and still they kept assuring me that it tasted far beyond common gold. Once they had swept the walls, the fellows seemed to be in high spirits, and truly in that little while they had grown much broader and brighter. They now began to be impertinent again, they patted me, and called me their queen, they shook themselves, and a shower of gold-pieces sprang from them; see how they are shining under the bench! But ah, what misery! Poor Mops ate a coin or two; and look, he is lying in the chimney, dead. Poor Pug. O well-a-day! I did not see it till they were gone; else I had never promised to pay the Ferryman the debt they owe him.""What do they owe him?" said the Man. "Three Cabbages," replied the Wife, "three Artichokes and three Onions: I engaged to go when it was day, and take them to the River."

                  "Thou mayest do them that civility," said the old Man; "they may chance to be of use to us again."

                  "Whether they will be of use to us I know not; but they promised and vowed that they would."

                  Meantime the fire on the hearth had burnt low; the old Man covered-up the embers with a heap of ashes, and put the glittering gold-pieces aside; so that his little Lamp now gleamed alone, in the fairest brightness. The walls again coated themselves with gold, and Mops changed into the prettiest onyx that could be imagined. The alternation of the brown and black in this precious stone made it the most curious piece of workmanship.

                  "Take thy basket," said the old Man, "and put the onyx into it; then take the three Cabbages, the three Artichokes and the three Onions; place them round little Mops, and carry them to the River. At noon the Snake will take thee over; visit the fair Lily, give her the onyx, she will make it alive by her touch, as by her touch she kills whatever is alive already. She will have a true companion in the little dog. Tell her, Not to mourn; her deliverance is near; the greatest misfortune she may look upon as the greatest happiness; for the time is at hand."

                  The old Woman filled her basket, and set out as soon as it was day. The rising sun shone clear from the other side of the River, which was glittering in the distance; the old Woman walked with slow steps, for the basket pressed upon her head, and it was not the onyx that so burdened her. Whatever lifeless thing she might be carrying, she did not feel the weight of it; on the other hand, in those cases the basket rose aloft, and hovered above her head. But to carry any fresh herbage, or any little living animal, she found exceedingly laborious. She had travelled on for some time, in a sullen humour, when she halted suddenly in fright, for she had almost trod upon the Giant's shadow which was stretching towards her across the plain. And now, lifting up her eyes, she saw the monster of a Giant himself, who had been bathing in the River, and was just come out, and she knew not how she should avoid him. The moment he perceived her, he began saluting her in sport, and the hands of his shadow soon caught hold of the basket. With dexterous ease they picked away from it a Cabbage, an Artichoke and an Onion, and brought them to the Giant's mouth, who then went his way up the River, and let the Woman go in peace.

                  She considered whether it would not be better to return, and supply from her garden the pieces she had lost; and amid these doubts, she still kept walking on, so that in a little while she was at the bank of the River. She sat long waiting for the Ferryman, whom she perceived at last, steering over with a very singular traveller. A young, noble-looking, handsome man, whom she could not gaze upon enough, stept out of the boat.

                  "What is it you bring?" cried the old Man. "The greens which those two Will-o'-wisps owe you," said the Woman, pointing to her ware. As the Ferryman found only two of each sort, he grew angry, and declared he would have none of them. The Woman earnestly entreated him to take them; told him that she could not now go home, and that her burden for the way which still remained was very heavy. He stood by his refusal, and assured her that it did not rest with him. "What belongs to me," said he, "I must leave lying nine hours in a heap, touching none of it, till I have given the River its third." After much higgling, the old Man at last replied: "There is still another way. If you like to pledge yourself to the River, and declare yourself its debtor, I will take the six pieces; but there is some risk in it." "If I keep my word, I shall run no risk?" "Not the smallest. Put your hand into the stream," continued he, "and promise that within four-and-twenty hours you will pay the debt."

                  The old Woman did so; but what was her affright, when on drawing out her hand, she found it black as coal! She loudly scolded the old Ferryman; declared that her hands had always been the fairest part of her; that in spite of her hard work, she had all along contrived to keep these noble members white and dainty. She looked at the hand with indignation, and exclaimed in a despairing tone: "Worse and worse! Look, it is vanishing entirely; it is grown far smaller than the other."

                  "For the present it but seems so," said the old Man; "if you do not keep your word, however, it may prove so in earnest. The hand will gradually diminish, and at length disappear altogether, though you have the use of it as formerly. Everything as usual you will be able to perform with it, only nobody will see it." "I had rather that I could not use it, and no one could observe the want," cried she: "but what of that, I will keep my word, and rid myself of this black skin, and all anxieties about it." Thereupon she hastily took up her basket, which mounted of itself over her head, and hovered free above her in the air, as she hurried after the Youth, who was walking softly and thoughtfully down the bank. His noble form and strange dress had made a deep impression on her.

                  His breast was covered with a glittering coat of mail; in whose wavings might be traced every motion of his fair body. From his shoulders hung a purple cloak; around his uncovered head flowed abundant brown hair in beautiful locks: his graceful face, and his well-formed feet were exposed to the scorching of the sun. With bare soles, he walked composedly over the hot sand; and a deep inward sorrow seemed to blunt him against all external things.

