The Divine Forges




... AT LEAST I dreamed, and thus:

The skies to the west beyond the seas were not built of flushed clouds, but of transparent flame. These flames rose in solemn stillness above a vast forge, whose anvil was the shining breast of the sea. Three great Spirits stood by it, and one lifted a soul out of the deep shadow that was below; and one with his hands forged the soul of its dross and welded it anew; and the third breathed upon it, so that it was winged and beautiful. Suddenly the glory-cloud waned, and I saw the multitude of the stars. Each star was the gate of a long, shining road. Many - a countless number - travelled these roads. Far off I saw white walls, built of the pale gold and ivory of sunrise. There again I saw three Spirits, standing and waiting. So these, I thought, were not the walls of Heaven, but the Divine Forges. That was my dream. When I awaked, the curlews were crying under the stars.

When I reached the shadowy glebe, behind the manse by the sea, I saw the preacher walking there by himself, and doubtless praying. I told him that I had seen the Divine Forges, and twice; and in crude, childish words told how I had seen them.

»It was not a dream«, he said.

I know now what he meant.

Fiona MacLoud
(= William Sharp, 1855-1905)

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