48. XLVIII. BEFORE SUNRISE.
O heaven above me, thou pure, thou deep heaven! Thou abyss of light!
Gazing on thee, I tremble with divine desires.
Up to thy height to toss myself--that is MY depth! In thy purity to hide
myself--that is MINE innocence!
The God veileth his beauty: thus hidest thou thy stars. Thou speakest
not: THUS proclaimest thou thy wisdom unto me.
Mute o'er the raging sea hast thou risen for me to-day; thy love and thy
modesty make a revelation unto my raging soul.
In that thou camest unto me beautiful, veiled in thy beauty, in that thou
spakest unto me mutely, obvious in thy wisdom:
Oh, how could I fail to divine all the modesty of thy soul! BEFORE the sun
didst thou come unto me--the lonesomest one.
We have been friends from the beginning: to us are grief, gruesomeness,
and ground common; even the sun is common to us.
We do not speak to each other, because we know too much--: we keep silent
to each other, we smile our knowledge to each other.
Art thou not the light of my fire? Hast thou not the sister-soul of mine
Together did we learn everything; together did we learn to ascend beyond
ourselves to ourselves, and to smile uncloudedly:--
--Uncloudedly to smile down out of luminous eyes and out of miles of
distance, when under us constraint and purpose and guilt steam like rain.
And wandered I alone, for WHAT did my soul hunger by night and in
labyrinthine paths? And climbed I mountains, WHOM did I ever seek, if not
thee, upon mountains?
And all my wandering and mountain-climbing: a necessity was it merely, and
a makeshift of the unhandy one:--to FLY only, wanteth mine entire will, to
fly into THEE!