HOME ........Back to Hesse


The Day at Kareno (from 'Klingsor's Last Summer')

TOGETHER WITH HIS FRIENDS from Barengo and with Agosto and Emilia, Klingsor set out on the walk to Kareno. Early in the morning they descended among the strongly scented spireas, the bedewed spider-webs quivering on the margins of the woods, down through the steep, warm forest into the valley of Pam­pambio where beside the yellow road bright yellow houses slept, bent brazen and half dead, stunned by the summer days. By the dried-up stream bed the white metallic willows hung heavy wings over golden meadows. A colourful troupe, the friends bowled down the rosy road through the misty green of the valley: the men white and yellow in linens and silks, the women white and pink, Ersilia's Veronese green parasol sparkling like a jewel in a magic ring.
   "It's a pity, Klingsor," the doctor remarked plaintively in his kindly voice. “Your wonderful water-colours will all be white in ten years. These colours you like so well have no lasting qualities."
   "Yes," Klingsor said, "and what is worse, Doctor: your fine brown hair will all be grey in ten years, and a little while later all our good gay bones will be lying in some hole in the ground, including, alas, your beautiful and healthy bones, Ersilia. My friends, let's not start becoming sensible so late in life. Hermann, how does Li Po put it?"
   Hermann the Poet stood still and intoned:

     Life passes like a flash of lightning
     Whose blaze barely lasts long enough to see.
     While the earth and the sky stand still forever
     How swiftly changing time flies across man's face.
     O you who sit over your full cup and do not drink,
     Tell me whom you are still waiting for?

   "No," Klingsor said, "I mean the other poem, the rhymed one, about the hair that was still dark at morning…”
   Hermann promptly recited:

     Only this morning your hair gleamed silken and black,
     Evening has already sprinkled it with snow.
     If you would not suffer as on the rack
     Hold out your cup and summon the moon for your drink-fellow.

   Klingsor laughed heartily in his somewhat hoarse voice.
   "Good old Li Po! He had inklings; he knew all sorts of things. We know all sorts of things too - he is our wise old brother. This giddy day would please him. It's just the kind of day lovely for dying Li Po's death at evening, in the boat on the quiet river. You'll see, everything is going to be wonderful today."
   "What kind of death was it that Li Po died on the river?" Martha, the artist, asked.
   But Ersilia interrupted in her dear, deep voice: "Stop it now. I’ll begin detesting anybody who says another word about death and dying. Finisca adesso, brutto Klingsor!"
   Laughing, Klingsor came over to her. "How right you are, bambina! If I say another word about dying you can poke your parasol into both my eyes. But seriously, 'tis a glorious day, my dears. A bird is sing­ing today, a bird out of a fairy tale - I heard it once before this morning. A wind is blowing today, a wind out of a fairy tale, the child of heaven who wakens the sleeping princesses and blows reason clear out of people's heads. A flower is blossoming today, a flower out of a fairy tale, it's blue and blooms only once in a lifetime and whoever plucks it wins bliss."
   "Did all that mean anything?" Ersilia asked the doctor.
   Klingsor heard her.
   "What it all meant is: this day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity. The sun will never shine as it does today; it is in a constellation in the sky, a conjunction with Jupiter, with me, with Agosto and Ersilia and all of us, a conjunction that will never come again, not in a thousand years. And therefore I want to walk on your left side for a while, because that brings luck, and carry your emerald parasol - under its light my head will look like an opal. But you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best.”
   He took Ersilia's arm. His sharp features dipped softly into the blue-green shade of the parasol. He had fallen in love with it; its blatant, sweet colour delighted him.
   Ersilia began to sing:

