He watched the strange rapt woman, and he said to himself: “I must leave her alone in her rapture, her female mysteries.” So she tipped in her strange forward-swaying rhythm before the goddess. Then she broke into a murmur of Greek, which he could not understand. And, as she murmured, her swaying softly subsided, like a boat on a sea that grows still. And as he watched her, he saw her soul in its aloneness, and its female difference. He said to himself: “How different she is from me, how strangely different! She is afraid of me, and my male difference. She is getting herself naked and clear of her fear. How sensitive and softly alive she is, with a life so different from mine! How beautiful with a soft, strange courage, of life, so different from my courage of death! What a beautiful thing, like the heart of a rose, like the core of a flame. She is making herself completely penetrable. Ah! how terrible to fail her, or to trespass on her!”
She turned to him, her face glowing from the goddess. “You are Osiris, aren’t you?” she said naively.
“If you will,” he said.
“Will you let Isis discover you? Will you not take off your things?”
He looked at the woman, and lost his breath. And his wounds, and especially the death-wound through his belly, began to cry again.
“It has hurt so much!” he said. “You must forgive me if I am still held back.”
But he took off his cloak and his tunic and went naked towards the idol, his breast panting with the sudden terror of overwhelming pain, memory of overwhelming pain, and grief too bitter.
“They did me to death!” he said in excuse of himself, turning his face to her for a moment.
And she saw the ghost of the death in him as he stood there thin and stark before her, and suddenly she was terrified, and she felt robbed. She felt the shadow of the grey, grisly wing of death triumphant.