Over and over again I sail towards joy, which is never in the room with me, but always near me, across the way, like those rooms full of gayety one sees from the street, or the gayety in the street one sees from a window. Will I ever reach joy? It hides behind the turning merry-go-round of the traveling circus. As soon as I approach it, it is no longer joy. Joy is a foam, an illumination. I am poorer and hungrier for the want of it. When I am in the dance, joy is outside in the elusive garden. When I am in the garden, I hear it exploding from the house. When I am traveling, joy settles like an aurora borealis over the land I leave. When I stand on the shore I see it bloom on the flag of a departing ship. What joy? Have I not possessed it? I want the joy of simple colours, street organs, ribbons, flags, not a joy that takes my breath away and throws me into space alone where no one else can breathe with me, not the joy that comes from a lonely drunkenness. There are so many joys, but I have only known the ones that come like a miracle, touching everything with light.
From my window I watched the full moon-a moon that reminded me of Brett-become shadowed, little by little until there was only a deep blackness in the woods at night. I would sit there wakeful, hour after hour, and wonder if this aching around my heart, this sense of being alone, forlorn and unwanted in a world where there was gayety and love for others of my age, was going to continue for all of my days.
There be delights that will fetch the day about from sun to sun and rock the tedious year as in a delightful dream ... For a garden is Arcady brought home. It is man's bit of gaudy make-believe - his well-disguised fiction of an unvexed Paradise ... a world where gayety knows no eclipse and winter and rough weather are held at bay.
J. D. Sedding
Our first youth is of no value; for we are never conscious of it, until after it is gone. But sometimes-always, I suspect, unless one is exceedingly unfortunate-there comes a sense of second youth, gushing out of the heart's joy at being in love; or possibly, it may come to crown some other grand festival in life, if any other such there be. This bemoaning of one's self... over the first, careless, shallow gayety of youth departed, and this profound happiness at youth regained, -so much deeper and richer than that we lost, -are essential to the soul's development. In some cases, the two states come almost simultaneously, and mingle the sadness and the rapture in one mysterious emotion.
When they had ended their prayers, the Angel of Death recovered his loquacity and his gayety and ascending the chariot again, preceded by Gil Gil, spoke as follows. 'The village you see on that mountain is Gethsemane. In it was the Garden of Olives. On the other side you can distinguish an eminence crowned by a temple which stands out against a starry sky - that is Golgotha. There I passed the greatest day of my existence. I thought I had vanquished God himself - and vanquished he was for some hours. But, alas! on that mount, too, it was that three days later I saw myself disarmed and my power brought to naught on the morning of a certain Sunday. Jesus had risen from the dead. There, too, took place on the same occasion my great single combat with Nature. There took place my duel with her, that terrible duel (at the third hour of the day, I remember it well), when, as soon as she saw me thrust the lance of Longinus in the breast of the Saviour she began to throw stones at me, to upturn the cemeteries, to bring the dead to life, and I know not what besides. I thought poor Nature had lost her senses.' The Angel of Death seemed to reflect for a moment... ("The Friend of Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcon