The lake was a blue jewel that had been broken by the sunlight into infinitely sequined brass. He had to shield his eyes because its surface had become a hundred million little flares. Though the light hurt him, he could not turn away from what he saw. Thousands of cloud-white swans were rising on a column of blue air. They made a rotating pillar that stood on the fire of the lake, and, hardly moving their wide wings, they ascended the morning air in a gorgeous spiral at the top of which was nothing less than the sun itself. . .