Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 In the forest of stone
 The song of the minister
 The pilgrim of a night
 The ancient gods pursuing
 The dream of the white lark
 The hermit of the pillar
 Kenach's little woman
 Golden apples and roses red
 The seven years of seeking
 The guardians of the door
 On the shores of longing
 The children of Spinalunga
 The sin of the Prince Bishop
 The little bedesman of Christ
 The burning of Abbot Spiridion
 The countess Itha
 The story of the lost brother
 The King Orgulous
 The journey of Rheinfrid
 Lighting the lamps
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Title: A child's book of saints
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087074/00001
 Material Information
Title: A child's book of saints
Physical Description: xii, 259 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Canton, William, 1845-1926
Robinson, Thomas Hastings, 1828-1906 ( Illustrator )
J. M. Dent & Co ( Publisher )
Ballantyne, Hanson and Co ( Printer )
Publisher: J.M. Dent & Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.
Publication Date: 1898
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Christian saints -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Spiritual life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Faith -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Religion -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Prize books (Provenance) -- 1898   ( rbprov )
Juvenile literature -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Prize books (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh.`
Statement of Responsibility: by William Canton ; with 19 full-page illustraions by T.H. Robinson.
General Note: Pictorial front cover and spine.
General Note: Title page printed in red and green; frontispiece printed in colors.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087074
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223663
notis - ALG3914
oclc - 13845257

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
    Title Page
        Page vi
    Front Matter
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of Illustrations
        Page xi
        Page xii
    In the forest of stone
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    The song of the minister
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The pilgrim of a night
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    The ancient gods pursuing
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    The dream of the white lark
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    The hermit of the pillar
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Kenach's little woman
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Golden apples and roses red
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    The seven years of seeking
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    The guardians of the door
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    On the shores of longing
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    The children of Spinalunga
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    The sin of the Prince Bishop
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    The little bedesman of Christ
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
    The burning of Abbot Spiridion
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
    The countess Itha
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
    The story of the lost brother
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    The King Orgulous
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
    The journey of Rheinfrid
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
    Lighting the lamps
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
    Back Matter
        Page 260
    Back Cover
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
Full Text



....... ....
4 m _j 4


k 51"r,


ul .10w,







-I saint, whose very name I have forgotten, had
a vision, in which he saw Satan standing before the
throne of God; and, listening, he heard the evil
spirit say, Why hast Thou condemned me, who have
offended Thee but once, whilst Thou savest thousands
of men who have offended Thee many times?" God
answered him, Hast thou once asked pardon of
Behold the Christian mythology It is the
dramatic truth, which has its worth and effect in-
dependently of the literal truth, and which even
gains nothing by being fact. What matter whether
the saint had or had not heard the sublime words
which I have just quote.? The great point is to
know that pardon is refused only to him who does
not ask it.






















List of Illustrations

Tibi ones Angeli Frontispiece

Women lived the life of prayer and praise and austerity
and miracle 7

" These are the fields in which the Shepherds watched" 3

Hilary wondered and mused 37

"Hail! thou queen of the world," &c. 45

A gaunt, dark figure, far up in the blue Asian sky 5 I

" Come not any nearer, turn thy face to the forest, and go
down" 67

"I am not mad, most noble Sapricius" 73

They won their long sea-way home III

" And four good angels watch my bed, two at the foot
and two at the head" .

List of Illustrations
And again in the keen November 127

The eight hundred horsemen turned in dismay .141

"Surely in all the world God has no more beautiful house
than this" 49

St. Francis .

Beside him were two radiant child angels 179

Itha rode away with her lord 87

The sight of that divine figure filled the prior's heart with
peace and confidence I

King Orgulous 219

" This is Eovesholme," said the lad 249

In the Forest of Stone

o OOKING down the vista of trees and houses
from the slope of our garden, W. V. saw
the roof and spire of the church of the
Oak-men showing well above the green
huddle of the Forest.
"It is a pretty big church, isn't it, father ? she asked, as
she pointed it out to me.
It was a most picturesque old-fashioned church, though
in my thoughtlessness I had mistaken it for a beech and a
tall poplar growing apparently side by side ; but the moment
she spoke I perceived my illusion.
I expect, if we were anywhere about on a Sunday
morning," she surmised, with a laugh, "we should see
hundreds and hundreds of Oak-girls and Oak-boys going in
schools to service."
Dressed in green silk, with bronze boots and pink
feathers-the colours of the new oak-leaves, eh ? "
Oh, father, it would be lovely in a burst of ecstasy.
"Oughtn't we to go and find the way to their church ? "
We might do something much less amusing. Accord-
ingly we took the bearings of the green spire with the skill

In the Forest of Stone
of veteran explorers. It lay due north,- so that if we
travelled by the way of the North Star we should be certain
to find it. Wheeling the Man before us, we made a North
Star track for ourselves through the underwood and over
last year's rustling beech-leaves, till Guy ceased babbling
and crooning, and dropped into a slumber, as he soon does
in the fresh of the morning. Then we had to go slowly
for fear he should be wakened by the noise of the dead wood
underfoot, for, as we passed over it with wheels and boots,
it snapped and crackled like a freshly-kindled fire. It was
a relief to get at last to the soft matting of brown needles
and cones under the Needle-trees, for there we could go
pretty quickly without either jolting him or making a
We went as far as we were able that day, and we searched
in glade and lawn, in coppice and dingle, but never a trace
could we find of the sylvan minster where the Oak-people
worship. As we wandered through the Forest we came upon
a number of notice boards nailed high up on the trunks of
various trees, but when W. V. discovered that these only
repeated the same stern legend : Caution. Persons break-
ing, climbing upon, or otherwise damaging," she indignantly
resented this incessant intrusion on the innocent enjoyment
of free foresters. How much nicer it would have been if
there had been a hand on one of these repressive boards, with
the inscription : This way to the North Star Church ;"
or, if a caution was really necessary for some of the people
who entered the Forest, to say : The public are requested
not to disturb the Elves, Birch-ladies, and Oak-men ;" but
of course the most delightful thing would be to have a
different fairy-tale written up in clear letters on each of the

In the Forest of Stone
boards, and a seat close by where one could rest and read
it comfortably.
I told her there were several forests I had explored, in
which something like that was really done; only the stories
were not fairy-tales, but legends of holy men and women
and among the branches of the trees were fixed most beauti-
fully coloured glass pictures of those holy people, who had all
lived and died, and some of whom had been buried, in those
forests, hundreds of years ago. Most of the forests were
very ancient-older than the thrones of many kingdoms;
and men lived and delighted in them long before Columbus
sailed into unknown seas to discover America. Many,
indeed, had been blown down and destroyed by a terrible
storm which swept over the world when Henry VIII. ruled
in England, and only wrecks of them now remained for any
one to see ; but others, which had survived the wild weather
of those days, were as wonderful and as lovely as a dream.
The tall trees in them sent out -curving branches which
interlaced high overhead, shutting out the blue sky and
making a sweet and solemn dimness, and nearly all the light
that streamed in between the fair round trunks and the
arching boughs was like that of a splendid sunset, only it was
there all day long and never faded out till night fell. And
in some of the forests there were great magical roses, of a
hundred brilliant colours crowded together, and as big as the
biggest cart-wheel, or bigger.
These woods were places of happy quietude and comfort
and gladness of heart ; but, instead of Oak-men, there were
many Angels.
Here and there, too, in the silent avenues, mighty warriors
and saintly abbots, and statesmen bishops, and it might be

In the Forest of Stone
even a king or a queen, had been buried ; and over their
graves there were sometimes images of them lying carved in
marble or alabaster,'and sometimes there had been built the
loveliest little chapels all sculptured over with tracery of
flowers and foliage.
"True, father? "
"True as true, dear. Some day I shall take you to see
for yourself."

We know a dip in a dingle where the woodcutters have
left a log among the hazels, and here, having wheeled Guy
into a dappling of sunny discs and leaf-shadows in a grassy
bay, we sat down on the log, and talked in an undertone.
Our failure to find the Oak-men's church reminded me of
the old legends of lost and invisible churches, the bells of
which are heard ringing under the snow, or in the depths of
the woods, or far away in burning deserts, or fathom-deep
beneath the blue sea; but the pilgrim or the chance way-
farer who has heard the music of the bells has never succeeded
in discovering the way that leads to the lost church. It is
on the clear night of St. John's Day, the longest day of the
year, or on the last hour of Christmas Eve, that these bells
are heard pealing most sweet and clear.
It was in this way that we came to tell Christian
legends and to talk of saints and hermits, of old abbeys and
minsters, of visions and miracles and the ministry of Angels.
Guy, W. V. thought, might be able, if only he could speak,
to tell us much about heaven and the Angels; it was so short
a time since he left them. She herself had quite forgotten,
but, then-deprecatingly-it was so long and long and long
ago; "eight years, a long time for me."

In the Forest of Stone
The faith and the strange vivid daydreams of the Middle
Ages were a new world into which she was being led
along enchanted footpaths; quite different from the worldly
world of the "Old Romans" and of English history;
more real it seemed and more credible, for all its wonders,
than the world of elves and water-maidens. Delightful
as it was, it was scarce believable that fairies ever carried
a little girl up above the tree-tops and swung her in the
air from one to another; but when St. Catherine of Siena
was a little child, and went to be a hermit in the woods, and
got terribly frightened, and lost her way, and sat down to
cry, the Angels, you know, did really and truly waft her up
on their wings and carried her to the valley of Fontebranda,
which was very near home. And when she was quite a
little thing and used to say her prayers going up to bed, the
Angels would come to her and just whip her right up the
stairs in an instant !
Occasionally these legends, brought us to the awful brink
of religious controversies and insoluble mysteries, but, like
those gentle savages who honour the water-spirits by hanging
garlands from tree to tree across the river, W. V. could
always fling a bridge of flowers over our abysses. Our
sense," she would declare, "is nothing to God's; and
though big people have more sense than children, the sense
of all the big people in the world put together would be no
sense to His." We are only little babies to Him; we do
not understand Him at all." Nothing seemed clearer to
her than the reasonableness of one legend which taught that
though God always answers our prayers, He does not
always answer in the way we would like, but in some better
way than we know. "Yes," she observed, "He is just a

In the Forest of Stone
dear old Father." Anything about our Lord engrossed her
imagination ; and it was a frequent wish of hers that He
would come again. Then,"-poor perplexed little mortal !
whose difficulties one could not even guess at-" we should
be quite sure of things. Miss Catherine tells us from
books: He would tell us from His memory. People would
not be so cruel to Him now. Queen Victoria would not
allow any one to crucify Him."

I don't think that W.V., in spite of her confidence in my
good faith, was quite convinced of the existence of those
old forests of which I had told her, until I explained that
they were forests of stone, which, if men did not mar them,
would blossom for centuries unchanged, though the hands
that planted them had long been blown in dust about the
world. She understood all that I meant when we visited
York and Westminster, and walked through the long
avenues of stone palms and pines, with their overarching
boughs, and gazed at the marvellous rose-windows in which
all the jewels of the world seemed to have been set, and
saw the colours streaming through the gorgeous lancets and
high many-lighted casements. After that it was delightful
to turn over engravings and photographs of ruined abbeys
and famous old churches at home and abroad, and to anti-
cipate the good time when we should visit them together,
and perhaps not only descend into the crypts but go through
the curious galleries which extend over the pillars of the
nave, and even climb up to the leaded roof of the tower, or
dare the long windy staircases and ladders which mount into
the spire, and so look down on the quaint map of streets, and
houses, and gardens, and squares, hundreds of feet below.