                  The garrulous old Woman tried to lead him into conversation; but with his short answers he gave her small encouragement or information; so that in the end, notwithstanding the beauty of his eyes, she grew tired of speaking with him to no purpose, and took leave of him with these words: "You walk too slow for me, worthy sir; I must not lose a moment, for I have to pass the River on the green Snake, and carry.this fine present from my husband to the fair Lily." So saying she stept faster forward; but the fair Youth pushed on with equal speed, and hastened to keep up with her. "You are going to the fair Lily!" cried he; "then our roads are the same. But what present is this you are bringing her?"

                  "Sir," said the Woman, "it is hardly fair, after so briefly dismissing the questions I put to you, to inquire with such vivacity about my secrets. But if you like to barter, and tell me your adventures, I will not conceal from you how it stands with me and my presents." They soon made a bargain: the dame disclosed her circumstances to him; told the history of the Pug, and let him see the singular gift.

                  He lifted this natural curiosity from the basket, and took Mops, who seemed as if sleeping softly, into his arms. "Happy beast!" cried he; "thou wilt be touched by her hands, thou wilt be made alive by her; while the living are obliged to fly from her presence to escape a mournful doom. Yet why say I mournful? Is it not far sadder and more frightful to be injured by her look, than it would be to die by her hand? Behold me," said he to the Woman; "at my years, what a miserable fate have I to undergo! This mail which I have honourably borne in war, this purple which I sought to merit by a wise reign, Destiny has left me; the one as a useless burden, the other as an empty ornament. Crown, and sceptre, and sword are gone; and I am as bare and needy as any other son of earth; for so unblessed are her bright eyes, that they take from every living creature they look on all its force, and those whom the touch of her hand does not kill are changed to the state of shadows wandering alive."

                  Thus did he continue to bewail, nowise contenting the old Woman's curiosity, who wished for information not so much of his internal as of his external situation. She learned neither the name of his father, nor of his kingdom. He stroked the hard Mops, whom the sunbeams and the bosom of the youth had warmed as if he had been living. He inquired narrowly about the Man with the Lamp, about the influences of the sacred light, appearing to expect much good from it in his melancholy case.

                  Amid such conversation, they descried from afar the majestic arch of the Bridge, which extended from the one bank to the other, glittering with the strangest colours in the splendours of the sun. Both were astonished; for until now they had never seen this edifice so grand. "How!" cried the Prince, "was it not beautiful enough, as it stood before our eyes, piled out of jasper and agate? Shall we not fear to tread it, now that it appears combined, in graceful complexity of emerald and chrysopras and chrysolite?" Neither of them knew the alteration that had taken place upon the Snake: for it was indeed the Snake, who every day at noon curved herself over the River, and stood forth in the form of a bold-swelling bridge. The travellers stept upon it with a reverential feeling, and passed over it in silence.

                  No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the bridge began to heave and stir; in a little while, it touched the surface of the water, and the green Snake in her proper form came gliding after the wanderers. They had scarcely thanked her for the privilege of crossing on her back, when they found that, besides them three, there must be other persons in the company, whom their eyes could not discern. They heard a hissing, which the Snake also answered with a hissing; they listened, and at length caught what follows: "We shall first look about us in the fair Lily's Park," said a pair of alternating voices; "and then request you at nightfall, so soon as we are anywise presentable, to introduce us to this paragon of beauty. At the shore of the great Lake you will find us." "Be it so," replied the Snake; and a hissing sound died away in the air.

                  Our three travellers now consulted in what order they should introduce themselves to the fair Lady; for however many people might be in her company, they were obliged to enter and depart singly, under pain of suffering very hard severities.

                  The Woman with the metamorphosed Pug in the basket first approached the garden, looking round for her Patroness; who was not difficult to find, being just engaged in singing to her harp. The finest tones proceeded from her, first like circles on the surface of the still lake, then like a light breath they set the grass and the bushes in motion. In a green enclosure, under the shadow of a stately group of many diverse trees, was she seated; and again did she enchant the eyes, the ears and the heart of the Woman, who approached with rapture, and swore within herself that since she saw her last, the fair one had grown fairer than ever. With eager gladness, from a distance, she expressed her reverence and admiration for the lovely maiden. "What a happiness to see you! what a Heaven does your presence spread around you! How charmingly the harp is leaning on your bosom, how softly your arms surround it, how it seems as if longing to be near you, and how it sounds so meekly under the touch of your slim fingers! Thrice-happy youth, to whom it were permitted to be there!"

                  So speaking she approached; the fair Lily raised her eyes; let her hands drop from the harp, and answered: "Trouble me not with untimely praise; I feel my misery but the more deeply. Look here, at my feet lies the poor Canary-bird, which used so beautifully to accompany my singing; it would sit upon my harp, and was trained not to touch me; but today, while I, refreshed by sleep, was raising a peaceful morning hymn, and my little singer was pouring forth his harmonious tones more gaily than ever, a Hawk darts over my head; the poor little creature, in affright, takes refuge in my bosom, and I feel the last palpitations of its departing life. The plundering Hawk indeed was caught by my look, and fluttered fainting down into the water; but what can his punishment avail me? my darling is dead, and his grave will but increase the mournful bushes of my garden."

