“If you were less pretty I think I should be very much afraid of you”
—Joseph Sheridan le Fanu, Carmilla
- Who’s afraid of Mr. Greedy
- “Here, she is willing. Stands the Absolute Reaching its arms toward me. I am mute, I draw toward. Oh, suddenly I see The treason-pledge, the royal prostitute. One moment, and I should have passed beyond Linked unto spirit by the fourfold bond. Not dead to earth, but living as divine, A priest, a king, an oracle, a shrine, A saviour! Yet my misty spirit conned The secret murmur: ‘Gereth, I am thine!'”
- "We need not be afraid of an armistice; time is on our side, not theirs."
- “‘Went your glance back–encountering my wife?’ ‘Taunt me!’ I cried; ‘I will not be afraid!’ My whole soul weary of the coward strife. He seemed to see no opening I gave, But hated me the more. Serene and suave, He fenced with deep contempt. I stumble, slip, Guard wide–and only move his upper lip.”
- “The king was silent. None of us would stir. I sat, struck dumb, a living sepulchre. For–hear me! in my heart this thing became My sacrament, my pentecostal flame. And with it grew a fear–a fear of Her. What Her? Shame had not found itself a name. Simply I knew it in myself. I brood Ten years–so seemed it–O! the bitter food In my mouth nauseate! In the silent hall One might have heard God’s sparrow in its fall. But I was lost in mine own solitude– I should not hear Mikhael’s trumpet-call. Yet there did grow a clamour shrill and loud: One cursed, one crossed himself, another vowed His soul against the quest; the tumult ran Indecorous in that presence, man to man. Stilled suddenly, beholding how I bowed My soul in thought: another cry began. ‘Gereth the dauntless! Gereth of the Sea! Gereth the loyal! Child of royalty! witch-mothered Gereth! Sword above the strong, heart pure, head many-wiled!’ The knightly throng Clamour my name, and flattering words, to me– If they may ‘scape the quest–I do them wrong; They are my friends! Yet something terrible Rings in the manly music that they swell. They are all caught in this immense desire Deeper than heaven, tameless as the fire. All catch the fear–the fear of Her–as well, And dare not–even afraid, I must aspire.”