'LI ~l Or-
I1\OtfL IflO 1
1-tN rt1mEoRLUT or- ,TONE

In the Forest of Stone
She liked to hear how some of those miracles of stone
had been fashioned and completed-how monks in the days
of old had travelled over the land with the relics of saints,
collecting treasure of all sorts for the expense of the work;
how sometimes the people came in hundreds dragging great
oaks and loads of quarried stone, and bringing fat hogs,
beans, corn, and beer for the builders and their workmen ;
how even queens carried block or beam to the masons, so
that with their own hands they might help in the glorious
labour; and poor old women gave assistance by cooking
food and washing and spinning and weaving and making
and mending; how when the foundations were blessed
kings and princes and powerful barons laid each a stone,
and when the choir sang the antiphon, And the foundations
of the wall were garnished with all manner of precious stones,"
they threw costly rings and jewels and chains of gold into
the trench; and how years and generations passed away,
and abbots and bishops and architects and masons and
sculptors and labourers died, but new men took their places,
and still the vast work went on, and the beautiful pile rose
higher and higher into the everlasting heavens.
Then, too, we looked back at the vanished times when
the world was all so different from our world of to-day ; and
in green and fruitful spots among the hills and on warm
river-lawns and in olden cities of narrow streets and over-
hanging roofs, there were countless abbeys and priories and
convents; and thousands of men and women lived the life
of prayer and praise and austerity and miracle and vision
which is described in the legends of the Saints. We
lingered in the pillared cloisters where the black-letter
chronicles were written in Latin, and music was scored and

In the Forest of Stone

hymns were composed, and many a rare manuscript was
illuminated in crimson and blue and emerald and gold ; and
we looked through the fair arches into the cloister-garth
where in the green sward a grave lay ever ready to receive
the remains of the next brother who should pass away from
this little earth to the glory of Paradise. What struck
W. V. perhaps most of all was, that in some leafy places
these holy houses were so ancient that even the blackbirds
and throstles had learned to repeat some of the cadences or
the church music, and in those places the birds still con-
tinue to pipe them, though nothing now remains of church
or monastery except the name of some field or street or
well, which people continue to use out of old habit and

It was with the thought of helping the busy little brain
to realise something of that bygone existence, with its
strange modes of thought, its unquestioning faith in the
unseen and eternal, its vivid consciousness of the veiled but
constant presence of the holy and omnipotent God, its stern
self-repression and its tender charity, its lovely ideals and
haunting legends, that I told W. V. the stories in this little
book. It mattered little to her or to me that that existence
had its dark shadows contrasting with its celestial light: it
was the light that concerned us, not the shadows.
Some of the stories were told on the log, while Guy
slept in his mail-cart in the dappled shelter of the dingle;
others by a winter fire when the days were short, and the
cry of the wind in the dark made it easy for one to believe
in wolves; others in the Surrey hills, a year ago, in a
sandy hollow crowned with bloom of the ling, and famous

In the Forest of Stone
for a little pool where the martins alight to drink and star
the mud with a maze of claw-tracks ; and yet again, others,
this year, under the dry roof of the pines of Anstiebury,
when the fosse of the old Briton settlement was dripping
with wet, and the woods were dim with the smoke of rain,
and the paths were red with the fallen bloom of the red
chestnuts and white with the flourish of May and brown
with the catkins of the oak, and the cuckoo, calling in
Mosses Wood, was answered from Redlands and the
Warren, and the pines where we sat (snug and dry) looked
so solemn and dark that, with a little fancy, it was easy to
change the living greenwood into the forest of stone.
As they were told, under the pressure of an insatiable
listener, so have they been written, save for such a phrase,
here and there, as slips more readily from the pen than from
the tongue.
Of the stories which were told, but which have not been
written for this book, if W. V. should question me, I shall
answer in the wise words of the Greybeard of Broce-
Liande: "However hot thy thirst, and however pleasant to
assuage it, leave clear water in the well."

The Song of the Minster

HEN John of Fulda became Prior of Heth-
holme, says the old chronicle, he brought
with him to the Abbey many rare and costly
books beautiful illuminated missals and
psalters and portions of the Old and New
Testament. And he presented rich vestments to the
Minster; albs of fine linen, and copes embroidered with
flowers of gold. In the west front he built two great
arched windows filled with marvellous storied glass. The
shrine of St. Egwin he repaired at vast outlay, adorning it
with garlands in gold and silver, but the colour of the
flowers was in coloured gems, and in like fashion the little
birds in the nooks of the foliage. Stalls and benches of
carved oak he placed in the choir ; and many other noble
works he had wrought in his zeal for the glory of God's
In all the western land was there no more fair or stately
Minster than this of the Black Monks, with the peaceful
township on one side, and on the other the sweet meadows
and the acres of wheat and barley sloping down to the slow
river, and beyond the river the clearings in the ancient forest,

The Song of the Minster
But Thomas the Sub-prior was grieved and troubled in
his mind by the richness and the beauty of all he saw about
him, and by the Prior's eagerness to be ever adding some
new work in stone, or oak, or metal, or jewels.
Surely," he said to himself, these things are unprofitable
-less to the honour of God than to the pleasure of the eye
and the pride of life and the luxury of our house Had so
much treasure not been wasted on these vanities of bright
colour and carved stone, our dole to the poor of Christ
might have been four-fold, and they filled with good things.
But now let our almoner do what best he may, I doubt not
many a leper sleeps cold, and many a poor man goes lean
with hunger."
This the Sub-prior said, not because his heart was
quick with fellowship for the poor, but because he was of a
narrow and gloomy and grudging nature, and he could
conceive of no true service of God which was not one of
fasting and prayer, of fear and trembling, of joylessness and
Now you must know that the greatest of the monks and
the hermits and the holy men were not of this kind. In
their love of God they were blithe of heart, and filled with a
rare sweetness and tranquillity of soul, and they looked on
the goodly earth with deep joy, and they had a tender care
for the wild creatures of wood and water. But Thomas had
yet much to learn of the beauty of holiness.
Often in the bleak dark hours of the night he would leave
his cell and steal into the Minster, to fling himself on the
cold stones before the high altar; and there he would
remain, shivering and praying, till his strength failed him.
It happened one winter night, when the thoughts I

The Song of the Minster
have spoken of had grown very bitter in his mind, Thomas
guided his steps by the glimmer of the sanctuary lamp to
his accustomed place in the choir. Falling on his knees, he
laid himself on his face with the palms of his outstretched
hands flat on the icy pavement. And as he lay there, taking
a cruel joy in the freezing cold and the torture of his body,
he became gradually aware of a sound of far-away yet most
heavenly music.
He raised himself to his knees to listen, and to his
amazement he perceived that the whole Minster was
pervaded by a faint mysterious light, which was every
instant growing brighter and clearer. And as the light
increased the music grew louder and sweeter, and he knew
that it was within the sacred walls. But it was no mortal
The strains he heard were the minglings of angelic
instruments, and the cadences of voices of unearthly
loveliness. They seemed to proceed from the choir about
him, and from the nave and transept and aisles; from the
pictured windows and from the clerestory and from the
vaulted roofs. Under his knees he felt that the crypt was
throbbing and droning like a huge organ.
Sometimes the song came from one part of the Minster,
and then all the rest of the vast building was silent; then
the music was taken up, as it were in response, in another
part; and yet again voices and instruments would blend in
one indescribable volume of harmony, which made the huge
pile thrill and vibrate from roof to pavement.
As Thomas listened, his eyes became accustomed to the
celestial light which encompassed him, and he saw-he
could scarce credit his senses that he saw-the little carved

The Song of the Minster
angels of the oak stalls in the choir clashing their cymbals
and playing their psalteries.
He rose to his feet, bewildered and half terrified. At that
moment the mighty roll of unison ceased, and from many
parts of the church there came a concord of clear high voices,
like a warbling of silver trumpets, and Thomas heard the
words they sang. And the words were these-
Tibi ones Angeli.
Tb Thee all Angels cry aloud.

So close to him were two of these voices that Thomas
looked up to the spandrels in the choir, and he saw that it
was the carved angels leaning out of the spandrels that were
singing. And as they sang the breath came from their
stone lips white and vaporous into the frosty air.
He trembled with awe and astonishment, but the wonder
of what was happening drew him towards the altar. The
beautiful tabernacle work of the altar screen contained a
double range of niches filled with the statues of saints and
kings ; and these, he saw, were singing. He passed slowly
onward with his arms outstretched, like a blind man who
does not know the way he is treading.
The figures on the painted glass of the lancets were
The winged heads ot the baby angels over the marble
memorial slabs were singing.
The lions and griffons and mythical beasts of the finials
were singing.
The effigies of dead abbots and priors were singing on
their tombs in bay and chantry.
The figures in the frescoes on the walls were singing.

The Song of the Minster
On the painted ceiling westward of the tower the verses
of the Te Deum, inscribed in letters of gold above the
shields of kings and princes and barons, were visible in the
divine light, and the very words of these verses were singing,
like living things.
And the breath of all these as they sang turned to a smoke
as of incense in the wintry air, and floated about the high
pillars of the Minster.
Suddenly the music ceased, all save the deep organ-drone.
Then Thomas heard the marvellous antiphon repeated
in the bitter darkness outside ; and that music, he knew,
must be the response of the galleries of stone kings and
queens, of abbots and virgin martyrs, over the western
portals, and of the monstrous gargoyles along the eaves.
When the music ceased in the outer darkness, it was
taken up again in the interior of the Minster.
At last there came one stupendous united cry of all the
singers, and in that cry even the organ-drone of the crypt,
and the clamour of the brute stones of pavement and pillar, of
wall and roof, broke into words articulate. And the words
were these :
Per singulos dies, benedicimus Te.
Day by day : we magnify Thee,
And we worship Thy name : ever world without end.

As the wind of the summer changes into the sorrowful
wail of the yellowing woods, so the strains of joyous worship
changed into a wail of supplication ; and as he caught the
words, Thomas too raised his voice in wild entreaty :

Miserere nostri, Dominie, miserere nostri.
O Lord, have mercy upon us: have mercy upon us.

The Song of the Minster
And then his senses failed him, and he sank to the ground
in a long swoon.

When he came to himself all was still, and all was dark
save for the little yellow flower of light in the sanctuary
As he crept back to his cell he saw with unsealed eyes
how churlishly he had grudged God the glory of man's
genius and the service of His dumb creatures, the metal of
the hills, and the stone of the quarry, and the timber of the
forest; for now he knew that at all seasons, and whether
men heard the music or not, the ear of God was filled by
day and by night with an everlasting song from each stone
of the vast Minster :
We magnify TAee,
And we worship T/y name : ever world without end.

