O thou who hast still a father and a mother, thank God for it, on the day when thy soul is full of joyful tears and needs a bosom whereon to shed them.
And with this embracing at a father’s grave, let this day of joy be holily concluded.
From Titan (1800)
By JEAN PAUL
TRANSLATED BY C. T. BROOKS
Half an hour after the earthquake the heavens swathed themselves in seas, and dashed them down in masses and in torrents. The naked Campagna and heath were covered with the mantle of rain. Gaspard was silent, the heavens black; the great thought stood alone in Albano that he was hastening on toward the bloody scaffold and the throne-scaffolding of humanity, the heart of a cold, dead heathen-world, the eternal Rome; and when he heard, on the Ponte Molle, that he was now going across the Tiber, then was it to him as if the past had risen from the dead, as if the stream of time ran backward and bore him with it; under the streams of heaven he heard the seven old mountain-streams, rushing and roaring, which once came down from Rome’s hills, and, with seven arms, uphove the world from its foundations. At length the constellation of the mountain city of God, that stood so broad before him, opened out into distant nights; cities, with scattered lights, lay up and down, and the bells (which to his ear were alarm-bells) sounded out the fourth hour;  when the carriage rolled through the triumphal gate of the city, the Porta del Popolo, then the moon rent her black heavens, and poured down out of the cleft clouds the splendor of a whole sky. There stood the Egyptian Obelisk of the gateway, high as the clouds, in the night, and three streets ran gleaming apart. “So,” (said Albano to himself,