At the time when I had long suffered
At the time when I had long suffered and the hours were snares to me, you appeared to me as the welcoming light that shines from the windows on to the snow in the depths of winter evenings.
The brightness of your hospitable soul touched my heart lightly without wounding it, like a hand of tranquil warmth.
Then came a holy trust, and an open heart, and affection, and the union at last of our two loving hands, one evening of clear understanding and of gentle calm.
Since then, although summer has followed frost both in ourselves and beneath the sky whose eternal flames deck with gold all the paths of our thoughts;
And although our love has become an immense flower, springing from proud desire, that ever begins anew within our heart, to grow yet better;
I still look back on the small light that was sweet to me, the first.
by Emile Verhaeren
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