CHILDHOOD, BOYHOOD, YOUTH
flected his own youthful state of mind. These thoughts are expressed in a fine lyrical form:
"The moon rose higher and higher, growing brighter and brighter in the firmament, the dazzling glitter of the pond, by degrees increasing like a sound, became clearer and clearer; the shadows grew darker and darker, the light more and more transparent; and, contemplating and listening to all this, something whispered to me that 'she,' with bare arms and passionate embrace, was yet far from complete happiness, and my love for her was not yet perfect felicity. The more I gazed at the high, full moon, true beauty and goodness appeared to me higher and higher, purer and purer, nearer and nearer to Him, the source of all beauty and goodness; and the tears of an unsatisfied, but agitating, rapture rose in my eyes.
"And still I was alone, and it appeared to me that mysterious, grand Nature, the alluring, brilliant disc of the moon, resting as if immovable on an undefined point in the pale blue sky, yet at the same time shining everywhere and pervading the whole immeasurable space—and I, a worthless worm, already corrupted by petty and miserable human passions, but possessing a boundless power of loving—it seemed to me at those moments