The Pilgrim of a Night

oo N the ancient days of faith the doors of the
churches used to be opened with the first
glimmer of the dawn in summer, and long
before the moon had set in winter; and
many a ditcher and woodcutter and plough-
man on his way to work used to enter and say a short prayer
before beginning the labour of the long day.
Now it happened that in Spain there was a farm-labourer
named Isidore, who went daily to his early prayer, whatever
the weather might be. His fellow-workmen were slothful
and careless, and they gibed and jeered at his piety, but when
they found that their mockery had no effect upon him, they
spoke spitefully of him in the hearing of the master, and
accused him of wasting in prayer the time which he should
have given to his work.
When the farmer heard of this he was displeased, and he
spoke to Isidore and bade him remember that true and
faithful service was better than any prayer that could be
uttered in words.
SMaster," replied Isidore, "what you say is true, but it
is also true that no time is ever lost in prayer. Those who

The Pilgrim of a Night
pray have God to work with them, and the ploughshare
which He guides draws as goodly and fruitful a furrow as
This the master could not deny, but he resolved to keep
a watch on Isidore's comings and goings, and early on the
morrow he went to the fields.
In the sharp air of the autumn morning he saw this one
and that one of his men sullenly following the plough behind
the oxen, and taking little joy in the work. Then,'as he
passed on to the rising ground, he heard a lark carolling
gaily in the grey sky, and in the hundred-acre where Isidore
was engaged he saw to his amazement not one plough but
three turning the hoary stubble into ruddy furrows. And
one plough was drawn by oxen and guided by Isidore, but
the two others were drawn and guided by Angels of
When next the master spoke to Isidore it was not to
reproach him, but to beg that he might be remembered in
his prayers.

Now the one great longing of Isidore's life was to visit
that hallowed and happy country beyond the sea in which
our Lord lived and died for us. He longed to gaze on the
fields in which the Shepherds heard the song of the Angels,
and to know each spot named in the Gospels. All that he
could save from his earnings Isidore hoarded up, so that one
day, before he was old, he might set out on pilgrimage to
the Holy Land. It took many years to swell the leather
bag in which he kept his treasure; and each coin told of
some pleasure, or comfort or necessary which he had denied

The Pilgrim of a Night
Now, when at length the bag was grown heavy, and
it began to appear not impossible that he might yet
have his heart's desire, there came to his door an aged
pilgrim with staff and scallop-shell, who craved food and
shelter for the night. Isidore bade him welcome, and
gave him such homely fare as he might-bread and
apples and cheese and thin wine, and satisfied his hunger
and thirst.
Long they talked together of the holy places and of the
joy of treading the sacred dust that had borne the marks of
the feet of Christ. Then the pilgrim spoke of the long and
weary journey he had yet to go, begging his way from
village to village (for his scrip was empty) till he could pre-
vail on some good mariner to give him ship-room and carry
him to the green isle of home, far away on the edge of
sunset. Thinking of those whom he had left and who
might be dead before he could return, the pilgrim wept, and
his tears so moved the heart of Isidore that he brought forth
his treasure and said :
This have I saved in the great hope that one day I
might set eyes on what thou hast beheld, and sit on the
shores of the Lake of Galilee, and gaze on the hill of
Calvary. But thy need is very great. Take it, and hasten
home (ere they be dead) to those who love thee and look for
thy coming; and if thou findest them alive bid them pray
for me."
And when they had prayed together Isidore and the
pilgrim lay down to sleep.

In the first sweet hours of the restful night Isidore
became aware that he was walking among strange fields on

The Pilgrim of a Night
a hillside, and on the top of a hill some distance away
there were the white walls and low flat-roofed houses of
a little town; and some one was speaking to him and
saying, "These are the fields in which the Shepherds
watched, and that rocky pathway leads up the slope to
At the sound of the voice Isidore hastily looked round,
and behind him was the pilgrim, and yet he knew that it
was not truly the pilgrim, but an Angel disguised in pilgrim's
weeds. And when he would have fallen at the Angel's feet,
the Angel stopped him and said, "Be not afraid ; I have
been sent to show thee all the holy places that thy heart has
longed to see."
On valley and hill and field and stream there now
shone so clear and wonderful a light that even a long way
off the very flowers by the roadside were distinctly visible.
Without effort and without weariness Isidore glided from
place to place as though it were a dream. And I cannot
tell the half of what he saw, for the Angel took him to the
village where Jesus was a little child, which is called
Nazareth, "the flower-village;" and he showed him the
River Jordan flowing through dark green woods, and
Hermon the high mountain, glittering with snow (and the
snow of that mountain is exceeding old), and the blue Lake
of Gennesareth, with its fishing-craft, and the busy town of
Capernaum on the great road to Damascus, and Nain
where Jesus watched the little children playing at funerals
and marriages in the market-place, and the wilderness where
He was with the wild beasts, and Bethany where Lazarus
lived and died and was brought to life again (and in the
fields of Bethany Isidore gathered a bunch of wild flowers),



wAtrcHot "

The Pilgrim of a Night
and Jerusalem the holy city, and Gethsemane with its aged
silver-grey olive-trees, and the hill of Calvary, where in the
darkness a great cry went up to heaven : "Why hast Thou
forsaken me ?" and the new tomb in the white rock among
the myrtles and rose-trees in the garden.
There was no place that Isidore had desired to see that
was denied to him. And in all these places he saw the
children's children of the children of those who had looked
on the face of the Saviour-men and women and little
ones-going to and fro in strangely coloured clothing, in the
manner of those who had sat down on the green grass and
been fed with bread and fishes. And at the thought of this
Isidore wept.
"Why dost thou weep ?" the Angel asked.
I weep that I was not alive to look on the face of the
Then suddenly, as though it were a dream, they were on
the sea-shore, and it was morning. And Isidore saw on
the sparkling sea a fisher-ship drifting a little way from the
shore, but there was no one in it ; and on the shore a boat
was aground ; and half on the sand and half in the wash of
the sea there were swathes of brown nets filled with a
hundred great fish which flounced and glittered in the sun ;
and on the sand there was a coal fire with fish broiling on
it, and on one side of the fire seven men-one of them
kneeling and shivering in his drenched fisher's coat-and on
the other side of the fire a benign and majestic figure, on
whom the men were gazing in great joy and awe. And
Isidore, knowing that this was the Lord, gazed too at Christ
standing there in the sun.
And this was what he beheld : a man of lofty stature and

The Pilgrim of a Night
most grave and beautiful countenance. His eyes were blue
and very brilliant, his cheeks were slightly tinged with red,
and his hair was of the ruddy golden colour of wine. From
the top of his head to his ears it was straight and without
radiance ; but from his ears to his shoulders and down his
back it fell in shining curls and clusters.
Again all was suddenly changed and Isidore and the Angel
were alone.
Thou hast seen," said the Angel; "give me thy hand so
that thou shalt not forget."
Isidore stretched out his hand, and the Angel opened it,
and turning the palm upward, struck it. Isidore groaned
with the sharp pain of the stroke, and sank into uncon-
When he awoke in the morning the sun was high in the
heavens, and the pilgrim had departed on his way. But
the hut was filled with a heavenly fragrance, and on his
bed Isidore perceived the wild flowers that he had plucked
in the fields of Bethany-red anemones and blue lupins
and yellow marigolds, with many others more sweet
and lovely than the flowers that grew in the fields of
"Then surely," he cried, "it was not merely a dream."
And looking at his hand, he saw that the palm bore
blue tracings such as one sees on the arms of wanderers
and seafaring men. These marks, Isidore learned after-
wards, were the Hebrew letters that spelt the name
As long as he lived those letters recalled to his mind all
the marvels that had been shown him. And they did more
than this, for whenever his eyes fell on them he said

The Pilgrim of a Night
"Blessed be the promise of the Lord the Redeemer of
Israel, who hath us in His care for evermore !"
Now these are the words of that promise :
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should
not have compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea, they may
forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have engraven thee
upon the palms of my hands."

The Ancient Gods Pursuing

WILL now tell of Hilary and his companions,
who came over the snowy passes of the Alps,
and carried the lamp of faith into the north ;
Sand this was in the days of the ancient gods.
Many of their shrines had Hilary overturned,
and broken their images, and cut down their sacred trees,
and defiled their wells of healing. Wherefore terrible
phantoms pursued him in his dreams, and in the darkness,
and in the haunted ways of the woods and mountains. At
one time it was the brute-god Pan, who sought to madden
him with the terror of his piping in desolate places; at
another it was the sun-god Apollo, who threatened him with
fiery arrows in the parching heat of noon ; or it was Pallas
Athene, who appeared to him in visions, and shook in his
face the Gorgon's head, which turns to stone all living
creatures who look on it. But the holy Bishop made the
sign of the cross of the Lord, and the right arm of their
power was broken, and their malice could not harm him.
The holy men traversed the mountains by that Roman
road which climbed up the icy rocks and among the snowy
peaks of the Mountain of Jove, and at sundown they came

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
to that high temple of Jove which had crowned the pass
for many centuries. The statue of the great father-god of
Rome had been hurled down the ravine into the snow-drift,
and his altar had been flung into the little wintry mere
which shivers in the pass, and his last priest had died of old
age a lifetime ago; and the temple was now but a cold harbour
for merchants and soldiers and wandering men.
Here in the freezing air the apostles rested from their
journey, but in the dead of the night Hilary was awakened
by a clamour of forlorn voices, and opening his eyes he saw
the mighty father-god of Olympus looking down upon him
with angry brows, and brandishing in his hand red flashes of
lightning. In no way daunted, the Bishop sprang to his
feet, and cried in a loud voice, In the name of Him who
was crucified, depart to your torments!" And at the
sound of that cry the colossal figure of the god wavered and
broke like a mountain cloud when it crumbles in the wind,
and glimmering shapes of goddesses and nymphs flitted past,
sighing and lamenting; and the Bishop saw no longer any-
thing but the sharp cold stars, and the white peaks and the
ridges of the mountains.
When they had descended and reached the green valleys,
they came at length to a great lake, blue and beautiful to
look upon, and here they sojourned for a while. It was a
fair and pleasant land, but the people were rude and barbarous,
and drove them away with stones when they would enter
their hamlets. So, as they needed food, Hilary bade his
companions gather berries and wild herbs, and he himself
set snares for birds, and wove a net to cast into the lake, and
made himself a raft of pine-trees, from which he might cast
it the more easily.

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
One night as he floated on this raft in the starlight, he
heard the voice of the Spirit of the Peak calling to the Spirit
of the Mere. And the Spirit of the Mere answered, Speak,
I am listening." Then the Mountain Spirit cried, Arise,
then, and come to my aid ; alone I cannot chase away these
men who are driving out all the ancient gods from their
shrines in the land." The Water Spirit answered, "Of
what avail is our strength against theirs ? Here on the
starry waters is one whose nets I cannot break, and whose
boat I cannot overturn. Without ceasing he prays, and
never are his eyes closed in slumber." Then Hilary arose
on his raft, and raising his hand to heaven cried against the
Spirit of the Peak and the Spirit of the Mere: "In the
name of Him crucified, be silent for evermore, and leave
these hills and waters to the servants of God." And these
creatures of evil were stricken dumb, and they fled in dismay,
making a great moaning and sobbing, and the dolorous sound
was as that of the wind in the pines and the water on the rocks.
Then Hilary and his companions fared away into the
north, through the Grey Waste, which is a wild and deserted
country where in the olden time vast armies had passed with
fire and sword ; and now the field had turned into wildwood
and morass, and the rich townsteads were barrows of ruins
and ashes overgrown with brambles, and had been given for
a lodging to the savage beasts. The name of this waste
was more terrible than the place, for the season was sweet
and gracious, and of birds and fish and herbs and wild honey
there was no dearth. They were now no longer harassed
by the phantoms of the ancient gods, or by the evil spirits of
the unblessed earth. Thus for many long leagues was their
journey made easy for them.

