“Another!—my memory echoes back that word. Another! Dost thou mean that I shall see thee no more? It is not sadness,—it is not despair that seizes me. I cannot weep. It is an utter sense of desolation. I am plunged back into the common life; and I shudder coldly at the solitude. But I will obey thee, if thou wilt. Shall I not see thee again beyond the grave? O how sweet it were to die!
“Why do I not struggle from the web in which my will is thus entangled? Hast thou a right to dispose of me thus? Give me back—give me back the life I knew before I gave life itself away to thee. Give me back the careless dreams of my youth,—–my liberty of heart that sung aloud as it walked the earth. Thou hast disenchanted me of everything that is not of thyself. Where was the sin, at least, to think of thee,—to see thee? Thy kiss still glows upon my hand; is that hand mine to bestow? Thy kiss claimed and hallowed it to thyself. Stranger, I will not obey thee.
“Another day,—one day of the fatal three is gone! It is strange to me that since the sleep of the last night, a deep calm has settled upon my breast. I feel so assured that my very being is become a part of thee, that I cannot believe that my life can be separated from thine; and in this conviction I repose, and smile even at thy words and my own fears. Thou art fond of one maxim, which thou repeatest in a thousand forms,—that the beauty of the soul is faith; that as ideal loveliness to the sculptor, faith is to the heart; that faith, rightly understood, extends over all the works of the Creator, whom we can know but through belief; that it embraces a tranquil confidence in ourselves, and a serene repose as to our future; that it is the moonlight that sways the tides of the human sea. That faith I comprehend now. I reject all doubt, all fear. I know that I have inextricably linked the whole that makes the inner life to thee; and thou canst not tear me from thee, if thou wouldst! And this change from struggle into calm came to me with sleep,—a sleep without a dream; but when I woke, it was with a mysterious sense of happiness,—an indistinct memory of something blessed,—as if thou hadst cast from afar off a smile upon my slumber. At night I was so sad; not a blossom that had not closed itself up, as if never more to open to the sun; and the night itself, in the heart as on the earth, has ripened the blossoms into flowers. The world is beautiful once more, but beautiful in repose,—not a breeze stirs thy tree, not a doubt my soul!”
Tu vegga o per violenzia
o per inganno
Patire o disonore o mortal danno.
“Orlando Furioso,” Cant. xlii. i.
(Thou art about, either
through violence or artifice, to suffer
either dishonour or mortal loss.)