Thus does the woman’s heart in my ardent breast feel, when I am allowed to be as I am. It longs only for your longing, and is peaceful where you find peace.
Life itself, the delicate child of the gods, is crowded out by the hard, loud preparations for living, and is pitifully stifled in the loving embrace of apelike Care.
To have purposes, to carry out purposes, to interweave purposes artfully with purposes for a purpose: this habit is so deeply rooted in the foolish nature of godlike man, that if once he wishes to move freely, without any purpose, on the inner stream of ever-flowing images and feelings, he must actually resolve to do it and make it a set purpose.
It is the acme of intelligence to keep silent from choice, to surrender the soul to the fantasy, and not to disturb the sweet dallyings of the young mother with her child. But rarely is the mind so intelligent after the golden age of its innocence. It would fain possess the soul alone; and even when she supposes herself alone with her natural love, the understanding listens furtively and substitutes for the holy child’s-play mere memories of former purposes or prospects of new ones. Yes, it even continues to give to the hollow, cold illusions a tinge of color and a fleeting heat; and thus by its imitative skill it tries to steal from the innocent fantasy its very innermost being.
But the youthful soul does not allow itself to be cheated by the cunning of the prematurely old Understanding, and is always watching while its darling plays with the beautiful pictures of the beautiful world. Willingly she allows her brow to be adorned with the wreaths which the child plaits from the blossoms of life, and willingly she sinks into waking slumber, dreaming of the music of love, hearing the friendly and mysterious voices of the gods, like the separate sounds of a distant romance.
Old, well-known feelings make music from the depths of the past and the future. They touch the listening spirit but lightly, and quickly lose themselves in the background of hushed music and dim love. Every one lives and loves, complains and rejoices, in beautiful confusion. Here at a noisy feast the lips of all the joyful guests open in general song, and there the lonely maiden becomes mute in the presence of the friend in whom she would fain confide, and with smiling mouth refuses the kiss. Thoughtfully I strew flowers on the grave of the prematurely dead son, flowers which presently, full of joy and hope, I offer to the bride of the beloved brother; while the high priestess beckons to me and holds out her hand for a solemn covenant to swear by the pure eternal fire eternal purity and never-dying enthusiasm. I hasten away from the altar and the priestess to seize my sword and plunge with the host of heroes into a battle, which I soon forget, seeing in the deepest solitude only the sky and myself.