The Trespasser (Chapter 8, page 2 of 5)


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Chapter 8

At seven o'clock in the morning Helena lay in the deliciously cool
water, while small waves ran up the beach full and clear and foamless,
continuing perfectly in their flicker the rhythm of the night's passion.
Nothing, she felt, had ever been so delightful as this cool water
running over her. She lay and looked out on the shining sea. All things,
it seemed, were made of sunshine more or less soiled. The cliffs rose
out of the shining waves like clouds of strong, fine texture, and rocks
along the shore were the dapplings of a bright dawn. The coarseness was
fused out of the world, so that sunlight showed in the veins of the
morning cliffs and the rocks. Yea, everything ran with sunshine, as we
are full of blood, and plants are tissued from green-gold, glistening
sap. Substance and solidity were shadows that the morning cast round
itself to make itself tangible: as she herself was a shadow, cast by
that fragment of sunshine, her soul, over its inefficiency.

She remembered to have seen the bats flying low over a burnished pool at
sunset, and the web of their wings had burned in scarlet flickers, as
they stretched across the light. Winged momentarily on bits of tissued
flame, threaded with blood, the bats had flickered a secret to her.

Now the cliffs were like wings uplifted, and the morning was coming
dimly through them. She felt the wings of all the world upraised against
the morning in a flashing, multitudinous flight. The world itself was
flying. Sunlight poured on the large round world till she fancied it a
heavy bee humming on its iridescent atmosphere across a vast air
of sunshine.

She lay and rode the fine journey. Sunlight liquid in the water made the
waves heavy, golden, and rich with a velvety coolness like cowslips. Her
feet fluttered in the shadowy underwater. Her breast came out bright as
the breast of a white bird.

Where was Siegmund? she wondered. He also was somewhere among the sea
and the sunshine, white and playing like a bird, shining like a vivid,
restless speck of sunlight. She struck the water, smiling, feeling along
with him. They two were the owners of this morning, as a pair of wild,
large birds inhabiting an empty sea.

Siegmund had found a white cave welling with green water, brilliant and
full of life as mounting sap. The white rock glimmered through the
water, and soon Siegmund shimmered also in the living green of the sea,
like pale flowers trembling upward.

'The water,' said Siegmund, 'is as full of life as I am,' and he pressed
forward his breast against it. He swam very well that morning; he had
more wilful life than the sea, so he mastered it laughingly with his
arms, feeling a delight in his triumph over the waves. Venturing
recklessly in his new pride, he swam round the corner of the rock,
through an archway, lofty and spacious, into a passage where the water
ran like a flood of green light over the skin-white bottom. Suddenly he
emerged in the brilliant daylight of the next tiny scoop of a bay.

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