TO THE LIGHTHOUSEstare over bed and wall in the darkness of winter,looked with equanimity at the thistle and theswallow, the rat and the straw. Nothing now with-stood them; nothing said no to them. Let the windblow; let the poppy seed itself and the carnationmate with the cabbage. Let the swallow build inthe drawing-room, and the thistle thrust aside thetiles, and the butterfly sun itself on the faded chintzof the arm-chairs. Let the broken glass and thechina lie out on the lawn and be tangled over withgrass and wild berries.

For now had come that moment, that hesitationwhen dawn trembles and night pauses, when if afeather alight in the scale it will be weighed down.One feather, and the house, sinking, falling, wouldhave turned and pitched downwards to the depthsof darkness. In the ruined room, picnickers wouldhave lit their kettles; lovers sought shelter there,lying on the bare boards; and the shepherd storedhis dinner on the bricks, and the tramp slept withhis coat round him to ward off the cold. Then theroof would have fallen; briars and hemlocks wouldhave blotted out path, step, and window; wouldhave grown, unequally but lustily over the mound,until some trespasser, losing his way, could havetold only by a red-hot poker among the nettles,208
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