                  "Take courage, fairest Lily!" cried the Woman, wiping off a tear, which the story of the hapless maiden had called into her eyes; "compose yourself; my old man bids me tell you to moderate your lamenting, to look upon the greatest misfortune as a forerunner of the greatest happiness, for the time is at hand; and truly," continued she, "the world is going strangely on of late. Do but look at my hand, how black it is! As I live and breathe, it is grown far smaller: I must hasten, before it vanish altogether! Why did I engage to do the Will-o'-wisps a service, why did I meet the Giant's shadow, and dip my hand in the River? Could you not afford me a single cabbage, an artichoke and an onion? I would give them to the River, and my hand were white as ever, so that I could almost show it with one of yours."

                  "Cabbages and onions thou mayest still find; but artichokes thou wilt search for in vain. No plant in my garden bears either flowers or fruit; but every twig that I break, and plant upon the grave of a favourite, grows green straightway, and shoots up in fair boughs. All these groups, these bushes, these groves my hard destiny has so raised around me. These pines stretching out like parasols, these obelisks of cypresses, these colossal oaks and beeches, were all little twigs planted by my hand, as mournful memorials in a soil that otherwise is barren."

                  To this speech the old Woman had paid little heed; she was looking at her hand, which, in presence of the fair Lily, seemed every moment growing blacker and smaller. She was about to snatch her basket and hasten off, when she noticed that the best part of her errand had been forgotten. She lifted out the onyx Pug, and set him down, not far from the fair one, in the grass. "My husband," said she, "sends you this memorial; you know that you can make a jewel live by touching it. This pretty faithful dog will certainly afford you much enjoyment; and my grief at losing him is brightened only by the thought that he will be in your possession."

                  The fair Lily viewed the dainty creature with a pleased and, as it seemed, with an astonished look. "Many signs combine," said she, "that breathe some hope into me: but ah! is it not a natural deception which makes us fancy, when misfortunes crowd upon us, that a better day is near?

                  What can these many signs avail me?
                  My Singer's Death, thy coal black Hand?
                  This Dog of Onyx, that can never fail me?
                  And coming at the Lamp's command?
                  From human joys removed forever,
                  With sorrows compassed round I sit:
                  Is there a Temple at the River?
                  Is there a Bridge? Alas, not yet!

                  The good old dame had listened with impatience to this singing, which the fair Lily accompanied with her harp, in a way that would have charmed any other. She was on the point of taking leave, when the arrival of the green Snake again detained her. The Snake had caught the last lines of the song, and on this matter forthwith began to speak comfort to the fair Lily.

                  "The prophecy of the Bridge is fulfilled" cried the Snake: "you may ask this worthy dame how royally the arch looks now. What formerly was untransparent jasper or agate, allowing but a gleam of light to pass about its edges, is now become transparent precious stone. No beryl is so clear, no emerald so beautiful of hue."

                  "I wish you joy of it," said Lily; "but you will pardon me if I regard the prophecy as yet unaccomplished. The lofty arch of your bridge can still but admit foot passengers; and it is promised us that horses and carriages and travellers of every sort shall, at the same moment, cross this bridge in both directions. Is there not something said, too, about pillars, which are to arise of themselves from the waters of the River?"

                  The old Woman still kept her eyes fixed on her hand; she here interrupted their dialogue, and was taking leave. "Wait a moment," said the fair Lily, "and carry my little bird with you. Bid the Lamp change it into topaz; I will enliven it by my touch; with your good Mops it shall form my dearest pastime: but hasten, hasten; for, at sunset, intolerable putrefaction will fasten on the hapless bird, and tear asunder the fair combination of its form forever."

                  The old Woman laid the little corpse, wrapped in soft leaves, into her basket, and hastened away.

                  "However it may be," said the Snake, recommencing their interrupted dialogue, "the Temple is built."

                  "But it is not at the River," said the fair one.

                  "It is yet resting in the depths of the Earth," said the Snake; "I have seen the Kings and conversed with them."

                  "But when will they arise?" inquired Lily.

                  The Snake replied: "I heard resounding in the Temple these deep words, The time is at hand. "

                  A pleasing cheerfulness spread over the fair Lily's face: " 'Tis the second time," said she, "that I have heard these happy words today: when will the day come for me to hear them thrice?"

                  She arose, and immediately there came a lovely maiden from the grove, and took away her harp. Another followed her, and folded-up the fine carved ivory stool, on which the fair one had been sitting, and put the silvery cushion under her arm. A third then made her appearance, with a large parasol worked with pearls; and looked whether Lily would require her in walking. These three maidens were beyond expression beautiful; and yet their beauty but exalted that of Lily, for it was plain to every one that they could never be compared to her.

                  Meanwhile the fair one had been looking, with a satisfied aspect, at the strange onyx Mops. She bent down and touched him, and that instant he started up. Gaily he looked around, ran hither and thither, and at last, in his kindest manner, hastened to salute his benefactress. She took him in her arms, and pressed him to her. "Cold as thou art," cried she, "and though but a half-life works in thee, thou art welcome to me; tenderly will I love thee, prettily will I play with thee, softly caress thee, and firmly press thee to my bosom." She then let him go, chased him from her, called him back, and played so daintily with him, and ran about so gaily and so innocently with him on the grass, that with new rapture you viewed and participated in her joy, as a little while ago her sorrow had attuned every heart to sympathy.

