Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/251

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245
THE LILY'S QUEST.

It was indeed a delightful spot of earth, though undistinguished by any very prominent beauties, being merely a nook in the shelter of a hill, with the prospect of a distant lake in one direction, and of a church spire in another. There were vistas and pathways, leading onward and onward into the green woodlands, and vanishing away in the glimmering shade. The Temple, if erected here, would look towards the west: so that the lovers could shape all sorts of magnificent dreams out of the purple, violet, and gold of the sunset sky; and few of their anticipated pleasures were dearer than this sport of fantasy.

'Yes,' said Adam Forrester, 'we might seek all day, and find no lovelier spot. We will build our Temple here.'

But their sad old companion, who had taken his stand on the very site which they proposed to cover with a marble floor, shook his head and frowned; and the young man and the Lily deemed it almost enough to blight the spot, and desecrate it for their airy Temple, that his dismal figure had thrown its shadow there. He pointed to some scattered stones, the remnants of a former structure, and to flowers such as young girls delight to nurse in their gardens, but which had now relapsed into the wild simplicity of nature.

'Not here!' cried old Walter Gascoigne. 'Here, long ago, other mortals built their Temple of Happiness. Seek another site for yours!'

'What!' exclaimed Lilias Fay. 'Have any ever planned such a Temple, save ourselves?'

'Poor child!' said her gloomy kinsman. 'In one