The White Tower Prologue Part 3: The Pale Woman

Colourless fool!

Did you think your prince would run to you
when your dark eyes gleamed from the shadow?
Did you think he looked to you for assistance?
His heart longs for something you cannot give him
Can you look on the world and tell him it is fair?

I sing for him visions of grandeur and peace
I desire his grace and his powerful strength
He gives me freely his youth in exchange
I dance him in dizzying, ever-widening circles
I redraw the lines in the ways he desires.

He does not want your tepid, common joys
To struggle for knowledge, or suffer despair
He seeks a wider horizon, which only I can give
My doors are not locked, he comes to me willingly
It is he who holds himself in my embrace.

He would stay to see the things you will not see
I can show him visions that overpower pain
You could dream with him of wonder and power
listen to the song of lethe and sleep as well
Your beauty would serve just as well as his

Come nearer, for he loves me dearly
Join him in this splendid ecstasy

Why are you still waiting?
Of what are you thinking,
you coward of midnight,
Where is your pride?

It is for me he dreams
And plans and hopes
For me he longs
and cries aloud

You will not take him away; I will consume him,
His soul and strength will become one with mine
(You cannot take him if he does not desire to go)
When he is empty you may have what I leave behind.

Will you take your white prince even then?
If I cast him down to you an empty shell?

If you wait until the bitter end
Then your heart must bear the burden
If you gamble with the dragon
You must be prepared to lose

However fierce the battle
when everything is done
your own sublime foolishness
will carry you away.

For love is as strong as death.




"That is not a good ending," said the boy, "it does not tell what happened to the prince in the end. Or the woman who waited."


"It is the end of the song" said the man, "but it is not the end of the story. I think the song was made before the story ended. And the White Lady did not see everything that could happen. The prince did stay with the White Lady for a long time, but eventually he had nothing left to give her. So she had no more use for him, and she cast him out. But the pale woman (who was actually a princess) was still there, so when the White Lady cast him out she did catch him, and warm him back to life. It was not easy though; he was very near death. She took him to a house by the sea to nurse him back to health again.

But he had stayed away so long that everyone else thought he was gone forever. His father appointed his brother as heir to the throne instead. So when he had recovered he stayed in the house by the sea, and kept sheep and grew an orchard. With the pale woman who loved him, of course, she was his wife. But much of their strength was gone and they grew old quickly."


"I do not know if that is a good ending or not."


"Neither do I. But that is how the story goes. And other things happened after that. Like most stories, it did not know when to stop and kept going on after the end.

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