This Room

I have a room. A big, dark, damp room – a large beautiful bird without a voice in the favoured country wither the swallows fly. My room used to be built of marble and most extravagantly furnished and decorated, but now, its covered inside and out with green capers, as if decorated by the hand of nature with the most costly tapestry. Around it lies the most wonderful blue mountains, cedar forests, cities and palaces, all falling together in one chaotic mass. From it, you can see the proud palace where my father lives, and the high steeple where my mother lays buried. Here it seems as if the trees and bushes are related to her. Here the wild horses race with joyous leaps across grassy plains, just like during the days of her happy youth, and here the charcoal burners sing their old songs, which as a child, she delighted to dance to.

Yet in the room, all is so still that you can plainly hear your own footsteps and the rustling of each leaf as you lightly tread upon it. Not a single bird is to be seen, and no ray of sunshine can penetrate the thick leafy covering. The high trunks of the trees stand so close together that they look like the bars of a railing stretching forth their branches as if lovingly striving to meet. And here reigns a solitude such as you have never before known.

And she sits. Silently. She comes from outside, from the vast boundless world. And she sits on a little stool of looking glass, playing with a green leaf for she has no other plaything. Single clear drops of water lie upon her cheeks, as if, by their purity, to heighten the charm of her beautiful cheeks, but whether those drops are morning dew or tears, no one can distinguish. The whole night she has dreamt of her childhood, her childlike breast gently rising like the waves on the shore of an ancient beach. She dreamt – there she was again, playing joyfully like a child, writing with her diamond pencil on a gold tablet and turning over the leaves of a picture book which cost half a kingdom. She is a fluttering silver ribbon, a beautiful mountain, a sparkling fountain, a sun ray breaking through the canopy like burnished gold in a big, dark, damp room.