Life’s Gifts(from Dreams: 1890)
I saw a woman sleeping. In her sleep she dreamt Life stood before her, and held in each hand a gift—in the one Love, in the other Freedom. And she said to the woman, “Choose!”
And the woman waited long: and she said, “Freedom!”
And Life said, “Thou hast well chosen. If thou hadst said, ‘Love,’ I would have given Thee that thou didst ask for; and I would have gone from thee, and returned to thee no more. Now, the day will come when I shall return. In that day I shall bear both gifts in one hand.”
I heard the woman laugh in her sleep.
Olive Schreiner (1855-1920)
South African author, poet and political campaigner