             Il mio papà no vuole,
             Ch'io spos' un bersaglier-

   Voices joined in; singing, they walked on to the for­est and into the forest, until the climb became too steep. The path led sharply upward like a ladder, scaling the great mountain.
   "What a marvellous straight line this song takes!" Klingsor praised it. “Papa is against the lovers, just as he always is. They take a knife that cuts well and stab Papa to death. He's gone. They do it at night, nobody sees them but the moon, who doesn't betray them, and the stars, who are mute, and God, who's going to forgive them after all. How beautiful and sincere that is. A poet of the present day would be stoned for writing such a thing."
   They climbed the narrow mountain path in the sun-splashed shadows of the chestnuts. When Klingsor looked up he saw before his face the slender calves of Martha, the artist, showing pink through her transpar­ent stockings. If he looked hack, the green of the parasol arched above Emilia's curly black hair. Under­neath she was silken violet, the only dark patch among all these figures.
   At a blue and orange farmhouse fallen summer ap­ples lay in the meadow, cool and sour. They tasted them. Martha spoke enthusiastically about an outing on the Seine, in Paris, before the war. Ah yes, Paris, and the bliss of those days.
   "That will never come again. Never again."
   "Nor ought it to," the painter exclaimed vehe­mently, shaking his sparrow-hawk's head fiercely. "Nothing ought to come again. Why should it? What childish wishes! The war has glossed over everything in the past, turning it all into a paradise, even the most idiotic things, the things we could well do with­out. Very well, it was lovely in Paris and lovely in Rome and lovely in Aries. But is it any less lovely today, right here? Paradise isn't Paris and peacetime, Paradise is here. It lives up there on the mountain and in an hour we'll be in the midst of it and will be the thieves to whom it was said: This day you will be with me in Paradise."
   They broke out of the mottled shade of the woods path onto the broad open highway that soared, bright and hot, in great spirals to the summit. Klingsor, his eyes shielded by his dark-green glasses, walked last in line, and often fell behind to watch the others moving and see the coloured combinations they formed. He had deliberately taken nothing with him for working, not even his small notebook, and nevertheless he stood still a hundred times, stirred by pictures. His gaunt figure stood alone, showing white against the reddish gravel of the road, at the edge of a grove of acacias. Summer breathed hotly upon the mountain. Light poured vertically down. Colour steamed multifold out of the depths. Above the nearest mountains, their greens and reds harmonizing with white villages, bluish ridges peered; and beyond, paler and bluer, more and more ridges. Very far away and unreal rose the snow-capped crystalline peaks. Above the acacias and chestnut trees the mighty rocky wall and hump-backed summit of Monte Salute emerged, reddish and light purple. But the people were more beautiful than all the rest. Like flowers they stood in the light beneath the greenery. The emerald parasol glowed like a giant scarab. Emilia's black hair beneath it, the white slender painter Martha with her rosy face, and all the others. Klingsor drank them in with a thirsty eye, but his thoughts were with Gina. He would not be able to see her for another week. She was sitting in an office in the city, working away at the typewriter; he seldom managed to see her alone. And he loved her, her more than all the others, though she knew nothing about him, did not understand him, regarded him as a strange rare bird, a famous foreign painter. How strange that was, that his longings should cling to her alone, that no other love sanctified him. It was not like him to go far out of his way for a woman. But he did for Gina, in order to be beside her for an hour, to hold her small slender fin­gers, to thrust his shoe beneath hers, to imprint a quick kiss on the nape of her neck. He thought about that, a droll puzzle to himself. Was this already the turning point? Old age already coming on? Was it only that, the December-May impulse of the man of forty for the girl of twenty?
   They had reached the ridge, and beyond, a new world flung itself at their eyes: Monte Gennaro, high and unreal, piled up out of endless steep, sharp pyr­amids and cones, the sun aslant behind it, each plateau glistening enamel floating on deep violet shadows. Between it and themselves the vast areas of shimmering air, and lost in infinite depths the narrow blue arm of the lake, resting amid the green flames of the forest.
   There was a tiny village on the summit: a smallish manor house, four or five other houses, of stone, paint­ed blue and pink, a chapel, a fountain, cherry trees. The company paused by the fountain in the sunlight. Klingsor walked on, through an arched gateway into a shadowy farmyard. Three bluish buildings stood tall in it, with only a few small windows, grass and gravel between them, a goat, nettles. A child ran away from him; he coaxed her to come hack, took chocolate from his pocket. The child stopped; he caught her, caressed her, and pressed the chocolate upon her. She was shy and lovely, a dark-brown girl with the alarmed black eyes of a small animal, slender bare legs, brown and gleaming, “Where do you live?" he asked her. She ran to the nearest open door in one of the clifflike houses. From a dark stone room like a primeval cave a woman stepped, the child's mother; she too accepted chocolate. Above dirty clothing the brown throat rose, a firm-muscled, broad face, sun-tanned and beautiful, a broad full mouth, large eyes, crude sweet charm. Those large, ample Asiatic figures qui­etly bespoke sexuality and motherhood. He leaned seductively towards her; smiling, she held him off, drawing the child between them. He walked on, resolved to return. He wanted to paint this woman, or be her lover, if only for an hour. She was everything: mother, child, mistress, animal, madonna.