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
Now it chanced, when they had reached the further edge
of this region, that as they went one night belated along a
green riding, which in the old time had been a spacious
paved causeway between rich cities, they heard the music of
a harp, more marvellously sweet and solacing than any mortal
minstrel may make ; and sweet dream-voices sighed to them
" Follow, follow!" and they felt their feet drawn as by
enchantment ; and as they yielded to the magical power, a
soft shining filled the dusky air, and they saw that the ground
was covered with soft deep grass and brilliant flowers, and
the trees were of the colour of gold and silver. So in strange
gladness, and feeling neither hunger nor fatigue, they went
forward through the hours of the night till the dawn, wonder-
ing what angelic ministry was thus beguiling them of hard-
ship and pain. But with the first gleam of the dawn the
music ceased amid mocking laughter, the vision of lovely
woodland vanished away, and in the grey light they found
themselves on the quaking green edges of a deep and danger-
ous marsh. Hilary, when he saw this, groaned in spirit and
said: 0 dear sons, we have deserved this befooling and
misguidance, for have we not forgotten the behest of our
Master, 'Watch and pray lest ye enter into tempta-
tion' ? "
Now when after much toilsomeness they had won clear
of that foul tract of morass and quagmire, they came upon
vast herds of swine grubbing beneath the oaks, and with
them savage-looking swineherds scantily clad in skins. Still
further north they caught sight of the squalid hovels and
wood piles of charcoal burners ; and still they pursued their
way till they cleared the dense forest and beheld before them
a long range of hills blue in the distant air. Towards sun-

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
down they came on a stony moorland, rough with heather and
bracken and tufts of bent ; and when there was but one long
band of red light parting the distant land from the low sky,
they described a range of thick posts standing high and black
against the red in the heavens. As they drew near, these,
they discovered, were the huge granite pillars of a great ring
of stone and of an avenue which led up to it ; and in the
midst of the ring was a mighty flat stone borne up on three
stout pillars, so that it looked like a wondrous stone house ot
some strong folk of the beginning of days.
This, too, companions," said Hilary, is a temple of
false gods. Very ancient gods of a world gone by are
these, and it may be they have been long dead like their
worshippers, and their names are no more spoken in the
world. Further we may not go this night ; but on these
stones we shall put the sign of the blessed tree of our
redemption, and in its shelter shall we sleep."
As they slept that night in the lee of the stones Hilary
saw in a dream the place wherein they lay ; and the great
stones, he was aware, were not true stones of the rock, but
petrified trees, and'in his spirit he knew that these trees of
stone were growths of that Forbidden Tree with the fruit
of which the Serpent tempted our first mother in Paradise.
On the morrow when they rose, he strove to overthrow
the huge pillars, but to this labour their strength was not
This same day was the day of St. John, the longest in
all the year, and they travelled far, till at last in the long
afternoon they arrived in sight of a cluster of little home-
steads, clay huts thatched with bracken and fenced about
with bushes of poison-thorn, and of tilled crofts sloping

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
down the hillside to a clear river wending through the
As Hilary and his companions approached they saw that
it was a day of rejoicing and merry-making among the
people, for they were all abroad, feasting and drinking from
great mead horns in the open air, and shouting barbarous
songs to the noise of rude instruments. When it grew to
such duskiness as there may be in a midsummer night
countless fires were lit, near at hand and far away, on the
hills around ; and on the ridges above the river children ran
about with blazing brands of pine-wood, and young men
and maidens gathered at the flaming beacon. Wheels, too,
wrapped round tire and spoke with straw and flax smeared
with pine-tree gum, were set alight and sent rolling down
the hill to the river, amid wild cries and clapping of hands.
Some of the wheels went awry and were stayed among the
boulders; on some the flames died out; but there were
those which reached the river and plunged into the water
and were extinguished ; and the owners of these last deemed
themselves fortunate in their omens, for these fiery wheels
were images of the sun in heaven, and their course to the
river was the forecasting of his prosperous journey through
the year to come.
Thus these outland people held their festival, and Hilary
marvelled to see the many fires, for he had not known that
the land held so many folk. But now when it was time for
the wayfarers to cast about in their minds how and where
they should pass the night, there came to them a stranger,
a grave and seemly man clad in the manner of the Romans,
and he bowed low to them, and said : O saintly men, the
Lady Pelagia hath heard of your coming into this land, and

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
she knows that you have come to teach men the new faith,
for she is a great lady, mistress of vast demesnes, and many
messengers bring her tidings of all that happens. She bids
me greet you humbly and prevail on you to come and abide
this night in her house, which is but a little way from
Is your lady of Rome ? asked Hilary.
"From Rome she came hither," said the messenger,
"but aforetime she was of Greece, and she hath great
friendship for all wise and holy men."
The wayfarers were surprised to hear of this lady, but
they were rejoiced that, after such long wandering, there was
some one to welcome them where least they had expected
word of welcome, and they followed the messenger.
Horn lantern in hand he led them through the warm
June darkness, and on the way answered many questions as
to the folk of these parts, and their strange worship of sun
and moon and wandering light of heaven ; "but in a brief
while," he said, "all these heathen matters will be put by,
when you have taught them the new faith."
Up a gloomily wooded rise he guided them, till they
passed into the radiance of a house lit with many lamps
and cressets, and the house, they saw, was of fair marble
such as are the houses or the patricians of Rome and
many beautiful slaves, lightly clad and garlanded with roses,
brought them water in silver bowls and white linen where-
with they might cleanse themselves from the dust of their
In a little the Lady Pelagia received them and bade them
welcome, and prayed them to make her poor house their
dwelling-place while they sojourned in that waste of

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
heathendom. Then she led them to a repast which had
been made ready for them.
Of all the gracious and lovely women in the round of the
kingdoms of the earth none is, or hath been, or will be,
more marvellous in beauty or in sweetness of approach than
this lady ; and she made Hilary sit beside her, and questioned
him of the Saints in the Queen City of the world, and of
his labours and his long wanderings, and the perils through
which he and his companions had come. All the while she
spoke her starry eyes shed soft light on his face, and she
leaned towards him her lovely head and fragrant bosom,
drinking in his words with a look of longing. The com-
panions whispered among themselves that assuredly this was
rather an Angel. of Paradise than a mortal creature of the
dust of the earth, which to-day is as a flower in its desirable-
ness and to-morrow is blown about all the ways of men's
feet. Even the good Bishop felt his heart moved towards
her with a strange tenderness, so sweet was the thought
of her youth and her beauty and her goodness and
Sitting in this fashion at table and conversing, and the
talk now veering to this and now to that, the Lady Pelagia
said : "This longest of the days has been to me the most
happy, holy fathers, for it has brought you to the roof of a
sinful woman, and you have not disdained the service she
has offered you in all lowliness of heart. A long and, it
may be, a dangerous labour lies before you, for the folk or
this land are fierce and quick to violence; but here you
may ever refresh yourselves from toil and take your rest,
free from danger. No loving offices or lowly observance, no,
nor ought you desire is there that you may not have for the

I~ 'i I

~ik ;\ND-

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
asking-or without the asking, if it be given me to know
your wish unspoken."
Hilary and the brethren bowed low at these gracious
words, and thought within themselves: Of a truth this may
be a woman, but she is no less an Angel for our strength and
In the days to come," said the lady, "there will be
many things to ask and learn from you, but now ere this
summer night draws to end let me have knowledge of
divine things from thee, most holy father, for thou art wise
and canst answer all my questionings"
And Hilary smiled gravely, not ill pleased at her words of
praise, and said : "Ask, daughter."
"First tell me," she said, which of all the small things
God has made in the world is the most excellent ? "
Hilary wondered and mused, but could find no answer
and when he would have said so, the voice which came from
his lips spoke other words than those he intended to speak,
so that instead of saying "This is a question I cannot
answer," his voice said : Of all small things made by God,
most excellent is the face of man and woman; for among
all the faces of the children of Adam not any one hath ever
been wholly like any other ; and there in smallest space
God has placed all the senses of the body ; and it is in the
face that we see, as in a glass, darkly, all that can be seen of
the invisible soul within."
The companions listened marvelling, but Hilary marvelled
no less than they.
It is well answered," said the lady, and yet it seemed
to me there was one thing more excellent. But let me ask
again : What earth is nearest to heaven ? "

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
Again Hilary mused and was silent. Then, once more,
the voice which was his voice and yet spoke words which
he did not think to speak, gave the answer : The body of
Him who died on the tree to save us, for He was of our flesh,
and our flesh is earth of the earth."
"That too is well answered," said the lady, who had
grown pale and gazed on the Bishop with great gloomy
eyes; and yet I had thought of another answer. Once
more let me question you: What is the distance between
heaven and earth ? "
Then for the third time was Hilary unable to reply,
but the voice answered for him, in stern and menaceful
tones : "Who can tell us that. more certainly than Lucifer
who fell from heaven ? "
With a bitter cry the Lady Pelagia rose from her seat,
and raised her beautiful white arms above her head; but
the voice continued : Breathe on her, Hilary-breathe the
breath of the name of Christ "
And the Bishop, rising, breathed on the white lovely face
the breath of the holy name ; and in an instant the starry
eyes were darkened, and the spirit and flower of life perished
in her sweet body; and the companions saw no longer the
Lady Pelagia, but in her stead a statue of white marble.
At a glance Hilary knew it for a statue of the goddess
whom men in Rome called Venus and in Greece Aphro-
dite, and with a shudder he remembered that another of her
names was Pelagia, the Lady of the Sea. But, swifter even
than that thought, it seemed to them as though the statue
were smitten by an invisible hand, for it reeled and fell,
shattered to fragments; and the lights were extinguished,
and the air of the summer night blew upon their faces, and

The Ancient Gods Pursuing
in the east, whence cometh our hope, there was a glimmer
of dawn.
Praying fervently, and bewailing the brief joy they had
taken in the beauty of that dreadful goddess, they waited
for light to guide them from that evil place.
When the day broadened they perceived that they were
in the midst of the ruins of an ancient Roman city, over-
grown with bush and tree. Around them lay, amid beds
of nettles and great dock leaves, and darnel and tangles of
briars, and tall foxgloves and deadly nightshade, the broken
pillars of a marble temple. This had been the fair house,
lit with lamps, wherein they had sat at feast. Close beside
them were scattered the white fragments of the image of the
beautiful Temptress.
As they turned to depart three grey wolves snarled at
them from the ruins, but an unseen hand held these in
leash, and Hilary and his companions went on their way

The Dream of the White Lark

HIS was a thing that happened long and long
ago, in the glimmering morning of the
Christian time in Erinn. And it may have
happened to the holy Maedog of Ferns, or
to Enan the Angelic, or it may have been
Molasius of Devenish-I cannot say. But over the windy
sea in his small curragh of bull's hide the Saint sailed far
away to the southern land ; and for many a month he
travelled afoot through the dark forests, and the sunny
corn-lands, and over the snowy mountain horns, and along
the low shores between the olive-grey hills and the blue sea,
till at last he came in sight of a great and beautiful city
glittering on the slopes and ridges of seven hills.
What golden city may this be ? he asked of the dark-
eyed market folk whom he met on the long straight road
which led across the open country.
"It is the city of Rome," they answered him, wondering
at his ignorance. But the Saint, when he heard those
words, fell on his knees and kissed the ground.
Hail to thee, most holy city he cried ; "hail, thou
queen of the world, red with the roses of the martyrs and

