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 oer 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 today 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 lone seafarer.
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 loves 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 faithlessness.
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!
At my most vulnerable point did they shoot the arrow namely, at you, whose skin is like down or more like the smile that dieth at a glance!
But this word will I say unto mine enemies: What is all manslaughter in comparison with what ye have done unto me!
Worse evil did ye do unto me than all manslaughter; the irretrievable did ye take from me: thus do I speak unto you, mine enemies!
Slew ye not my youths visions and dearest marvels! My playmates took ye from me, the blessed spirits! To their memory do I deposit this wreath and this curse.
This curse upon you, mine enemies! Have ye not made mine eternal short, as a tone dieth away in a cold night! Scarcely, as the twinkle of divine eyes, did it come to me as a fleeting gleam!
Thus spake once in a happy hour my purity: Divine shall everything be unto me.
Then did ye haunt me with foul phantoms; ah, whither hath that happy hour now fled!
All days shall be holy unto me so spake once the wisdom of my youth: verily, the language of a joyous wisdom!
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