But she said in reply:--"O let me devote but one momentTo this mournful remembrance! For well did the good youth deserve it,Who, when departing, presented the ring, but never return'd home.All was by him foreseen, when freedom's love of a sudden,And a desire to play his part in the new-found Existence,Drove him to go to Paris, where prison and death were his portion.'Farewell,' said he, 'I go; for all things on earth are in motionAt this moment, and all things appear in a state of disunion.Fundamental laws in the steadiest countries are loosen'd,And possessions are parted from those who used to possess them,Friends are parted from friends, and love is parted from love too.I now leave you here, and whether I ever shall see youHere again,--who can tell? Perchance these words will our last be.Man is a stranger here upon earth, the proverb informs us;Every person has now become more a stranger than ever.Ours the soil is no longer; our treasures are fast flying from us;All the sacred old vessels of gold and silver are melted,All is moving, as though the old-fashion'd world would roll backwardsInto chaos and night, in order anew to be fashion'd.You of my heart have possession, and if we shall ever here-afterMeet again over the wreck of the world, it will be as new creatures,All remodell'd and free and independent of fortune;For what fetters can bind down those who survive such a period!But if we are destined not to escape from these dangers,If we are never again to embrace each other with rapturesO then fondly keep in your thoughts my hovering image,That you may be prepared with like courage for good and ill fortune!If a new home or a new alliance should chance to allure you,Then enjoy with thanks whatever your destiny offers,Purely loving the loving, and grateful to him who thus loves you.But remember always to tread with a circumspect footstep,For the fresh pangs of a second loss will behind you be lurking.Deem each day as sacred; but value not life any higherThan any other possession, for all possessions are fleeting.'Thus he spoke; and the noble youth and I parted for ever:Meanwhile I ev'rything lost, and a thousand times thought of his warning.Once more I think of his words, now that love is sweetly preparingHappiness for me anew, and the brightest of hopes is unfolding.Pardon me, dearest friend, for trembling e'en at the momentWhen I am clasping your arm! For thus, on first landing, the sailorFancies that even the solid ground is shaking beneath him."
Each other earthly thing,So he that cannot bear its smell,