The Dream of the White Lark
white with the lilies of the virgins; hail, blessed goal of
my long wandering !"
And as he entered the city his eyes were bright with joy,
and his heart seemed to lift his weary feet on wings of
There he sojourned through the autumn and the winter,
visiting all the great churches and the burial-places of the
early Christians in the Catacombs, and communing with
the good and wise men in many houses of religion. Once
he conversed with the great Pope whose name was Gregory,
and told him of his brethren in the beloved isle in the
western waters.
When once more the leaf of the fig-tree opened its five
fingers, and the silvery bud of the vine began to unfurl, the
Saint prepared to return home. And once more he went to
the mighty Pope, to take his leave and to ask a blessing for
himself and his brethren, and to beg that he might bear
away with him to the brotherhood some precious relic of
those who had shed their blood for the Cross.
As he made that request in the green shadowy garden on
the Hill Caslian, the Pope smiled, and, taking a clod of
common earth from the soil, gave it to the Saint, saying,
" Then take this with thee," and when the Saint expressed
his surprise at so strange a relic, the Servant of the Servants
of God took back the earth and crushed it in his hand, and
with amazement the Saint saw that blood began to trickle
from it between the fingers of the Pope.
Marvelling greatly, the Saint kissed the holy pontiff's
hand, and bade him farewell ; and going to and fro among
those he knew, he collected money, and, hiring a ship, he
filled it with the earth of Rome, and sailed westward

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The Dream of the White Lark
through the Midland Sea, and bent his course towards the
steadfast star in the north, and so at last reached the beloved
green island of his home.
In the little graveyard about the fair church of his
brotherhood he spread the earth which had drunk the blood
of the martyrs, so that the bodies of those who died in the
Lord might await His coming in a blessed peace.
Now it happened that but a few days after his return the
friend of his boyhood, a holy brother who had long shared
with him the companionship of the cloister, migrated from
this light, and when the last requiem had been sung and the
sacred earth had covered in the dead, the Saint wept bitterly
for the sake of the lost love and the unforgotten years.
And at night he fell asleep, still weeping for sorrow. And
in his sleep he saw, as in a dream, the grey stone church
with its round tower and the graveyard sheltered by the
woody hills ; but behold in the graveyard tall trees sprang
in lofty spires from the earth of Rome, and reached into the
highest heavens ; and these trees were like trees of green
and golden and ruddy fire, for they were red with the
blossoms of life, and every green leaf quivered with bliss,
like a green flame ; and among the trees, on a grassy sod at
their feet, sat a white lark, singing clear and loud, and he knew
that the lark was the soul of the friend of his boyhood.
As he listened to its song, he understood its unearthly
music ; and these were the words of its singing : Do not
weep any more for me ; it is pity for thy sorrow which
keeps me here on the grass. If thou wert not so unhappy
I should fly."
And when the Saint awoke his grief had fallen from him,
and he wept no more for the dead man whom he loved.

The Hermit of the Pillar

'N one of the hills near the city of Ancyra
Basil the Hermit stood day and night on
a pillar of stone forty feet high, praying and
weeping for his own sins and for the sins of
the world.
A gaunt, dark figure, far up in the blue Asian sky, he
stood there for a sign and a warning to all men that our
earthly life is short, whether for wickedness or repentance;
that the gladness and the splendour of the world are but a
fleeting pageant; that in but a little while the nations should
tremble before the coming of the Lord in His power and
majesty. Little heed did the rich and dissolute people of
that city give to his cry of doom ; and of the vast crowds
who came about the foot of his pillar, the greater number
thought but to gaze on the wonder of a day, though some
few did pitch their tents hard by, and spent the time of their
sojourn in prayer and the lamentation of hearts humbled and
Now, in the third year of his testimony, as Basil was rapt
in devotion, with hands and face uplifted to the great silent
stars, an Angel, clothed in silver and the blue-green of the

The Hermit of the Pillar
night, stood in front of him in the air, and said : "Descend
from thy pillar, and get thee away far westward ; and there
thou shalt learn what is for thy good."
Without delay or doubt Basil descended, and stole away
alone in the hush before the new day, and took the winding
ways of the hills, and thereafter went down into the low
country of the plain to seaward.
After long journeying among places and people unknown,
he crossed the running seas which part the eastern world
from the world of the west, and reached the City of the
Golden Horn, Byzantium ; and there for tour months he
lived on a pillar overlooking the city and the narrow seas,
and cried his cry ot doom and torment. At the end of the
fourth month the Angel once more came to him and bade
him descend and go further.
So with patience and constancy of soul he departed
between night and light, and pursued his way for many
months till he had got to the ancient city of Treves.
There, among the ruins of a temple of the heathen goddess
Diana, he found a vast pillar of marble still erect, and the
top of this he thought to make his home and holy watch-
tower. Wherefore he sought out the Bishop of the city and
asked his leave and blessing, and the Bishop, marvelling
greatly at his zeal and austerity, gave his consent.
The people of Treves were amazed at what they con-
sidered his madness ; but they gave him no hindrance, nor
did they molest him in any way. Indeed, in no long time
the fame of his penance was noised abroad, and multitudes
came, as they had come at Ancyra, to see with their own
eyes what there was of truth in the strange story they had
heard. Afterwards, too, many came out ot sorrow for sin

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The Hermit of the Pillar
and an ardent desire of holiness ; and others brought their
sick and maimed and afflicted, in the hope that the Hermit
might be able to cure their ailments, or give them assuage-
ment of their sufferings. Many of these, in truth, Basil
sent away cleansed and made whole by the virtue of his
touch or of the blessing he bestowed upon them.
Now, though there were many pillar-hermits in the far
eastern land, this was the first that had ever been seen in the
west, and after him there were but few others.
A strange and well-nigh incredible thing it seemed, to
look upon this man on the height of his pillar, preaching and
praying constantly, and enduring night and day the in-
clemency of the seasons and the weariness and discomfort of
his narrow standing-place. For the pillar, massive as it was,
was so narrow where the marble curved over in big acanthus
leaves at the four corners that he had not room to lie down
at length to sleep ; and indeed he slept but little, considering
slumber a waste of the time of prayer, and the dreams of
sleep so many temptations to beguile the soul into false and
fugitive pleasures. No shelter was there from the wind,
but he was bare as a stone in the field to the driving rain and
the blaze of the sun at noon ; and in winter the frost was
bitter to flesh and blood, and the snow fell like flakes of
white fire. His only clothing was a coat of sheepskin;
about his neck hung a heavy chain of iron, in token that he
was a thrall and bondsman or the Lord Christ, and each
Friday he wore an iron crown of thorns, in painful memory
of Christ's passion and His sorrowful death upon the tree.
Once a day he ate a little rye bread, and once he drank a
little water.
No man could say whether he was young or aged; and

The Hermit of the Pillar

the mother who had borne him a little babe at her bosom,
and had watched him grow to boyhood, could not have
recognized him, for he had been burnt black by the sun and
the frost, and the weather had bleached his hair and beard
till they looked like lichens on an ancient forest-tree, and
the crown of thorns had scarred his brow, and the links of
the chain had galled his neck and shoulders.
For three summers and three winters he endured this
stricken life with cheerful fortitude, counting his sufferings
as great gain if through them he might secure the crown of
celestial glory which God has woven for His elect. Re-
membering all his prayers and supplications, and the long
martyrdom of his body, it was hard for him, at times, to
resist the assurance that he must have won a golden seat
among the blessed.
For who, 0 Lord Christ he cried, with trembling
hands outstretched, and dim eyes weeping, who hath taken
up Thy cross as I have done, and the anguish of the thorns
and the nails, and the parched sorrow of Thy thirst, and the
wounding of Thy blessed body, and borne them for years
twenty and three, and shown them as I have shown them to
the sun and stars and the four winds, high up between
heaven and earth, that men might be drawn to Thee, and
carried them across the world from the outmost East to the
outmost West ? Surely, Lord God Thou hast written
my name in Thy Book of Life, and hast set for me a happy
place in the heavens. Surely, all I have and am I have
given Thee ; and all that a worm of the earth may do have
I done If in anything I have failed, show me, Lord, I
beseech Thee, wherein I have come short. If any man
there be more worthy in Thine eyes, let me, too, set eyes

The Hermit of the Pillar
upon him, that I may learn of him how I may the better
please Thee. Teach me, Lord, that which I know not,
for Thou alone knowest and art wise "
As Basil was praying thus in the hour before dawn, once
more the Angel, clothed in silver and blue-green, as though
it had been a semblance of the starry night, came to him,
and said: "Give me thy hand;" and Basil touched the
hand celestial, and the Angel drew him from his pillar, and
placed him on the ground, and said : This is that land of
the west in which thou art to learn what is for thy good.
Take for staff this piece of tree, and follow this road till
thou reaches the third milestone ; and there, in the early
light, thou shalt meet him who can instruct thee. For a
sign, thou shalt know the man by the little maid ot seven
years who helpeth him to drive the geese. But the man,
though young, may teach one who is older than he, and he
is one who is greatly pleasing in God's eyes."
The clear light was glittering on the dewy grass and the
wet bushes when Basil reached the third milestone. He
heard the distant sound as of a shepherd piping, and he saw
that the road in front of him was crowded for near upon a
quarter of a mile with a great gathering of geese-fully two
thousand they numbered-feeding in the grass and rushes,
and cackling, and hustling each other aside, and clacking
their big orange-coloured bills, as they waddled slowly
onward towards the city.
Among them walked a nut-brown little maiden of seven,
clad in a green woollen tunic, with bright flaxen hair and
innocent blue eyes, and bare brown legs, and feet shod in
shoes of hide. In her hand she carried a long hazel wand,
with which she kept in rule the large grey and white geese.

