Dream Tales and Prose Poems/Poems in Prose/The Stone

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Have you seen an old grey stone on the seashore, when at high tide, on a sunny day of spring, the living waves break upon it on all sides—break and frolic and caress it—and sprinkle over its sea-mossed head the scattered pearls of sparkling foam?

The stone is still the same stone; but its sullen surface blossoms out into bright colours. They tell of those far-off days when the molten granite had but begun to harden, and was all aglow with the hues of fire.

Even so of late was my old heart surrounded, broken in upon by a rush of fresh girls' souls . . . and under their caressing touch it flushed with long-faded colours, the traces of burnt-out fires!

The waves have ebbed back . . . but the colours are not yet dull, though a cutting wind is drying them.

May 1879.