                  This cheerfulness, these graceful sports were interrupted by the entrance of the woeful Youth. He stepped forward, in his former guise and aspect; save that the heat of the day appeared to have fatigued him still more, and in the presence of his mistress he grew paler every moment. He bore upon his hand a Hawk, which was sitting quiet as a dove, with its body shrunk, and its wings drooping.

                  "It is not kind in thee," cried Lily to him, "to bring that hateful thing before my eyes, the monster, which today has killed my little singer."

                  "Blame not the unhappy bird!" replied the Youth; "rather blame thyself and thy destiny; and leave me to keep beside me the companion of my woe."

                  Meanwhile Mops ceased not teasing the fair Lily; and she replied to her transparent favourite, with friendly gestures. She clapped her hands to scare him off; then ran, to entice him after her. She tried to get him when he fled, and she chased him away when he attempted to press near her. The Youth looked on in silence, with increasing anger; but at last, when she took the odious beast, which seemed to him unutterably ugly, on her arm, pressed it to her white bosom, and kissed its black snout with her heavenly lips, his patience altogether failed him, and full of desperation he exclaimed: "Must I, who by a baleful fate exist beside thee, perhaps to the end, in an absent presence; who by thee have lost my all, my very self; must I see before my eyes, that so unnatural a monster can charm thee into gladness, can awaken thy attachment, and enjoy thy embrace? Shall I any longer keep wandering to and fro, measuring my dreary course to that side of the River and to this? No, there is still a spark of the old heroic spirit sleeping in my bosom; let it start this instant into its expiring flame! If stones may rest in thy bosom, let me be changed to stone; if thy touch kills, I will die by thy hands."

                  So saying he made a violent movement; the Hawk flew from his finger, but he himself rushed towards the fair one; she held out her hands to keep him off, and touched him only the sooner. Consciousness forsook him; and she felt with horror the beloved burden lying on her bosom. With a shriek she started back, and the gentle Youth sank lifeless from her arms upon the ground.

                  The misery had happened! The sweet Lily stood motionless gazing on the corpse. Her heart seemed to pause in her bosom; and her eyes were without tears. In vain did Mops try to gain from her any kindly gesture; with her friend, the world for her was all dead as the grave. Her silent despair did not look round for help; she knew not of any help.

                  On the other hand, the Snake bestirred herself the more actively; she seemed to meditate deliverance; and in fact her strange movements served at least to keep away, for a little, the immediate consequences of the mischief. With her limber body, she formed a wide circle round the corpse, and seizing the end of her tail between her teeth, she lay quite still.

                  Ere long one of Lily's fair waiting-maids appeared; brought the ivory folding-stool, and with friendly beckoning constrained her mistress to sit down on it. Soon afterwards there came a second; she had in her hand a fire-coloured veil, with which she rather decorated than concealed the fair Lily's head. The third handed her the harp, and scarcely had she drawn the gorgeous instrument towards her, and struck some tones from its strings, when the first maid returned with a clear round mirror; took her station opposite the fair one; caught her looks in the glass, and threw back to her the loveliest image that was to be found in Nature. Sorrow heightened her beauty, the veil her charms, the harp her grace; and deeply as you wished to see her mournful situation altered, not less deeply did you wish to keep her image, as she now looked, forever present with you.

                  With a still look at the mirror, she touched the harp; now melting tones proceeded from the strings, now her pain seemed to mount, and the music in strong notes responded to her woe; sometimes she opened her lips to sing, but her voice failed her; and ere long her sorrow melted into tears, two maidens caught her helpfully in their arms, the harp sank from her bosom, scarcely could the quick servant snatch the instrument and carry it aside.

                  "Who gets us the Man with the Lamp, before the Sun set?" hissed the Snake, faintly, but audibly: the maids looked at one another, and Lily's tears fell faster. At this moment came the Woman with the Basket, panting and altogether breathless. "I am lost, and maimed for life!" cried she, "see how my hand is almost vanished; neither Ferryman nor Giant would take me over, because I am the River's debtor; in vain did I promise hundreds of cabbages and hundreds of onions; they will take no more than three; and no artichoke is now to be found in all this quarter."

                  "Forget your own care," said the Snake, "and try to bring help here; perhaps it may come to yourself also. Haste with your utmost speed to seek the Will-o'-wisps; it is too light for you to see them, but perhaps you will hear them laughing and hopping to and fro. If they be speedy, they may cross upon the Giant's shadow, and seek the Man with the Lamp, and send him to us."

                  The Woman hurried off at her quickest pace, and the Snake seemed expecting as impatiently as Lily the return of the Flames. Alas! the beam of the sinking Sun was already gliding only the highest summits of the trees in the thicket, and long shadows were stretching over lake and meadow; the Snake hitched up and down impatiently, and Lily dissolved in tears.

                  In this extreme need, the Snake kept looking round on all sides; for she was afraid every moment that the Sun would set, and corruption penetrate the magic circle, and the fair youth immediately moulder away. At last she noticed sailing high in the air, with purple-red feathers, the Prince's Hawk, whose breast was catching the last beams of the Sun. She shook herself for joy at this good omen; nor was she deceived; for shortly afterwards the Man with the Lamp was seen gliding towards them across the Lake, fast and smoothly, as if he had been travelling on skates.