The Hermit of the Pillar

As the flock came up to the Hermit, she gazed at him
with her sweet wondering eyes, for never had she seen so
strange and awful a man as this, with his sheepskin dress
and iron chain and crown of thorns, and skin burnt black,
and bleached hair and dark brows stained with blood. For
a moment she stood still in awe and fear, but the Hermit
raised his hand, and blessed her, and smiled upon her ; and
even in that worn and disfigured face the light in the
Hermit's eyes as he smiled was tender and beautiful; and
the child ceased to fear, and passed slowly along, still gazing
at him and smiling in return.
In the rear of the great multitude of geese came a churl,
tall and young, and comely enough for all his embrowning
in the sun and wind, and his unkempt hair and rude dress.
It was he who made the music, playing on pan's-pipes to
lighten the way, and quickening with his staff the loiterers
of his flock.
When he perceived the Hermit he stayed his playing, for
he bethought him, Is not this the saintly man of whose
strange penance and miracles of healing the folk talk in
rustic huts and hamlets far scattered ? But when they drew
nigh to each other, the Hermit bowed low to the Goose-
herd, and addressed him : Give me leave to speak a little
with thee, good brother ; for an Angel of heaven hath told
me of thee, and fain would I converse with thee. Twenty
years and three have I served the King of Glory in supplica-
tion and fasting and tribulation of spirit, and yet I lack that
which thou canst teach me. Now tell me, I beseech thee,
what works, what austerities, what prayers have made thee
so acceptable to God."
A dark flush rose on the Goose-herd's cheeks as he listened,

The Hermit of the Pillar
but when he answered it was in a grave and quiet voice:
" It ill becomes an aged man to mock and jeer at the young;
nor is it more seemly that the holy should gibe at the
Dear son in Christ," said the Hermit, I do not gibe
or mock at thee. By the truth of the blessed tree I was
told of thee by an Angel in the very night which is now over
and gone, and was bidden to question thee. Wherefore be
not wrathful, but answer me truly, I beg of thy charity."
The Goose-herd shook his head. "This is a matter
beyond me," he replied. All my work, since thou askest
of my work, hath been the tending and rearing of geese and
driving them to market. From the good marsh lands at the
foot of the hills out west I drive them, and this distance is
not small, for, sleeping and resting by boulder and tree, for
five days are we on the way. Slow of foot goeth your goose
when he goeth not by water, and it profits neither master nor
herd to stint them of their green food. And all my prayer
hath been that I might get them safe to market, none miss-
ing or fallen dead by the way, and that I might sell them
speedily and at good price, and so back to the fens again.
What more is there to say ? "
In thy humility thou hidest something from me," said
the Hermit, and he fixed his eyes thoughtfully on the young
man's' face.
Nay, I have told thee all that is worth the telling."
Then hast thou always lived this life ? the Hermit
Ever since I was a small lad-such a one as the little
maid in front, and she will be in her seventh year, or it may
be a little older. Before me was my father goose-herd ; and

The Hermit of the Pillar
he taught me the windings of the journey to the city, and
the best resting-places, and the ways of geese, and the mean-
ing of their cries, and what pleaseth them and serveth flesh
and feather, and how they should be driven. And now, in
turn, I teach the child, for there be goose-girls as well as
Is she then thy young sister, or may it be that she is
thy daughter ? "
Neither young sister nor daughter is she," replied the
Herd, and yet in truth she is both sister and daughter."
Wilt thou tell me how that may be ?" asked the
"It is shortly told," said the Herd. Robbers broke
into their poor and lonely house by the roadside and slew
father and mother and left them dead, but the babe at the
breast they had not slain, and this was she."
Didst thou find her ? asked the Hermit.
Ay, on a happy day I found her ; a feeble little thing
bleating like a lambkin forlorn beside its dead dam."
And thy wife, belike, or thy mother, reared her ? "
Nay," said the Herd, for my mother was dead, and
no wife have I. I reared her myself-my little white
gooseling; and she throve and waxed strong of heart and
limb, and merry and brown of favour, as thou hast seen."
"Thou must have been thyself scantly a man in those
days," said the Hermit.
Younger than to-day," replied the Herd ; but I was
ever big of limb and plentiful of any inches."
"And hath she not been often since a burthen to thee,
and a weariness in the years ? "
"She hath been a care in the cold winter, and a sorrow in

The Hermit of the Pillar
her sickness with her teeth-for no man, I wot, can help a
small child when the teeth come through the gum, and she
can but cry ah ah and hath no words to tell what she
Why didst thou do all this? asked the Hermit.
"What hath been thy reward ? Or for what reward dost
thou look ? "
The Goose-herd gazed at him blankly for a moment;
then his face brightened. "Surely," he said, to see her as
she goes on her way, a bright, brown little living thing,
with her clear hair and glad eyes, is a goodly reward. And
a goodly reward is it to think of her growth, and to mind
me of the days when she could not walk and I bore her
whithersoever I went; and of the days when she could
but take faltering steps and was soon fain to climb into my
arms and sit upon my neck ; and of the days when we first
fared together with the geese to market and I cut her her
first hazel stick ; and in truth of all the days that she hath
been with me since I found her."
As the Goose-herd spoke the tears rose in the Hermit's
eyes and rolled slowly down his cheeks; and when the
young man ceased, he said: 0 son, now I know why
thou art so pleasing in the eyes of God. Early hast thou
learned the love which gives all and asks nothing, which
suffereth long and is ever kind, and this I have not learned.
A small thing and too common it seemed to me, but now I
see that it is holier than austerities, and availeth more than
fasting, and is the prayer of prayers. Late have I sought
thee, thou ancient truth ; late have I found thee, thou
ancient beauty; yet even in the gloaming of my days may
there still be light enough to win my way home. Fare-

The Hermit of the Pillar

well, good brother; and be God tender and pitiful to thee
as thou hast been tender and pitiful to the little child."
Farewell, holy man replied the Herd, regarding him
with a perplexed look, for the life and austerities of the
Hermit were a mystery he could not understand.
Then going on his way, he laid the pan's-pipes to his lips
and whistled a pleasant music as he strode after his geese.

Kenach's Little Woman

oo S the holy season of Lent drew nigh the Abbot
Kenach felt a longing such as a bird of passage
feels in the south when the first little silvery
buds on the willow begin here to break their
ruddy sheaths, and the bird thinks to-morrow
it will be time to fly over-seas to the land where it builds
its nest in pleasant croft or under the shelter of homely
eaves. And Kenach said, "Levabo oculos-I will lift
up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my
help ; for every year it was his custom to leave his abbey
and fare through the woods to the hermitage on the moun-
tain-side, so that he might spend the forty days of fasting
and prayer in the heart of solitude.
Now on the day which is called the Wednesday of
Ashes he set out, but first he heard the mass of remem-
brance and led his monks to the altar steps, and knelt there
in great humility to let the priest sign his forehead with a
cross of ashes. And on the forehead of each of the monks
the ashes were smeared in the form of a cross, and each time
the priest made the sign he repeated the words, Remember,
man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return."

Kenach's Little Woman
So with the ashes still on his brow and with the remem-
brance of the end of earthly days in his soul, he bent his
steps towards the hermitage ; and as he was now an aged
man and nowise strong, Diarmait, one of the younger
brethren, accompanied him in case any mischance should
They passed through the cold forest, where green there
was none, unless it were the patches of moss and the lichens
on the rugged tree-trunks and tufts of last year's grass, but
here and there the white blossoms of the snowdrops peered
out. The dead grey leaves and dry twigs crackled and
snapped under their feet with such a noise as a wood fire
makes when it is newly lighted : and that was all the
warmth they had on their wayfaring.
The short February day was closing in as they climbed
among the boulders and withered bracken on the mountain-
side, and at last reached the entrance of a cavern hollowed
in the rock and fringed with ivy. This was the hermitage.
The Abbot hung his bell on a thick ivy-bough in the
mouth of the cave ; and they knelt and recited vespers and
compline ; and thrice the Abbot struck the bell to scare
away the evil spirits of the night; and they entered and
lay down to rest.
Hard was the way of their sleeping ; tor they lay not on
wool or on down, neither on heather or bracken, nor yet on
dry leaves, but their sides came against the cold stone, and
under the head of each there was a stone for pillow. But
being weary with the long journey they slept sound, and
felt nothing of the icy mouth of the wind blowing down
the mountain-side.
Within an hour of daybreak, when the moon was set-

Kenach's Little Woman
ting, they were awakened by the wonderful singing of a
bird, and they rose for matins and strove not to listen, but
so strangely sweet was the sound in the keen moonlight
morning that they could not forbear. The moon set, and
still in the dark sang the bird, and the grey light came, and
the bird ceased ; and when it was white day they saw that
all the ground and every stalk of bracken was hoary with
frost, and every ivy-leaf was crusted white round the edge,
but within the edge it was all glossy green.
What bird is this that sings so sweet before day in the
bitter cold ? said the Abbot. "Surely no bird at all, but
an Angel from heaven waking us from the death of sleep."
"It is the blackbird, Domine Abbas," said the young
monk ; "often they sing thus in February, however cold it
may be."
O soul, 0 Diarmait, is it not wonderful that the sense-
less small creatures should praise God so sweetly in the
dark, and in the light before the dark, while we are fain to
lie warm and forget His praise ? And afterwards he said,
" Gladly could I have listened to that singing, even till
to-morrow was a day; and yet it was but the singing of a
little earth wrapped in a handful of feathers. O soul, tell
me what it must be to listen to the singing of an Angel, a
portion of heaven wrapped in the glory of God's love "
Of the forty days thirty went by, and oftentimes now,
when no wind blew, it was bright and delightsome among
the rocks, for the sun was gaining strength, and the days
were growing longer, and the brown trees were being
speckled with numberless tiny buds of white and pale green,
and wild flowers were springing between the boulders and
through the mountain turf.

Kenach's Little Woman
Hard by the cave there was a low wall of rock covered
with ivy, and as Diarmait chanced to walk near it, a brown
bird darted out from among the leaves. The young monk
looked at the place from which it had flown, and behold !
among the leaves and the hairy sinews of the ivy there was
a nest lined with grass, and in the nest there were three
eggs-pale green with reddish spots. And Diarmait knew
the bird and knew the eggs, and he told the Abbot, who
came noiselessly, and looked with a great love at the open
house and the three eggs of the mother blackbird.
Let us not walk too near, my son," he said, lest we
scare the mother from her brood, and so silence beforehand
some of the music of the cold hours before the day." And
he lifted his hand and blessed the nest and the bird, saying,
" And He shall bless thy bread and thy water." After that
it was very seldom they went near the ivy.
Now after days of clear and benign weather a shrill wind
broke out from beneath the North Star, and brought with it
snow and sleet and piercing cold. And the woods howled
for distress of the storm, and the grey stones of the mountain
chattered with discomfort. Harsh cold and sleeplessness
were their lot in the cave, and as he shivered, the Abbot
bethought him of the blackbird in her nest, and of the wet
flakes driving in between the leaves of the ivy and stinging
her brown wings and patient bosom. And lifting his head
from his pillow of stone he prayed the Lord of the elements
to have the bird in His gentle care, saying, How excellent
is Thy loving-kindness, O God therefore the children of
men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings."
Then after a little while he said, "Look out into the
night, O son, and tell me if yet the storm be abated."

