_Honte a toi, qui la premiere M'as appris la trahison . . .!_
The question has often been asked whether the poet refers here to the woman he loved in Venice but it matters little whether he did or not. He only saw her through the personage who from henceforth symbolized "woman" to him and the suffering which she may cause a man. And yet, as this suffering became less intense, softened as it was by time, he began to discover the benefit of it. His soul had expanded, so that he was now in communion with all that is great in Nature and in Art. The harmony of the sky, the silence of night, the murmur of flowing water, Petrarch, Michel Angelo, Shakespeare, all appealed to him. The day came when he could write:
_Un souvenir heureux est peut-etre sur terre Plus vrai que le bonheur_.
This is the only philosophy for a conception of life which treats love as everything for man. He not only pardons now, but he is grateful
_Je ne veux rien savoir, ni si les champ s
fleurissent, Nice quil adviendra di., simulacre
humain, Ni si ces vastes cieux eclaireront demain
Ce qu' ils ensevelissent. heure, en ce lieu,