                  The Snake did not change her posture; but Lily rose and called to him: "What good spirit sends thee, at the moment when we were desiring thee, and needing thee, so much?"

                  "The spirit of my Lamp," replied the Man, "has impelled me, and the Hawk has conducted me. My Lamp sparkles when I am needed, and I just look about me in the sky for a signal; some bird or meteor points to the quarter towards which I am to turn. Be calm, fairest Maiden! Whether I can help, I know not; an individual helps not, but he who combines himself with many at the proper hour. We will postpone the evil, and keep hoping. Hold thy circle fast," continued he, turning to the Snake; then set himself upon a hillock beside her, and illuminated the dead body. "Bring the little Bird hither too, and lay it in the circle!" The maidens took the little corpse from the basket, which the old Woman had left standing, and did as he directed.

                  Meanwhile the Sun had set; and as the darkness increased, not only the Snake and the old Man's Lamp began shining in their fashion, but also Lily's veil gave-out a soft light, which gracefully tinged, as with a meek dawning red, her pale cheeks and her white robe. The party looked at one another, silently reflecting; care and sorrow were mitigated by a sure hope.

                  It was no unpleasing entrance, therefore, that the Woman made, attended by the two gay Flames, which in truth appeared to have been very lavish in the interim, for they had again become extremely meagre; yet they only bore themselves the more prettily for that, towards Lily and the other ladies. With great tact and expressiveness, they said a multitude of rather common things to these fair persons; and declared themselves particularly ravished by the charm which the gleaming veil spread over Lily and her attendants. The ladies modestly cast down their eyes, and the praise of their beauty made them really beautiful. All were peaceful and calm, except the old Woman. In spite of the assurance of her husband, that her hand could diminish no farther, while the Lamp shone on it, she asserted more than once, that if things went on thus, before midnight this noble member would have utterly vanished.

                  The Man with the Lamp had listened attentively to the conversation of the Lights; and was gratified that Lily had been cheered, in some measure, and amused by it. And, in truth, midnight had arrived they knew not how. The old Man looked to the stars, and then began speaking: "We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will swallow-up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes individual joys."

                  At these words arose a wondrous hubbub; for all the persons in the party spoke aloud, each for himself, declaring what they had to do; only the three maids were silent; one of them had fallen asleep beside the harp, another near the parasol, the third by the stool; and you could not blame them much, for it was late. The Fiery Youths, after some passing compliments which they devoted to the waiting-maids, had turned their sole attention to the Princess, as alone worthy of exclusive homage.

                  "Take the mirror," said the Man to the Hawk; "and with the first sunbeam illuminate the three sleepers, and awake them, with light reflected from above."

                  The Snake now began to move; she loosened her circle, and rolled slowly, in large rings, forward to the River. The two Will-o'-wisps followed with a solemn air: you would have taken them for the most serious Flames in Nature. The old Woman and her husband seized the Basket, whose mild light they had scarcely observed till now; they lifted it at both sides, and it grew still larger and more luminous; they lifted the body of the Youth into it, laying the Canary-bird upon his breast; the Basket rose into the air and hovered above the old Woman's head, and she followed the Will-o'-wisps on foot. The fair Lily took Mops on her arm, and followed the Woman; the Man with the Lamp concluded the procession; and the scene was curiously illuminated by these many lights.

                  But it was with no small wonder that the party saw, when they approached the River, a glorious arch mount over it, by which the helpful Snake was affording them a glittering path. If by day they had admired the beautiful transparent precious stones, of which the Bridge seemed formed; by night they were astonished at its gleaming brilliancy. On the upper side the clear circle marked itself sharp against the dark sky, but below, vivid beams were darting to the centre, and exhibiting the airy firmness of the edifice. The procession slowly moved across it; and the Ferryman, who saw it from his hut afar off, considered with astonishment the gleaming circle, and the strange lights which were passing over it

                  No sooner had they reached the other shore, than the arch began, in its usual way, to swag up and down, and with a wavy motion to approach the water. The Snake then came on land, the Basket placed itself upon the ground, and the Snake again drew her circle round it. The old Man stooped towards her, and said: "What hast thou resolved on?"

                  "To sacrifice myself rather than be sacrificed," replied the Snake; "promise me that thou wilt leave no stone on shore."

                  The old Man promised; then addressing Lily: "Touch the Snake," said he, "with thy left hand, and thy lover with thy right." Lily knelt, and touched the Snake and the Prince's body. The latter in the instant seemed to come to life; he moved in the Basket, nay he raised himself into a sitting posture; Lily was about to clasp him; but the old Man held her back, and himself assisted the Youth to rise, and led him forth from the Basket and the circle.

                  The Prince was standing; the Canary-bird was fluttering on his shoulder; there was life again in both of them, but the spirit had not yet returned; the fair Youth's eyes were open, yet he did not see, at least he seemed to look on all without participation. Scarcely had their admiration of this incident a little calmed, when they observed how strangely it had fared in the meanwhile with the Snake. Her fair taper body had crumbled into thousands and thousands of shining jewels: the old Woman reaching at her Basket had chanced to come against the circle; and of the shape or structure of the Snake there was now nothing to be seen, only a bright ring of luminous jewels was lying in the grass.

