Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/253

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247
THE LILY'S QUEST.

to do, save to babble merrily and disport itself, and make every living soul its playfellow, and throw the sunny gleams of its spirit upon all.

'Here, here is the spot!' cried the two lovers with one voice, as they reached a level space on the brink of a small cascade. 'This glen was made on purpose for our Temple!

'And the glad song of the brook will be always in our ears,' said Lilias Fay.'

'And its long melody shall sing the bliss of our lifetime,' said Adam Forrester.

'Ye must build no Temple here!' murmured their dismal companion.

And there again was the old lunatic, standing just on the spot where they meant to rear their lightsome dome, and looking like the embodied symbol of some great woe, that, in forgotten days, had happened there. And, alas! there had been woe, nor that alone. A young man, more than a hundred years before, had lured hither a girl that loved him, and on this spot had murdered her, and washed his bloody hands in the stream which sang so merrily. And ever since, the victim's death shrieks were often heard to echo between the cliffs.

'And see!' cried old Gascoigne, 'is the stream yet pure from the stain of the murderer's hands?'

'Methinks it has a tinge of blood,' faintly answered the Lily; and being as slight as the gossamer, she trembled and clung to her lover's arm, whispering, 'let us flee from this dreadful vale!'

'Come, then,' said Adam Forrester, as cheerily as he could; 'we shall soon find a happier spot.'