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Fifty-one Tales, by Lord Dunsany, [1915], at


"The swans are singing again," said to one another the gods. And looking downwards, for my dreams had taken me to some fair and far Valhalla, I saw below me an iridescent bubble not greatly larger than a star shine beautifully but faintly, and up and up from it looking larger and larger came a flock of white, innumerable swans, singing and singing and singing, till it seemed as though even the gods were wild ships swimming in music.

"What is it?" I said to one that was humble among the gods.

"Only a world has ended," he said to me, "and the swans are coming back to the gods returning the gift of song."

"A whole world dead!" I said.

"Dead," said he that was humble among the gods. "The worlds are not for ever; only song is immortal."

"Look! Look!" he said. "There will be a new one soon."

And I looked and saw the larks, going down from the gods.

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