Kenach's Little Woman
And Diarmait, shuddering, went to the mouth of the
cavern, and stood there gazing and calling in a low voice,
Domine Abbas My Lord Abbot My Lord
Abbot! "
Kenach rose quickly and went to him, and as they
looked out the sleet beat on their faces, but in the midst of
the storm there was a space of light, as though it were
moonshine, and the light streamed from an Angel, who
stood near the wall of rock with outspread wings, and
sheltered the blackbird's nest from the wintry blast.
And the monks gazed at the shining loveliness of the
Angel, till the wind fell and the snow ceased and the light
faded away and the sharp stars came out and the night was
Now at sundown of the day that followed, when the
Abbot was in the cave, the young monk, standing among
the rocks, saw approaching a woman who carried a child in
her arms; and crossing himself he cried aloud to her,
Come not any nearer ; turn thy face to the forest, and go
Nay," replied the woman, for we seek shelter for the
night, and food and the solace of fire for the little one."
"Go down, go down," cried Diarmait; "no woman may
come to this hermitage."
How canst thou say that, 0 monk ? said the woman.
" Was the Lord Christ any worse than thou ? Christ
came to redeem woman no less than to redeem man. Not
less did He suffer for the sake of woman than for the sake
of man. Women gave service and tendance to Him and
His Apostles. A woman it was who bore Him, else had
men been left forlorn. It was a man who betrayed Him

Kenach's Little Woman
with a kiss; a woman it was who washed His feet with
tears. It was a man who smote Him with a reed, but a
woman who broke the alabaster box of precious ointment.
It was a man who thrice denied Him; a woman stood by
His cross. It was a woman to whom He first spoke on
Easter morn, but a man thrust his hand into His side and
put his finger in the prints of the nails before he would
believe. And not less than men do women enter the
heavenly kingdom. Why then shouldst thou drive my little
child and me from thy hermitage ?"
Then Kenach, who had heard all that was said, came
forth from the cave, and blessed the woman. Well hast
thou spoken, O daughter; come, and bring the small child
with thee." And, turning to the young monk, he said, "O
soul, O son, O Diarmait, did not God send His Angel out
of high heaven to shelter the mother bird ? And was not
that, too, a little woman in feathers ? But now hasten, and
gather wood and leaves, and strike fire from the flint, and
make a hearth before the cave, that the woman may rest and
the boy have the comfort of the bright flame."
This was soon done, and by the fire sat the woman eat-
ing a little barley bread ; but the child, who had no will to
eat, came round to the old man, and held out two soft hands
to him. And the Abbot caught him up from the ground
to his breast, and kissed his golden head, saying, "God bless
thee, sweet little son, and give thee a good life and a happy,
and strength of thy small body, and, if it be His holy will,
length of glad days ; and ever mayest thou be a gladness and
deep joy to thy mother."
Then, seeing that the woman was strangely clad in an
outland garb of red and blue, and that she was tall, with a

ii kh


/ ,---"

Kenach's Little Woman
golden-hued skin and olive eyes, arched eyebrows very
black, aquiline nose, and a rosy mouth, he said, "Surely, O
daughter, thou art not of this land of Erinn in the sea, but
art come out of the great world beyond ? "
"Indeed, then, we have travelled far," replied the woman;
"as thou sayest, out of the great world beyond. And now
the twilight deepens upon us."
Thou shalt sleep safe in the cave, O daughter, but we
will rest here by the embers. My cloak of goat's hair shalt
thou have, and such dry bracken and soft bushes as may be
"There is no need," said the woman, mere shelter is
enough ;" and she added in a low voice, "Often has my
little son had no bed wherein he might lie."
Then she stretched out her arms to the boy, and once
more the little one kissed the Abbot, and as he passed by
Diarmait he put the palms of his hands against the face of
the young monk, and said laughingly, I do not think thou
hadst any ill-will to us, though thou wert rough and didst
threaten to drive us away into the woods."
And the woman lifted the boy on her arm, and rose and
went towards the cavern ; and when she was in the shadow
of the rocks she turned towards the monks beside the fire,
and said, My son bids me thank you."
They looked up, and what was their astonishment to see
a heavenly glory shining about the woman and her child in
the gloom of the cave. And in his left hand the child
carried a little golden image of the world, and round his
head was a starry radiance, and his right hand was raised in
For such a while as it takes the shadow of a cloud to run

Kenach's Little Woman
across a rippling field of corn, for so long the vision
remained; and then it melted into the darkness, even as a
rainbow melts away into the rain.
On his face fell the Abbot, weeping for joy beyond words;
but Diarmait was seized with fear and trembling till he
remembered the way in which the child had pressed warm
palms against his face and forgiven him.
The story of these things was whispered abroad, and ever
since, in that part of Erinn in the sea, the mother blackbird
is called Kenach's Little Woman.
And as for the stone on which the fire was lighted in
front of the cave, rain rises quickly from it in mist and
leaves it dry, and snow may not lie upon it, and even in the
dead of winter it is warm to touch. And to this day it is
called the Stone of Holy Companionship.

Golden Apples and Roses Red

D N the cruel days of old, when Diocletian was
the Master of the World, and the believers
in the Cross were maimed, and tortured with
fire, and torn with iron hooks, and cast to
the lions, and beheaded with the sword,
Dorothea, a beautiful maiden of Casarea, was brought
before Sapricius, the Governor of Cappadocia, and com-
manded to forsake the Lord Christ and offer incense to the
images of the false gods.
Though she was so young and so fair and tender, she
stood unmoved by threats and entreaties, and when, with
little pity on her youth and loveliness, Sapricius menaced
her with the torment of the iron bed over a slow fire, she
replied : Do with me as you will. No pain shall I fear,
so firm is my trust in Him for whom I am ready to
Who, then, is this that has won thy love ? asked the
"It is Christ Jesus, the Son of God. Slay me, and I
shall but the sooner be with Him in His Paradise, where
there is no more pain, neither sorrow, but the tears are

Golden Apples and Roses Red
wiped from all eyes, and the roses are in bloom always, and
for ever the fruit of joy is on the trees."
"Thy words are but the babbling of madness," said the
Governor angrily.
I am not mad, most noble Sapricius."
"Here, then, is the incense; sacrifice, and save thy
I will not sacrifice," replied Dorothea.
Then shalt thou die," said Sapricius; and he bade the
doomsman take her to the place of execution and strike off
her head.
Now as she was being led away from the judgment-seat,
a gay young advocate named Theophilus said to her jest-
ingly : Farewell, sweet Dorothea : when thou hast joined
thy lover, wilt thou not send me some of the fruit and roses
of his Paradise ? "
Looking gravely and gently at him, Dorothea answered :
" I will send some."
Whereupon Theophilus laughed merrily, and went his
way homeward.
At the place of execution, Dorothea begged the dooms-
man to tarry a little, and kneeling by the block, she raised
her hands to heaven and prayed earnestly. At that moment
a fair child stood beside her, holding in his hand a basket
containing three golden apples and three red roses.
"Take these to Theophilus, I pray thee," she said to the
child, "and tell him Dorothea awaits him in the Paradise
whence they came."
Then she bowed her head, and the sword of the dooms-
man fell.
Mark now what follows.


NAE, r105T-

NFFLE,AND' R05L5' FzZZ) fi '

Golden Apples and Roses Red
Theophilus, who had reached home, was still telling of
what had happened and merrily repeating his jest about the
fruit and flowers of Paradise, when suddenly, while he was
speaking, the child appeared before him with the apples and
the roses. Dorothea," he said, has sent me to thee with
these, and she awaits thee in the garden." And straight-
way the child vanished.
The fragrance of those heavenly roses filled Theophilus
with a strange pity and gladness ; and, eating of the fruit of
the Angels, he felt his heart made new within him, so that
he, also, became a servant of the Lord Jesus, and suffered
death for His name, and thus attained to the celestial
Centuries after her martyrdom, the body of Dorothea
was laid in a bronze shrine richly inlaid with gold and jewels
in the church built in her honour beyond Tiber, in the
seven-hilled city of Rome.
There it lay in the days when Waldo was a brother at
the Priory of Three Fountains, among the wooded folds of
the Taunus Hills; and every seven years the shrine was
opened that the faithful might gaze on the maiden martyr
of Caesarea.

An exceeding great love and devotion did Waldo bear
this holy virgin, whom he had chosen for his patroness, and
one of his most ardent wishes was that he might some day
visit the church beyond Tiber, and kneel by the shrine
which contained her precious relics. In summer the red
roses, in autumn the bright apples on the tree, reminded him
of her; in the spring he thought of her .youth and beauty
joyously surrendered to Christ, and the snow in winter

Golden Apples and Roses Red
spoke to him of her spotless innocence. Thus through the
round of the year the remembrance of her was present
about him in fair suggestions; and indeed had there been
any lack of these every gift of God would have recalled her
to his mind, for was not that-"Cthe gift of God"-her
name ?
Notwithstanding his youth, Waldo was ripe in learning,
well skilled in Latin and Greek, and so gifted beyond
measure in poetry and music that people said he had heard
the singing of Angels and had brought the echo of it to the
earth. His hymns and sacred songs were known and loved
all through the German land, and far beyond. The children
sang them in the processions on the high feast days, the
peasants sang them at their work in house or field, travellers
sang them as they journeyed over the long heaths and through
the mountain-forests, fishers and raftsmen sang them on
the rivers. He composed the Song of the Sickle which
cuts at a stroke the corn in its ripeness and the wild flower
in its bloom, and the Song of the Mill-wheel, with its long
creak and quick clap, and the melodious rush of water from
the buckets of the wheel, and many another which it would
take long to tell of; but that which to himself was sweetest
and dearest was Golden Apples and Roses Red, the song in
which he told the legend of St. Dorothea his patroness.

Now when Waldo was in the six-and-thirtieth year of his
age he was smitten with leprosy; and when it was found
that neither the relics of the saints, nor the prayers of holy
men, nor the skill of the physician availed to cure him, but
that it was God's will he should endure to the end, the
Prior entreated him to surrender himself to that blessed will,

Golden Apples and Roses Red
and to go forth courageously to the new life of isolation
which awaited him. For in those days it was not lawful
that a leper should abide in the companionship of men, and
he was set apart lest his malady should bring others to a
misery like his own.
Deep was the grief of the brethren of Three Fountains
when they were summoned to attend the sacred office of
emission which was to shut out Waldo for ever from inter-
course with his fellows. And well might any good heart
sorrow, for this was the order of that office.
The altar was draped in black, and Mass for the Dead was
sung; and all the things that Waldo would need in the
house of his exile, from the flint and iron which gave fire
to the harp which should give solace, were solemnly blessed
and delivered to him. Next he was warned not to approach
the dwellings of men, or to wash in running streams, or to
handle the ropes of draw-wells, or to drink from the cups of
wayside springs. He was forbidden the highways, and when
he went abroad a clapper must give token of his coming and
going. Nothing that might be used by others should he
touch except with covered hands.
When after these warnings he had been exhorted to
patience and trust in God's mercy and love, the brethren
formed a procession, with the cross going before, and led
him away to his hermitage among the wooded hills. On
a little wood-lawn, beyond a brook crossed by stepping-
stones, a hut of boughs had been prepared for him, and the
Prior bade him mark the grey boulder on the further side of
the brook, for there he would find left for him, week by
week, such provisions as he needed.
Last rite of all, the Prior entering the hut strewed over

Golden Apples and Roses Red
his bed of bracken a handful of mould from the churchyard
saying, Sis mortuus mundo-Dead be thou to the world,
but living anew to God," and turfs from the churchyard
were laid on the roof of the hut. Thus in his grey gown
and hood was Waldo committed alive to his grave, and the
brethren, chanting a requiem, returned to the Priory.
The tidings of Waldo's grievous lot travelled far and wide
through the German land, and thenceforth when his songs
were sung many a true man's heart was heavy and many a
good woman's eyes were filled with tears as they bethought
them of the poor singer in his hut among the hills. Kindly
souls brought alms and provisions and laid them on his
boulder by the brook, and oftentimes as they came and went
they sang some hymn or song he had composed, for they
said, "So best can we let him know that we remember him
and love him." Indeed, to his gentle heart the sound of
their human voices in that solitude was as the warm clasp of
a beloved hand.

When Waldo had lived there alone among the hills for
the space of two years and more, and his malady had grown
exceeding hard to bear, he was seized with a woeful longing-
such a longing as comes upon a-little child for its mother
when it has been left all alone in the house, and has gone
seeking her in all the chambers, and finds she is not there.
And as on a day he went slowly down to the boulder by the
stream in the failing light, thinking of her who had cherished
his childhood-how he had clung to her gown, how with
his little hand in hers he had run by her side, how she had
taken him on her lap and made his hurts all well with kisses,
his heart failed him, and crying aloud Mother, O mother !"

