I sat down beside her; she ceased to whine, and again stretched out her hand to me.
The motionless fog enveloped us both with a soporific humidity; and equally immersed in one unconscious thought, we remained there side by side, like blood-relatives.
I smile now ... but then another feeling reigned in me.
We are all children of one mother—and it pleased me that the poor little beastie should quiet down so confidingly and nestle up to me, as though to a relative.
Gracefully and quietly dost thou walk along the path of life, without tears and without smiles, barely animated by an indifferent attention.
Thou art kind and clever ... and everything is alien to thee—and no one is necessary to thee.
Thou art very beautiful—and no one can tell whether thou prizest thy beauty or not.—Thou art devoid of sympathy thyself and demandest no sympathy.
Thy gaze is profound, and not thoughtful; emptiness lies in that bright depth.
Thus do the stately shades pass by without grief and without joy in the Elysian Fields, to the dignified sounds of Gluck’s melodies.
Stay! As I now behold thee remain thou evermore in my memory!
From thy lips the last inspired sound hath burst forth—thine eyes do not gleam and flash, they are dusky, weighted with happiness, with the blissful consciousness of that beauty to which thou hast succeeded in giving expression,—of that beauty in quest of which thou stretchest forth, as it were, thy triumphant, thine exhausted hands!
What light, more delicate and pure than the sunlight, hath been diffused over all thy limbs, over the tiniest folds of thy garments?
What god, with his caressing inflatus, hath tossed back thy dishevelled curls?
His kiss burneth on thy brow, grown pale as marble!
Here it is—the open secret, the secret of poetry, of life, of love! Here it is, here it is—immortality! There is no other immortality—and no other is needed.—At this moment thou art deathless.
I will pass,—and again thou art a pinch of dust, a woman, a child.... But what is that to thee!—At this moment thou hast become loftier than all transitory, temporal things, thou hast stepped out of their sphere.—This thy moment will never end.
Stay! And let me be the sharer of thy immortality, drop into my soul the reflection of thine eternity!
I used to know a monk, a hermit, a saint. He lived on the sweetness of prayer alone,—and as he quaffed it, he knelt so long on the cold floor of the church that his legs below the knee swelled and became like posts. He had no sensation in them, he knelt—and prayed.