                  The old Man forthwith set himself to gather the stones into the Basket; a task in which his wife assisted him. They next carried the Basket to an elevated point on the bank; and here the man threw its whole lading, not without contradiction from the fair one and his wife, who would gladly have retained some part of it, down into the River. Like gleaming twinkling stars the stones floated down with the waves; and you could not say whether they lost themselves in the distance, or sank to the bottom.

                  "Gentlemen," said he with the Lamp, in a respectful tone to the Lights, "I will now show you the way, and open you the passage; but you will do us an essential service, if you please to unbolt the door, by which the Sanctuary must be entered at present, and which none but you can unfasten."

                  The Lights made a stately bow of assent, and kept their place. The old Man of the Lamp went foremost into the rock, which opened at his presence; the Youth followed him, as if mechanically; silent and uncertain, Lily kept at some distance from him; the old Woman would not be left, and stretched-out her hand, that the light of her husband's Lamp might still fall upon it. The rear was closed by the two Will-o'-wisps, who bent the peaks of their flames towards one another, and appeared to be engaged in conversation.

                  They had not gone far till the procession halted in front of a large brazen door, the leaves of which were bolted with a golden lock. The Man now called upon the Lights to advance; who required small entreaty, and with their pointed flames soon ate both bar and lock.

                  The brass gave a loud clang, as the doors sprang suddenly asunder; and the stately figures of the Kings appeared within the Sanctuary, illuminated by the entering Lights. All bowed before these dread sovereigns, especially the Flames made a profusion of the daintiest reverences.

                  After a pause, the gold King asked: "Whence come ye?" "From the world," said the old Man. "Whither go ye?" said the silver King. "Into the world," replied the Man. "What would ye with us?" cried the brazen King. "Accompany you," replied the Man.

                  The composite King was about to speak, when the gold one addressed the Lights, who had got too near him: "Take yourselves away from me, my metal was not made for you." Thereupon they turned to the silver King, and clasped themselves about him; and his robe glittered beautifully in their yellow brightness. "You are welcome," said he, "but I cannot feed you; satisfy yourselves elsewhere, and bring me your light." They removed; and gliding past the brazen King, who did not seem to notice them, they fixed on the compounded King. "Who will govern the world?" cried he, with a broken voice. "He who stands upon his feet," replied the old Man. "I am he," said the mixed King. "We shall see," replied the Man; "for the time is at hand."

                  The fair Lily fell upon the old Man's neck, and kissed him cordially. "Holy Sage!" cried she, "a thousand times I thank thee; for I hear that fateful word the third time." She had scarcely spoken, when she clasped the old Man still faster; for the ground began to move beneath them; the Youth and the old Woman also held by one another; the Lights alone did not regard it.

                  You could feel plainly that the whole temple was in motion; as a ship that softly glides away from the harbour, when her anchors are lifted; the depths of the Earth seemed to open for the Building as it went along. It struck on nothing; no rock came in its way.

                  For a few instants, a small rain seemed to drizzle from the opening of the dome; the old Man held the fair Lily fast, and said to her: "We are now beneath the River; we shall soon be at the mark." Ere long they thought the Temple made a halt; but they were in an error; it was mounting upwards.

                  And now a strange uproar rose above their heads. Planks and beams in disordered combination now came pressing and crashing in at the opening of the dome. Lily and the Woman started to a side; the Man with the Lamp laid hold of the Youth, and kept standing still. The little cottage of the Ferryman, for it was this which the Temple in ascending had severed from the ground and carried up with it, sank gradually down, and covered the old Man and the Youth.

                  The women screamed aloud, and the Temple shook, like a ship running unexpectedly aground. In sorrowful perplexity, the Princess and her old attendant wandered round the cottage in the dawn; the door was bolted, and to their knocking no one answered. They knocked more loudly, and were not a little struck, when at length the wood began to ring. By virtue of the Lamp locked up in it, the hut had been converted from the inside to the outside into solid silver. Ere long too its form changed; for the noble metal shook aside the accidental shape of planks, posts and beams, and stretched itself out into a noble case of beaten ornamented workmanship. Thus a fair little temple stood erected in the middle of the large one; or if you will, an Altar worthy of the Temple.

                  By a staircase which ascended from within, the noble Youth now mounted aloft, lighted by the old Man with the Lamp, and, as it seemed, supported by another, who advanced in a white short robe, with a silver rudder in his hand; and was soon recognised as the Ferryman, the former possessor of the cottage.

                  The fair Lily mounted the outer steps, which led from the floor of the Temple to the Altar; but she was still obliged to keep herself apart from her Lover. The old Woman, whose hand in the absence of the Lamp had grown still smaller, cried: "Am I, then, to be unhappy after all? Among so many miracles, can there be nothing done to save my hand?" Her husband pointed to the open door, and said to her: "See, the day is breaking; haste, bathe thyself in the River." "What an advice!" cried she; "it will make me all black; it will make me vanish together; for my debt is not yet paid." "Go," said the man, "and do as I advise thee; all debts are now paid."

