Death leaned his staff against her low door and went in, and she was there, more beautiful than before, and he felt her love as a blow inside his chest. She gave him food, but he never ate, and she tried to give him water, and she said, “I am a virgin and a widow, and I want you in my bed. I want to bear your child.”
“I go to no bed, as I never sleep,” he said, “and I engender nothing, for I make no seed. If I so much as touched my lips to you, it would kill you.” He frowned at her, his face deeply lined and his eyes cold. “And what would the child of Death be?”
“Come,” she said, “you are weary; lay you down, and let me care for you.”
“I cannot rest, for I have business everywhere, but I will sit in your chair.”
“ Then I will sing to you,” she said.
Then he sat and watched her for an hour, taking in her beauty and her love as if it were food, and her singing as if it were cool water, and after an hour he got up and took his staff and started away.
“Will you not come back?” she cried.
“Perhaps, when the bracken is brown again.” But he meant never to come back, for she affected him in his heart, and the feeling troubled him.
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