33. XXXIII. THE GRAVE-SONG.
"Yonder is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are the graves of
my youth. Thither will I carry an evergreen wreath of life."
Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o'er the sea.--
Oh, ye sights and scenes of my youth! Oh, all ye gleams of love, ye divine
fleeting gleams! How could ye perish so soon for me! I think of you to-day
as my dead ones.
From you, my dearest dead ones, cometh unto me a sweet savour, heart-opening
and melting. Verily, it convulseth and openeth the heart of the
Still am I the richest and most to be envied--I, the lonesomest one! For I
HAVE POSSESSED you, and ye possess me still. Tell me: to whom hath there
ever fallen such rosy apples from the tree as have fallen unto me?
Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your memory with
many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O ye dearest ones!
Ah, we were made to remain nigh unto each other, ye kindly strange marvels;
and not like timid birds did ye come to me and my longing--nay, but as
trusting ones to a trusting one!
Yea, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities, must I now
name you by your faithlessness, ye divine glances and fleeting gleams: no
other name have I yet learnt.
Verily, too early did ye die for me, ye fugitives. Yet did ye not flee
from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to each other in our
To kill ME, did they strangle you, ye singing birds of my hopes! Yea, at
you, ye dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its arrows--to hit my heart!
And they hit it! Because ye were always my dearest, my possession and my
possessedness: ON THAT ACCOUNT had ye to die young, and far too early!