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The Celestial Globes

From: The House On The Borderland

For a while, many thoughts crowded my mind, so that I was unable to do
aught, save stare, blindly, before me. I seemed whelmed in a sea of
doubt and wonder and sorrowful remembrance.

It was later, that I came out of my bewilderment. I looked about,
dazedly. Thus, I saw so extraordinary a sight that, for a while, I could
scarcely believe I was not still wrapped in the visionary tumult of my
own thoughts. Out of the reigning green, had grown a boundless river of
softly shimmering globes--each one enfolded in a wondrous fleece of pure
cloud. They reached, both above and below me, to an unknown distance;
and, not only hid the shining of the Green Sun; but supplied, in place
thereof, a tender glow of light, that suffused itself around me, like
unto nothing I have ever seen, before or since.

In a little, I noticed that there was about these spheres, a sort of
transparency, almost as though they were formed of clouded crystal,
within which burned a radiance--gentle and subdued. They moved on, past
me, continually, floating onward at no great speed; but rather as
though they had eternity before them. A great while, I watched, and
could perceive no end to them. At times, I seemed to distinguish faces,
amid the cloudiness; but strangely indistinct, as though partly real,
and partly formed of the mistiness through which they showed.

For a long time, I waited, passively, with a sense of growing content.
I had no longer that feeling of unutterable loneliness; but felt,
rather, that I was less alone, than I had been for kalpas of years. This
feeling of contentment, increased, so that I would have been satisfied
to float in company with those celestial globules, forever.

Ages slipped by, and I saw the shadowy faces, with increased frequency,
also with greater plainness. Whether this was due to my soul having
become more attuned to its surroundings, I cannot tell--probably it was
so. But, however this may be, I am assured now, only of the fact that I
became steadily more conscious of a new mystery about me, telling me
that I had, indeed, penetrated within the borderland of some
unthought-of region--some subtle, intangible place, or form, of

The enormous stream of luminous spheres continued to pass me, at an
unvarying rate--countless millions; and still they came, showing no
signs of ending, nor even diminishing.

Then, as I was borne, silently, upon the unbuoying ether, I felt a
sudden, irresistible, forward movement, toward one of the passing
globes. An instant, and I was beside it. Then, I slid through, into the
interior, without experiencing the least resistance, of any description.
For a short while, I could see nothing; and waited, curiously.

All at once, I became aware that a sound broke the inconceivable
stillness. It was like the murmur of a great sea at calm--a sea
breathing in its sleep. Gradually, the mist that obscured my sight,
began to thin away; and so, in time, my vision dwelt once again upon the
silent surface of the Sea of Sleep.

For a little, I gazed, and could scarcely believe I saw aright. I
glanced 'round. There was the great globe of pale fire, swimming, as I
had seen it before, a short distance above the dim horizon. To my left,
far across the sea, I discovered, presently, a faint line, as of thin
haze, which I guessed to be the shore, where my Love and I had met,
during those wonderful periods of soul-wandering, that had been granted
to me in the old earth days.

Another, a troubled, memory came to me--of the Formless Thing that had
haunted the shores of the Sea of Sleep. The guardian of that silent,
echoless place. These, and other, details, I remembered, and knew,
without doubt that I was looking out upon that same sea. With the
assurance, I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of surprise, and
joy, and shaken expectancy, conceiving it possible that I was about to
see my Love, again. Intently, I gazed around; but could catch no sight
of her. At that, for a little, I felt hopeless. Fervently, I prayed, and
ever peered, anxiously.... How still was the sea!

Down, far beneath me, I could see the many trails of changeful fire,
that had drawn my attention, formerly. Vaguely, I wondered what caused
them; also, I remembered that I had intended to ask my dear One about
them, as well as many other matters--and I had been forced to leave her,
before the half that I had wished to say, was said.

My thoughts came back with a leap. I was conscious that something had
touched me. I turned quickly. God, Thou wert indeed gracious--it was
She! She looked up into my eyes, with an eager longing, and I looked
down to her, with all my soul. I should like to have held her; but the
glorious purity of her face, kept me afar. Then, out of the winding
mist, she put her dear arms. Her whisper came to me, soft as the rustle
of a passing cloud. 'Dearest!' she said. That was all; but I had heard,
and, in a moment I held her to me--as I prayed--forever.

In a little, she spoke of many things, and I listened. Willingly, would
I have done so through all the ages that are to come. At times, I
whispered back, and my whispers brought to her spirit face, once more,
an indescribably delicate tint--the bloom of love. Later, I spoke more
freely, and to each word she listened, and made answer, delightfully; so
that, already, I was in Paradise.

She and I; and nothing, save the silent, spacious void to see us; and
only the quiet waters of the Sea of Sleep to hear us.

Long before, the floating multitude of cloud-enfolded spheres had
vanished into nothingness. Thus, we looked upon the face of the
slumberous deeps, and were alone. Alone, God, I would be thus alone in
the hereafter, and yet be never lonely! I had her, and, greater than
this, she had me. Aye, aeon-aged me; and on this thought, and some
others, I hope to exist through the few remaining years that may yet lie
between us.

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