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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/242

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Studies in Socialism

"No, no; don't answer me to-night, only look and listen. While we are dreaming of the future and arguing, everything that lives, everything that exists is giving itself up to the joy of the passing moment, to the instant sweetness of the serene night. The peasants are going in groups to the meeting-place of the farm to gather in the corn, and as they go they are singing in a full chorus; the awakened snake trembles a little and then sleeps again in the mystery of the thicket. In the stubble, in the dried-up fields, some poor little creatures are still singing; their music is not insistent and universal as it is in the warm spring nights or the hot summer nights; but they will sing till the end, as long as they are not really frozen by the winter. Fires of dry grass glow in the middle of the fields, and the moonlight envelops and softens their gleam; it is as though the spirit of the earth flamed and was mingled with the mysterious light of the skies. Stray dogs are barking at a belated waggon that comes slowly along the road, lit by a little lantern and drawn by a little donkey. A lovelorn owl hoots plaintively in the chestnut grove; the ripe chestnuts fall with a thud and roll down the little valleys. A small green frog is croaking near the fountain; the heavens shine and the earth sings. Come, let the universe be; it contains joy for all. It is Socialistic after its own fashion."