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The Thread of Gold   By: (1862-1925)

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THE THREAD OF GOLD

BY ARTHUR CHRISTOPHER BENSON

FELLOW OF MAGDALENE COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

AUTHOR OF "THE HOUSE OF QUIET"

Quem locum nĂ´sti mihi destinatum? Quo meos gressus regis?

LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W

1912

FIRST EDITION, . . . . . . . . . . November 1905 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . November 1905 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . January 1906 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . October 1906 SECOND EDITION, . . . . . . . . . December 1906 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . January 1907 THIRD EDITION, . . . . . . . . . . October 1907 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . November 1907 FOURTH EDITION (1/ net) . . . . . May 1910 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . October 1910 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . January 1911 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1911 Reprinted, . . . . . . . . . . . . July 1912

[Transcriber's note: The source book had no Table of Contents and its chapters were numbered only, not titled. However, its pages had running headers which changed with each chapter. Those headers have been converted to chapter titles, and collected here as the Table of Contents.]

CONTENTS

Preface Introduction (1906) Introduction I. The Red Spring II. The Deserted Shrine, The Manor House III. Leucocholy IV. The Flower V. The Fens VI. The Well and the Chapel VII. The Cuckoo VIII. Spring time IX. The Hare X. The Diplodocus XI. The Beetle XII. The Farm yard XIII. The Artist XIV. Young Love XV. A Strange Gathering XVI. The Cripple XVII. Oxford XVIII. Authorship XIX. Hamlet XX. A Sealed Spirit XXI. Leisure XXII. The Pleasures of Work XXIII. The Abbey XXIV. Wordsworth XXV. Dorsetshire XXVI. Portland XXVII. Canterbury Tower XXVIII. Prayer XXIX. The Death bed of Jacob XXX. By the Sea of Galilee XXXI. The Apocalypse XXXII. The Statue XXXIII. The Mystery of Suffering XXXIV. Music XXXV. The Faith of Christ XXXVI. The Mystery of Evil XXXVII. Renewal XXXVIII. The Secret XXXIX. The Message XL. After Death XLI. The Eternal Will XLII. Until the Time Conclusion

PREFACE

I sate to day, in a pleasant hour, at a place called The Seven Springs , high up in a green valley of the Cotswold hills. Close beside the road, seven clear rills ripple out into a small pool, and the air is musical with the sound of running water. Above me, in a little thicket, a full fed thrush sent out one long drawn cadence after another, in the joy of his heart, while the lengthening shadows of bush and tree crept softly over the pale sward of the old pasture lands, in the westering light of the calm afternoon.

These springs are the highest head waters of the Thames , and that fact is stated in a somewhat stilted Latin hexameter carved on a stone of the wall beside the pool. The so called Thames head is in a meadow down below Cirencester , where a deliberate engine pumps up, from a hidden well, thousands of gallons a day of the purest water, which begins the service of man at once by helping to swell the scanty flow of the Thames and Severn Canal . But The Seven Springs are the highest hill fount of Father Thames for all that, streaming as they do from the eastward ridge of the great oolite crest of the downs that overhang Cheltenham . As soon as those rills are big enough to form a stream, the gathering of waters is known as the Churn , which, speeding down by Rendcomb with its ancient oaks, and Cerney , in a green elbow of the valley, join the Thames at Cricklade .

It was of the essence of poetry to feel that the water drops which thus babbled out at my feet in the spring sunshine would be moving, how many days hence, beside the green playing fields at Eton , scattered, diminished, travel worn, polluted; but still, under night and stars, through the sunny river reaches, through hamlet and city, by water meadow or wharf, the same and no other... Continue reading book >>




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