Among the many years not one was his.
This man, the supremest creative genius the world has known, accused himself of having wasted his life.
No song of praise ever rose to the Deity from Michelangelo’s heart, as it did at least once or twice during his lifetime from the heart of Beethoven. He never had one hour of true inward peace. He represents the metaphysical world-feeling which (in addition to love) is the foundation of the deification of woman, but it has grown into immensity, and has been lifted to a higher plane; not only love, but all life is felt as fragmentary and pointing to a world beyond. If at an earlier stage it was the love of woman which could not find its consummation on earth, it is now the whole of our earthly life and all our aspirations which can only attain to their highest meaning and to final truth in a metaphysical existence. The tragedy of metaphysical love has deepened into the supreme tragedy of life.
 The quotations from Faust are from the translation of Anna Swanwick.
 The quotations from the Divine Comedy are from the translation of Henry Francis Cary.
 The quotations from Tasso are from the translation of Anna Swanwick.
PERVERSIONS OF METAPHYSICAL EROTICISM
(a) The Brides of Christ
Hitherto I have confined myself to the analysis of the emotional life of man, but there are two other points which must be taken into account. The first is the question of woman’s attitude towards the lofty position assigned to her by man; the second and more important one is the question as to whether the women of that period exhibit in their emotional life any traces of a feeling akin to the deification of their sex? The reply to the first question is simple enough. Naturally the adoration and worship of their lovers could not have been anything but pleasant to women. There is a poem by the talented Provencal Countess Beatrix de Die, which betrays genuine sorrow at the infidelity of her friend, and at the same time leaves no doubt that she—and probably a great many others—took the eulogies showered upon them by the enraptured poets, literally. Once again woman accepts the position thrust upon her by man, not this time the position of a drudge, but that of a perfect and godlike being. Countess Beatrix credits herself with all the qualities with which the imagination of her worshipper had endowed her, as if they were unquestionable facts.
Hence all my songs will
be with sadness fraught.
My lover fills my soul with bitter woe,
And yet is all the happiness I know.
My grace and favour all avail me naught.
My sparkling wit, my loveliness supreme,
They cannot hold his love and tender thought,
Of all my lofty worth bereft I seem.