                  The old Woman hastened away; and at that moment appeared the rising Sun, upon the rim of the dome. The old Man stept between Virgin and the Youth, and cried with a loud voice: "There are three which have rule on Earth; Wisdom, Appearance and Strength." the first word, the gold King rose; at the second, the silver one; and at the third, the brass King slowly rose, while the mixed King on a sudden very awkwardly plumped down.

                  Whoever noticed him could scarcely keep from laughing, solemn as the moment was; for he was not sitting, he was not lying, he was — leaning, but shapelessly sunk together.

                  The Lights, who till now had been employed upon him, drew to side; they appeared, although pale in the morning radiance, yet the more well-fed, and in good burning condition; with their peaked tongues, they had dexterously licked-out the gold veins of the colossal figure to its very heart. The irregular vacuities which this occasioned had continued empty for a time, and the figure had maintained its standing posture. But when at last the very tenderest filaments were eaten out, the image crashed suddenly together; and then, alas, in the very parts which continue unaltered when one sits down; whereas the limbs, which should have bent, sprawled themselves out unbowed and stiff. Whoever could not laugh was obliged to turn away his eyes; this miserable shape and no-shape was offensive to behold.

                  The Man with the Lamp now led the handsome Youth, who still kept gazing vacantly before him, down from the Altar, and straight to the brazen King. At the feet of this mighty Potentate lay a sword in a brazen sheath. The young man girt it round him. "The sword on left, the right free!" cried the brazen voice. They next proceeded to the silver King; he bent his sceptre to the Youth; the latter seized it with his left hand, and the King in a pleasing voice said: "Feed the sheep!" On turning to the golden King, he stooped with gestures of paternal blessing, and pressing his oaken garland on the young man's head, said: "Understand what is highest!"

                  During this progress, the old Man had carefully observed the Prince. After girding-on the sword, his breast swelled, his arms waved, and his feet trod firmer; when he took the sceptre in his hand, his strength appeared to soften, and by an unspeakable charm to become still more subduing; but as the oaken garland came to deck his hair, his features kindled, his eyes gleamed with inexpressible spirit, and the first word of his mouth was "Lily!"

                  "Dearest Lily!" cried he, hastening up the silver stairs to her, for she had viewed his progress from the pinnacle of the Altar; "Dearest Lily! what more precious can a man, equipt with all, desire for himself than innocence and the still affection which thy bosom brings me? O my friend!" continued he, turning to the old Man, and looking at the three statues; "glorious and secure is the kingdom of our fathers; but thou hast forgotten the fourth power, which rules the world, earlier, more universally, more certainly, the power of Love." With these words, he fell upon the lovely maiden's neck; she had cast away her veil, and her cheeks were tinged with the fairest, most imperishable red.

                  Here the old Man said with a smile: "Love does not rule; but it trains, and that is more."

                  Amid this solemnity, this happiness and rapture, no one had observed that it was now broad day; and all at once, on looking through the open portal, a crowd of altogether unexpected objects met the eye. A large space surrounded with pillars formed the forecourt, at the end of which was seen a broad and stately Bridge stretching with many arches across the River. It was furnished, on both sides, with commodious and magnificent colonnades for foot-travellers, many thousands of whom were already there, busily passing this way or that. The broad pavement in the centre was thronged with herds and mules, with horsemen and carriages, flowing like two streams, on their several sides, and neither interrupting the other. All admired the splendour and convenience of the structure; and the new King and his Spouse were delighted with the motion and activity of this great people, as they were already happy in their own mutual love.

                  "Remember the Snake in honour," said the Man with the Lamp; "thou owest her thy life; thy people owe her the Bridge, by which these neighbouring banks are now animated and combined into one land. Those swimming and shining jewels, the remains of her sacrificed body, are the piers of this royal bridge; upon these she has built and will maintain herself."

                  The party were about to ask some explanation of this strange mystery, when there entered four lovely maidens at the portal of the Temple. By the

                  (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

                • Durward Starman
                  Perhaps we can see how the first Mystery Play is a transformation of the legend . Scene One It starts in a land at night, divided by a great river. A Ferryman
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 13, 2007
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                      Perhaps we can see how the first Mystery Play is a transformation of the 'legend'.
                     
                    Scene One
                    It starts in a land at night, divided by a great river. A Ferryman is one way to cross the river. Two Will-O-Wisps come to him asking to be taken over, to see the beautiful Lily who they have heard lives on the other side. Will-O-Wisps are legendary fairies made of flame who can "drink" gold and then send it out of themselves in gold coins. They go to pay the Ferryman in gold, but he says he can't take it but must be paid in fruits of the earth, which they know nothing about: but some magic forces them to agree to pay him 9 fruits, 3 of each of 3 kinds. He lets them leave, and then throws the gold down a chasm in the rocks.
                     
                    Scene Two
                       Now we switch to down below, where a mysterious creature, the Green Snake, lives. She has always lived in darkness but has heard a legend about it being possible to have light with the aid of gold; and she swallows the gold when it comes down and becomes radiant. She goes up above to find where it came from and sees the Will-o-Wisps, who offer her more. They ask where to find the Lily but are told she is on the other side of the River, and there are only three ways to cross: the Ferryman at night (but he can only bring people from the farther shore to here, not back), the Snake makes a magical bridge of her own body at noon, and a Giant has a magic shadow which, shadows being longest at sunrise and sunset, can carry people across the river then. Being creatures of the fairy-world, they do not like to travel at noon, so they decline the Snake's offer to take them across at noon, and leave.
                     
