24 May 2013

My Lost Days Congregate Behind Me

Étienne Pivert de Senancour, Obermann (Letter XLVI), tr. Arthur Edward Waite (London: William Rider & Son, 1909), p. 187:
I repeat to you that time flies with increasing swiftness in the measure that age changes. My lost days congregate behind me. They fill the vague space with their hueless shadows; they heap up their attenuated skeletons; it is the darksome semblance of a funereal pile. And if my restless glance turns seeking some repose upon the chain, more fortunate once, of days that prepare the future, their full forms and their brilliant images have well-nigh lost their beauty. The high colourings have paled; that veiled space which embellished them with heavenly grace in the magic of incertitude, discovers now their naked phantoms all barren and sorrowful. By the austere gleam which reveals them amidst the eternal night, I can see even now the last of all advancing alone over the abyss, and there is nothing in front of it.
The French is available on Gallica: Volume 1 and Volume 2
Matthew Arnold's essay on Obermann can be found in this volume of essays.