I will tell you a story from the other world, from the one where I am. Imagine a blue sky, a green and calm ocean, curiously cut rocks; no vegetation but only pale lichens clinging to the grooves of rocks. That is the scenery. As a simple romance writer I cannot allow myself to give you the details. Inhabiting that ocean, the rocks, there was only one seated poet, a dreamer, thinking to himself, like in a mirror, about the calm beauty of nature, which spoke to his eyes as much as to his heart. That dream-like poet was I. Where? When does my story happen? Never mind!
Thus, I heard, I saw, I was moved and thoughtful about the profound enchantment of the great solitude. I suddenly saw a woman standing on the summit of the hill. She was tall, brunette, and pale. Her long dark hair waved over her white dress. She looked straight forward, staring in a strange way. I stood up in amazement since that woman, blossoming out of the rock, seemed like a dream to me, the divine dream that had dragged over me so often. I approached. She stood there and extended her arm towards the sea, as if inspired, and sang with a smooth and crying voice. I listened to her, taken by a mortal sadness, mentally repeating the lyrics that flowed from her lips, as if coming from a lively spring.
She then turned to me and I felt myself wrapped by the shadow of her white drapery.
• Listen to me, friend, she said. The shaky waters of the sear are less profound; the rocks are less stiff than love, the cruel love that shatters the poet’s heart. Pay no attention to its voice which brings seduction from the waves, from the air, from the Sun, to constrain, penetrate and burn your soul, a trembling soul that wishes to suffer the illness of love.
That is how she spoke. I listened and felt my heart melt in a divine inebriation. I wish I could destroy myself in the pure breath coming out of her mouth.
• No, she continued. Friend, do not fight against the genius in you. Let yourself be taken by the wings of fire through the bright spheres. Forget the passion which shall drag you down to your knees, you, radiant eagle destined to the highest summits. Listen to the voices inviting you to the celestial concert. Take off your flight, sublime bird. The genius is lonely. You are marked by the divine seal; you cannot become a woman’s slave. She spoke, the shadow moved on and the green sea became dark; the skies overcast and the rocks lined up, strangely. She shone even further, seemingly crowned by twinkling stars, and her dress, white like the foam that lashed at the shore, unfolding into immense layers.
• Don’t leave me, I finally said. Take me in your arms; let your dark hair be the bonds that keep me; allow me to live in your light or die in your shadow.
• Come then, she said in a different voice, which seemed more distant. Come, since you prefer the dream that keeps the genius asleep, the genius that enlightens people. Come. I shall not leave you again and both of us, hurt by the fatal blow, shall follow with Dante’s entourage. Don’t be afraid that I might abandon you, oh my poet! The dream rewards you with disgrace and with men’s disdain, people who will only praise your music when no longer irritated by the shine of your genius.
I then felt a powerful embrace lifting me up from the ground. I saw nothing else but the white dress that surrounded me like a halo. I was then consumed by the power of the dream that forever separated me from people.
Alfred de Musset