                    Scene Three
                        The Snake now descends to the underground Temple, which she has often visited, but could only feel by touch the figures there in darkness; now that she is radiant, she longs to see them as well. When she enters with her new Light, she sees they are 4 statues, of gold, silver, bronze and one of all 3 mixed. The gold King speaks to her now that she is 'enlightened', in a cryptic conversation, like a Masonic rite, where the Snake knows the answers to give, about gold and light and speech. Suddenly appears the Man with the Lamp, who moves through walls by the light of his Lamp dissolving the metal seams in the rock. He now continues this symbolic conversation with the Kings. He says he knows three secrets but needs to know the fourth one: the Snake says she knows it, and whispers in his ear, and he declares "The time is at hand!" and speeds away west from the Temple while the snake runs east.
                     
                       Scene Four
                       The Man with the Lamp returns to his cottage, and his wife tells him how the 2 Will-o-Wisps visited there while he was gone, absorbed all the gold from the walls which his Lamp had created and shook out gold pieces, one of which their dog ate and died. She says she has promised to pay their debt of 9 earth-fruits to the Ferryman for them. The Man changes the Dog to a gem with his Lamp and tells her to bring it to the Lily, who would bring its dead form back to life just as her touch turns any living thing dead, and to tell her that her curse will soon be lifted---for 'the time is at hand!'
                      
                    To Be Continued



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                  • Durward Starman
                    RE: Goethe s Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily The first Mystery Play is a transformation of this legend . Here s one version of its
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 14, 2007
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                       RE: Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily


                        The first Mystery Play is a transformation of this 'legend'. Here's one version of its 'scenes'.
                       
                      Scene One: The River
                      It starts in a land at night, divided by a great river. A Ferryman is one way to cross the river. Two Will-O-Wisps come to him asking to be taken over, to see the beautiful Lily who they have heard lives on the other side. Will-O-Wisps are legendary fairies made of flame who can "drink" gold and then send it out of themselves in gold coins. They go to pay the Ferryman in gold, but he says he can't take it but must be paid in fruits of the earth, which they know nothing about: but some magic forces them to agree to pay him 9 fruits, 3 of each of 3 kinds. He lets them leave, and then throws the gold down a chasm in the rocks.
                       
                      Scene Two: The Green Snake and the Gold
                         Now we switch to down below, where a mysterious creature, the Green Snake, lives. She has always lived in darkness but has heard a legend about it being possible to have light with the aid of gold; and she swallows the gold when it comes down and becomes radiant. She goes up above to find where it came from and sees the Will-o-Wisps, who offer her more. They ask where to find the Lily but are told she is on the other side of the River, and there are only three ways to cross: the Ferryman at night (but he can only bring people from the farther shore to here, not back), the Snake makes a magical bridge of her own body at noon, and a Giant has a magic shadow which, shadows being longest at sunrise and sunset, can carry people across the river then. Being creatures of the fairy-world, they do not like to travel at noon, so they seem to decline the Snake's offer to take them across at noon, and leave.
                       
                      Scene Three: The Subterranean Temple
                          The Snake now descends to the underground Temple, which she has often visited, but could only feel by touch the figures there in darkness; now that she is radiant, she longs to see them as well. When she enters with her new Light, she sees they are 4 statues, of gold, silver, bronze and one of all 3 mixed. The gold King speaks to her now that she is 'enlightened' , in a cryptic conversation, like a Masonic rite, where the Snake knows the answers to give, about gold and light and speech. Suddenly appears the Man with the Lamp, who moves through walls by the light of his Lamp dissolving the metal seams in the rock. He now continues this symbolic conversation with the Kings. He says he knows three secrets but needs to know the fourth one: the Snake says she knows it, and whispers in his ear, and he declares "The time is at hand!" and speeds away west from the Temple while the snake runs east.
                       
                         Scene Four : The Man With The Lamp's Cottage
                         The Man with the Lamp returns to his cottage, and his wife tells him how the 2 Will-o-Wisps visited there while he was gone, absorbed all the gold from the walls which his Lamp had created and shook out gold pieces, one of which their dog ate and died. She says she has promised to pay their debt of 9 earth-fruits to the Ferryman for them. The Man changes the Dog to a gem with his Lamp and tells her to bring it to the Lily, who would bring its dead form back to life just as her touch turns any living thing dead, and to tell her that her curse will soon be lifted---for 'the time is at hand!'
                        
                      Scene Five : The Way To The Lily
                         The woman heads east in the morning, to the River, to pay the Ferryman. But the Giant' s shadow steals three of the vegetables she has in her basket. The Ferryman will only take the payment if she puts her hand into the River and promises to pay the third she owes it within a day. When she does so, her hand turns black and begins to shrink. The Ferryman had brought over a young handsome Prince whom she walks to the Lily with, who says he has lost all interest in his earthly kingdom since seeing the beautiful Lily. They cross at noon on the Snake-Bridge, which is changed now that the Snake has become luminous. The Will-o-Wisps also cross, although they are invisible at noon and only heard.
                       
                      Scene Six; The Kingdom of the Lily
                       (To Be Continued)


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