Golden Apples and Roses Red
he knelt by the boulder, and laid his head on his arms,
Then from among the trees on the further side of the
brook came a maiden running, but she paused at the stepping-
stones when she saw Waldo, and said, Was it thy voice I
heard calling Mother' ? "
The monk did not answer or move.
"Art thou Brother Waldo ? she asked.
Raising his head, he looked at her and replied, "I am
Brother Waldo."
Poor brother, I pity thee," said the maiden; "there is
no man or maid but pities thee. If thou wilt tell me of thy
mother, I will find her, even were I to travel far, and bid
her come to thee. Well I wot she will come to thee if she
For all his manhood and learning and holiness, Waldo
could not still the crying of the little child within him, and
he told the maiden of his mother, and blessed her, and asked
her name. When she answered that it was Dorothy,
"Truly," said he, "it is a fair name and gracious, and in
thy coming thou hast been a gift of God to me."
Thereupon the maiden left him, and Waldo returned to
his hut, comforted and full of hope.
After a month had gone Dorothy returned. Crossing
the stepping-stones in the clear light of the early morning,
she found Waldo meditating by the door of his hut.
I have done thy bidding, brother," she said in a gentle
voice, but alas thy mother cannot come to thee. Grieve
not too much at this, for she is with God. She must have
died about the time thou didst call for her; and well may I
believe that it was she who sent me to thee in her stead."

Golden Apples and Roses Red
The will of God be done," said Waldo, and he bowed
his head, and spoke no more for a long while; but the maiden
stood patiently awaiting till he had mastered his grief.
At length he raised his head and saw her. Art thou
not gone ? he asked. I thought thou hadst gone. Thou
art good and gentle, and I thank thee. Go now, for here
thou mayst not stay."
Nay, brother," replied Dorothy, thou hast no mother
to come to thee now, no companion or friend to minister to
thee. This is my place. Do not fear that I shall annoy
or weary thee. I shall but serve and obey thee, coming and
going at thy bidding. Truly thou art too weak and afflicted
to be left any more alone."
It may not be, dear child. Thy father and mother or
others of thy kinsfolk need thee at home."
All these have been long dead," said Dorothy, and I
am alone. Here in the wood I will find me a hollow tree,
and thou shalt but call to have me by thee, and but lift a
finger to see me no more."
Why wouldst thou do this for me ? asked Waldo,
wondering at her persistency.
Ah, brother, I know thy suffering and I love thy
"And dost thou not shudder at this horror that is upon
me, and dread lest the like befall thee too ? "
Then Dorothy laughed low and softly to herself, and
answered only so.

In this wise the maiden came to minister to the poor
recluse, and so gracious was she and humble, so prudent
and yet so tender, that in his suffering she was great solace

Golden Apples and Roses Red
to hit, bringing his food from the boulder and his drink
from the brook, cleaning his cell and freshening it with
fragrant herbs; and about the cell she made a garden of
wholesome plants and wild flowers, and all kindly service
that was within her power she did for him.
So beautiful was she and of such exceeding sweetness,
that when his eyes rested upon her, he questioned in his
mind whether she was a true woman and not an Angel sent
down to console him in his dereliction. And that doubt
perplexed and troubled him, for so little are we Angels yet
that in our aches and sorrows of the flesh it is not the
comfort of Angels but the poor human pitiful touch of the
fellow-creature that we most yearn for. Once, indeed, he
asked her fretfully, "Tell me truly in the name of God,
art thou a very woman of flesh and blood ? "
"Truly then, brother," she answered, smiling, "I am of
mortal flesh and blood even as thou art, and time shall be
when this body that thou seest will be mingled with the
dust of the earth."
"Is it then the way of women to sacrifice so much for
men as thou hast done for me ? "
It is the way of women who love well," said Dorothy.
"Then needs must I thank thy namesake and my
patroness in heaven," rejoiced Waldo.
"Yea, and is St. Dorothea thy patroness?" asked the
Waldo told her that so it was, and rapturously he spoke of
the young and beautiful saint done to death in Caesarea, and
of the fruit and flowers of Paradise which she sent to
Theophilus. "And I would," he sighed under his breath,
" that she would send such a gift to me."
8x F

Golden Apples and Roses Red
"All this I know," said Dorothy, "for I have learnt thy
song of Golden Apples and Roses Red, and 1 love it most
of all thy songs, though these be many and sung all about
the world, I think. And this I will tell thee of thy songs,
that I saw in a dream once how they were not mere words
and melody, but living things. Like the bright heads of
baby Angels were they, and they were carried on wings as it
were of rose-leaves, and they fluttered about the people who
loved them and sang them, leading them into blessed paths
and whispering to them holy and happy thoughts."
"God be blessed and praised for ever, if it be so," said
Waldo ; "but this was no more than a maiden's dream."

For two winters Dorothy ministered to the poor leper,
and during this while no one save Waldo knew of her
being in the woods, and no other man set eyes on her.
The fourth year of his exile was now drawing to a close,
and Waldo had fallen into extreme weakness by reason of
his malady, and over his face he wore a mask of grey cloth,
with two holes for his great piteous eyes. It was in the
springtide, and one night as he lay sleepless in the dark,
listening to the long murmur of the wind in the swaying
pines, he heard overhead sharp cries and trumpetings, and
the creaking and winnowing of wings innumerable.
Rising from his bed, he went out of doors, and looked
up into the dark heavens ; and high and spectral among the
clouded stars he saw the home-coming of the cranes. He
sat on the bench beside his door, and watched them sail
past in thousands, filling the night with a fleeting clamour
and eerie sounds. As he sat he mused on the strange long-
ing which brought these birds over land and sea back home,

Golden Apples and Roses Red
year by year with the returning spring, and he marvelled
that the souls of men, which are but birds of passage in
these earthly fields, should be so slow to feel that longing for
their true home-land.
That day when Dorothy came to the hut, he said to her:
It is well to be glad, for, though the air is still keen, the
spring is here. I heard the cranes returning in the
"And I too heard them; and I heard thee rejoicing,
playing on thy harp and singing."
"That could not be, sister," said Waldo, "unless in a
dream. No longer can I touch harp-string, as thou
"In truth I was awake and heard," said Dorothy ; "and
the song thou wast singing was of birds of passage, and of
the longing of exiles to go home, and of the dark where-
through we must pass, with cries and beating wings, ere we
can find our way back to our true home-land."
"Nay, it must have been a dream," said Waldo, "for as
I sat with my hands hidden in my gown I did but play an
imaginary harp, making still music in my heart, and no
song came from my lips."
The more strange that I should hear! replied
Dorothy, smiling as she went her way.

In a little while from this the poor brother felt that the
end of his martyrdom drew nigh; and as he lay feeble
and faint in the shadow of the hut (for the day was clement),
sighing for the hour of his deliverance, Dorothy came from
the woods. In her hand she carried a basket, and as she stood
over him she said, "See what I have brought for thee."

Golden Apples and Roses Red
Lifting his head weakly, and looking through the eyelets
of his grey mask, Waldo saw that the basket contained three
golden apples and three red roses, though still it was but
early days in spring. At sight of them he uttered a cry of
gladness (for all it was a cry hollow and hoarse), and strove
to rise and throw himself at her feet.
"Nay, brother," she said, "refrain ; lie still and breathe
the sweetness of the roses and taste of the fruit."
She gave him one of the apples, and putting it to his mouth
he tasted it and sighed deeply. In a moment all pain and
suffering had left him, and his spirit was light and gladsome.
His eyes too were opened, so that he knew that Dorothy
had no way deceived him, but was truly a living woman of
flesh and blood like himself. Then a heavenly peace de-
scended upon him like a refreshing dew, and he closed his
eyes for the great ease he felt.
While these things were happening, came from Three
Fountains the lay-brother who brought Waldo his pro-
visions. Crossing the brook to set his budget on the
boulder, he saw the poor recluse lying in the lee of the hut,
and Dorothy leaning over him. Wherefore he hastened
across the wood-lawn, but in an instant the fair woman
vanished before his eyes, and when he came to the hut he
saw that Waldo was dead. He carried the basket of flowers
and fruit to the Priory, and told what he had seen ; and the
Prior, marvelling greatly, came to the place and gave the
poor leper brother a blessed burial.

Now at this time a wondrous strange occurrence was the
talk of Rome.
The year wherein Waldo died was that seventh year in

Golden Apples and Roses Red
which the shrine of St. Dorothea is opened in her church
beyond Tiber ; and the day on which it is opened fell a
little while before the death of Waldo.
Behold, then, when on the vigil of that feast the priests
unlocked the shrine, the place where aforetime the holy
body of the martyr had lain was empty. Great was the
dismay, loud the lamentation, grievous the suspicion. The
custodians of the church and the shrine were seized and
cast into prison, where they lay till the day of their trial.
On the morning of that day the church of St. Dorothea
was filled with a divine fragrance, which seemed to transpire
from the empty shrine as from a celestial flower. Where-
fore once again the shrine was opened, and there, even such
as they had been seen by many of the faithful seven years
before, lay the relics of the Saint in their old resting-

Now to all poor souls God grant a no less happy end of
days than this which He vouchsafed to the poor leper-singer
Waldo of the Priory of Three Fountains.

The Seven Years of Seeking

o ERE begins the chapter of the Seven Years or
J For, trying greatly to win sight of that
blessed isle, the Earthly Paradise, the monk
Serapion and his eleven companions hoisted
sail; and for seven years they continued in that seeking,
wandering with little respite under cloud and star, in all the
ways of the sea of ocean which goeth round the world.

[Now this chapter was read of evenings in the refectory
at supper, in the winter of the Great Snow. While the
drifts without lay fathom-deep in sheltered places, and the
snow was settling on the weather-side of things in long
slopes like white pent-houses, the community listened with
rapt attention, picturing to themselves the slanting ship,
and the red sail of skins with its yellow cross in the midst,
S and the marvellous vision of vast waters, and the strange
islands. Then suddenly the Prior would strike the table,
and according to the custom the reader would close his book
with the words, "Tu autem, Domine-But do Thou, O
Lord, have mercy upon us!" and the monks would

The Seven Years of Seeking
rise, with interest still keen in the wanderings of the Sea-
Seeing that it would be of little profit to break up the
reading as the Prior was wont to break it up, I will give the
story here without pause or hindrance, as though it had all
been read in a single evening at supper, and keep my Tu
autem for the end of all. And truly it is at the end of all
that most there is need of that prayer. So without more

Serapion and his companions were, all save one, monks of
the Abbey of the Holy Face. Not the first Abbey of that
name, in the warm green woods in the western creek of
Broce-Liande, but the second, which is nearer to the sunrise.
For the site of the first Abbey was most delightful, and so
sheltered from the weary wind of the west, and so open to
the radiance of the morning, that, save it were Paradise, no
man could come at a place so gracious and delectable. There
earliest broke the land into leaf and blossom ; and there the
leaf was last to fall; and there one could not die, not even
the very aged. Wherefore, in order that the long years of
their pilgrimage might be shortened, the brethren prevailed
on the Abbot to remove to another site, nearer the spring of
the day ; and in this new house, one by one in due season,
they were caught up to the repose of the heavens, the aged
fathers dying first, as is seemly.
This then was the second Abbey of the Holy Face, and
its pleasant woods ran down to the shore of the sea. And
going east or going west, where the green billow shades into
blue water, the ships of the mariners kept passing and
repassing day after day; and their sails seemed to cast an

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