Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“And that date, too, is far off?'

'Far off; when it comes, think your end in this world is at hand!'

'How and what is the end? Look east, west, south and north.'

'In the north, where you never yet trod, towards the point whence your instincts have warned you, there a spectre will seize you. 'Tis Death! I see a ship - it is haunted - 'tis chased - it sails on. Baffled navies sail after that ship. It enters the regions of ice. It passes a sky red with meteors. Two moons stand on high, over ice-reefs. I see the ship locked between white defiles - they are ice-rocks. I see the dead strew the decks - stark and livid, green mold on their limbs. All are dead, but one man - it is you! But years, though so slowly they come, have then scathed you. There is the coming of age on your brow, and the will is relaxed in the cells of the brain. Still that will, though enfeebled, exceeds all that man knew before you, through the will you live on, gnawed with famine; and nature no longer obeys you in that death-spreading region; the sky is a sky of iron, and the air has iron clamps, and the ice-rocks wedge in the ship. Hark how it cracks and groans. Ice will imbed it as amber imbeds a straw. And a man has gone forth, living yet, from the ship and its dead; and he has clambered up the spikes of an iceberg, and the two moons gaze down on his form. That man is yourself; and terror is on you - terror; and terror has swallowed your will. And I see swarming up the steep ice-rock, grey grisly things. The bears of the north have scented their quarry - they come near you and nearer, shambling and rolling their bulk, and in that day every moment shall seem to you longer than the centuries through which you have passed. And heed this - after life, moments continued make the bliss or the hell of eternity.'

'Hush,' said the whisper; 'but the day, you assure me, is far off - very far! I go back to the almond and rose of Damascus! - sleep!' ("The House And The Brain”


Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Reign of Terror Volume 2: Great Victorian Horror Stories
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