Thursday, November 1

Not Really Romance

Be silent, she cried with a choked voice, and concealed her tears in her handkerchief, O be silent, and do not joke about your destiny, about your heart! for i understand it, and better than you do.
Dear – dear Hyperion! You are indeed hard to help.
Do you know then, she went on with a raised voice, do you know then for what you are starving, the only thing that you lack, what you seek as Alpheus his Arethusa, what you mourn in all your mourning? It did not depart years ago, one cannot say so precisely when it was there, when it went away, but it was, it is – it is in you! It is a better time, that is what you seek, a more beautiful world. In your friends you embraced only that world, with them you were that world.
In Adamas it rose for you; it also departed with him. In Alabanda its light appeared to you for the second time, but more blazingly and intensely, and that is why it was like midnight for your soul when he was gone to you.
Now do you also see why the smallest doubt about Alabanda had to become despair in you? Why you renounced him, only because he was not a god?
You wanted no man, believe me, you wanted a world. The loss of all golden centuries, as you felt them, compressed into one happy moment, the spirit of all spirits of a better time, the strength of all strengths of heroes – one man should replace these for you? – Do you see now how poor, how rich you are? why you must be so proud and also so downcast? Why joy and sorrow alternate so terribly for you?
Because you have all and nothing, because the phantom of the golden days that shall come belongs to you and yet it is not there, because you are a citizen in the regions of justice and beauty, a god among gods in the beautiful dreams that creep up on you in the day, and when you awaken, you stand on modern Greek soil.
Two times, you say? O in one day you are hurled seventy times from heaven to earth. Shall i say it to you? I fear for you, you scarcely endure the fate of these times. You will still attempt various things, will –
O god! and your last refuge will be a grave.
Ibid.

Even at that hour when the grey sky of St. Petersburg is shrouded in total darkness and all its race of officials have dined and sated the...