• Death is never an ending, death is a change;Death is beautiful, for death is strange;Death is one dream out of another flowing

    Conrad Aiken
  • It was gentler here, softer, its seethe the quietest of whispers, as if, in deference to a drawing room, it had quite deliberately put on its 'manners'; it kept itself out of sight, obliterated itself, but distinctly with an air of saying, 'Ah, but just wait! Wait till we are alone together! Then I will begin to tell you something new! Something white! something cold! something sleepy! something of cease, and peace, and the long bright curve of space! Tell them to go away. Banish them. Refuse to speak. Leave them, go upstairs to your room, turn out the light and get into bed - I will go with you, I will be waiting for you, I will tell you a better story than Little Kay of the Skates, or The Snow Ghost - I will surround your bed, I will close the windows, pile a deep drift against the door, so that none will ever again be able to enter. Speak to them!...' It seemed as if the little hissing voice came from a slow white spiral of falling flakes in the corner by the front window - but he could not be sure.("Silent Snow, Secret Snow")

    Conrad Aiken
  • Here too was the terrifying fixed curve of the infinite, the creeping curve of logic which at least must become the final signpost at the edge of nothing. After that - the deluge. The great white light of annihilation. The bright flash of death... ("Mr. Arcularis")

    Conrad Aiken
  • Just why it should have happened, or why it should have happened just when it did, he could not, of course, possibly have said; nor perhaps could it even have occurred to him to ask. The thing was above all a secret, something to be preciously concealed from Mother and Father; and to that very fact it owed an enormous part of its deliciousness. It was like a peculiarly beautiful trinket to be carried unmentioned in one's trouser-pocket - a rare stamp, an old coin, a few tiny gold links found trodden out of shape on the path in the park, a pebble of carnelian, a sea shell distinguishable from all others by an unusual spot or stripe-and, as if it were anyone of these, he carried around with him everywhere a warm and persistent and increasingly beautiful sense of possession. Nor was it only a sense of possession - it was also a sense of protection. It was as if, in some delightful way, his secret gave him a fortress, a wall behind which he could retreat into heavenly seclusion.("Silent Snow, Secret Snow")

    Conrad Aiken
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