Dearest: Your name woke me this morning: I found my lips piping their song before I was well back into my body out of dreams. I wonder if the rogues babble when my spirit is nesting? Last night you were a high tree and I was in it, the wind blowing us both; but I forget the rest,—whatever, it was enough to make me wake happy.
There are dreams that go out like candle-light directly one opens the shutters: they illumine the walls no longer; the daylight is too strong for them. So, now, I can hardly remember anything of my dreams: daylight, with you in it, floods them out.
Oh, how are you? Awake? Up? Have you breakfasted? I ask you a thousand things. You are thinking of me, I know: but what are you thinking? I am devoured by curiosity about myself—none at all about you, whom I have all by heart! If I might only know how happy I make you, and just which thing I said yesterday is making you laugh to-day—I could cry with joy over being the person I am.
It is you who make me think so much about myself, trying to find myself out. I used to be most self-possessed, and regarded it as the crowning virtue: and now—your possession of me sweeps it away, and I stand crying to be let into a secret that is no longer mine. Shall I ever know why you love me? It is my religious difficulty; but it never rises into a doubt. You do love me, I know. Why, I don't think I ever can know.
You ask me the same question about yourself, and it becomes absurd, because I altogether belong to you. If I hold my breath for a moment wickedly (for I can't do it breathing), and try to look at the world with you out of it, I seem to have fallen over a precipice; or rather, the solid earth has slipped from under my feet, and I am off into vacuum. Then, as I take breath again for fear, my star swims up and clasps me, and shows me your face. O happy star this that I was born under, that moved with me and winked quiet prophecies at me all through my childhood, I not knowing what it meant:—the dear radiant thing naming to me my lover!
As a child, now and then, and for no reason, I used to be sublimely happy: real wings took hold of me. Sometimes a field became fairyland as I walked through it; or a tree poured out a scent that its blossoms never had before or after. I think now that those must have been moments when you too were in like contact with earth,—had your feet in grass which felt a faint ripple of wind, or stood under a lilac in a drench of fragrance that had grown double after rain.
When I asked you about the places of your youth, I had some fear of finding that we might once have met, and that I had not remembered it as the summing up of my happiness in being young. Far off I see something undiscovered waiting us, something I could not have guessed at before—the happiness of being old. Will it not be something like the evening before last when we were sitting together, your hand in mine, and one by one, as the twilight drew about us, the stars came and took up their stations overhead? They seemed to me then to be following out some quiet train of thought in the universal mind: the heavens were remembering the stars back into their places:—the Ancient of Days drawing upon the infinite treasures of memory in his great lifetime. Will not Love's old age be the same to us both—a starry place of memories?
Your dear letter is with me while I write: how shortly you are able to say everything! To-morrow you will come. What more do I want—except to-morrow itself, with more promises of the same thing?
You are at my heart, dearest: nothing in the world can be nearer to me than you!