Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/235

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235

THE PARTING.

and devised various plans, in case he should go with them
to Hamburg, to force him, by degrees, to retire into the
back-ground, and gradually give up all hope of possess-
ing her. But she must herself put the question, for he
seemed resolved not to speak, although she had signified
plainly enough her own resolution, by laying aside the
dress of the hallig, and had endeavored in vain, by her
coldness and reserve to alienate him ; it seemed as if
he were only the more magnetically attracted toward
her, the more she repulsed him. He could not fail to see
that his love was no longer returned as before ; and his
passion for her was cooled as well ; but the necessity
of having some object in whom he could forget himself
still chained him to Idalia. He anticipated her painful
question, saw the hour of separation drawing nearer and
nearer, and yet anxiously avoided every allusion to it.
  One bright November afternoon he was standing on
the sea-shore, and watching the play of the waves at
his feet. A melancholy feeling gradually threw a soft
vail over his thoughts and emotions, tranquilizing them
as the mother does the restless child, when she wraps it
in her drapery, and presses it to her breast. The past,
the present, and the future, seemed blended together
into a pensive vision of a quiet life, in which all his
dreams and longings were realized ; but whether this
picture was lighted by the rising beams of morning, or
the rosy glow of departing day, he could not tell ; that
it was only an image, only a longing, not a reality, the
tears which rolled over his cheeks were sufficient evi-
dence. He stood long in that forgetfulness, which, after
all, is no forgetfulness, where the wings of the brightest
dream are draped in mourning, and can not raise the