   Slowly, he returned to the group, his heart full of dreams. On the wall of the estate, whose house seemed empty and locked, crude old cannonballs had been affixed. A whimsical stairway led through shrubbery to a grove and hill with a monument atop it. There, baroque and solitary, stood a bust: Wallenstein costume, curls, tapering wavy beard. Ghosts and phantasms shimmered around the mountain in the glaring midday light. Strange things lurked; the world was tuned to another, remote key. Klingsor drank at the fountain. A swallowtail butterfly flew close and sucked at the sprinkled drops on the limestone rim of the fountain.
   The mountain road led along the ridge under chestnuts and walnuts, in sun and shade. At a bend there was a wayside chapel, old and yellow, faded old pictures in the niche, a saint's head, angelically sweet and childlike, a patch of her red and brown garment, the rest crumbled away. Klingsor loved old pictures, especially when they came his way unlooked for; he loved such frescoes; he loved the way these beautiful works returned to dust and the earth.
   More trees, vines, dazzling hot road. Another turn: there was their destination, suddenly, unexpectedly: a dark arched gateway, a large tall church of red stone, crashing with self-assurance against the sky, a plaza full of sunlight, dust and peace, grass parched to red­ness, crackling underfoot, noonday light reflected by glaring walls, a column, a figure atop it, invisible in the blaze of sunlight, a stone balustrade around the broad plaza poised over an infinity of blue. Beyond, the village of Kareno, ancient, narrow, densely dark, Saracen, gloomy stone caves under faded brown brick, lanes oppressively narrow as in a dream and full of darkness, small squares suddenly shrieking aloud in white sunlight, Africa and Nagasaki, above the forest, below the blue abyss, higher still the white, plump, saturated clouds.
   "It's funny how much time we need before we know our way around in the world just a little," Klingsor said. "Once when I was going to Africa, years ago, I passed by this place in an express train, three or five or six miles away, and knew nothing about it. From Africa I went on to Asia, and at the time it was terribly necessary that I do so. But everything I found there I am finding here today: primeval forest, heat, beautiful alien people without nerves, sunlight, temples. It takes so long to learn to visit three continents in a single day. Here they are. Wel­come, India! Welcome, Africa! Welcome, Japan!"
   The friends knew a young lady who lived up here, and Klingsor was greatly looking forward to meeting the unknown woman. He called her the Queen of the Mountains; that was the title of a mysterious Oriental story in the books of his boyhood.
   Expectantly, the caravan penetrated the blue-shaded gorge of the lanes. Not a person, not a sound, not a chicken, not a dog. But in the semishade of a window embrasure Klingsor saw a silent figure standing, a lovely girl, black-eyed, red kerchief around her black hair. Her gaze, lying in wait to capture the stranger, struck his. For the span of a long breath they looked fully, gravely into each other's eyes, two alien worlds momentarily close. Then both smiled briefly, the heart-felt eternal greeting of the sexes, the old, sweet, devouring enmity, and with a step around the corner of the house the stranger had fled away and been placed in the girl's hope chest, a picture among many pictures, a dream among many dreams. The small thorn pricked Klingsor’s never-satiated heart; for a moment he hesitated and thought to turn back. Agosto called him; Emilia began to sing; a shadowy wall vanished and a small, brilliant square with two yellow palazzi lay still and dazzling in the enchanted noon: narrow stone balconies, closed shut­ters, a glorious stage for the first act of an opera.
   "Arrival in Damascus," the doctor called out "Where does Fatima live, the pearl among women?"
   The answer came, surprisingly; from the smaller palazzo. Out of the cool blackness behind the half-closed balcony door a strange tone sounded, then another, and the same repeated ten times, then the octave ten times - a piano was being tuned, a melodious piano in the middle of Damascus.
   This must he it; this was where she lived. But the house seemed to lack an entrance; there was only the yellow wall with two balconies, and above them a bit of painting in the stucco of the gable: blue and red flowers and a parrot. There should have been a paint­ed door here and if you knocked three times and pronounced Open Sesame the painted door would fly open and the wanderer be greeted by aromatic fragrances, with the Queen of the Mountain seated on a high dais, behind veils, slave girls cowering on the steps at her feet and the painted parrot flying screeching to her mistress's shoulder.
   They found a tiny door in a side street. A loud bell, a devilish mechanism, clanged angrily. A small stair­case, narrow as a ladder, led upward. Impossible to imagine how the piano had ever been brought into this house. Through the window? Through the roof?
   A large black dog came rushing, a small blond lion after him. A burst of noise; the stairs rattled; in the background the piano sang the same tone eleven times. Sweetly soft light poured out of a room coated with a pinkish whitewash. Doors slammed. Where was the parrot?
   Suddenly the Queen of the Mountains stood there, a slender lissom flower, body straight and pliant, all in red, burning flames, image of youth. Before Klingsor's eyes a hundred beloved pictures scattered away and the new picture radiantly took their place. He knew at once that he would paint her, not realistically, but the ray within her that had struck him, the poem, the tart lovely tone: youth, Redness, Blondness, Amazon. He would look at her for an hour, per­haps several hours. He would see her walking, sitting, laughing, perhaps dancing, perhaps hear her singing. The day was crowned; the day had been given its meaning. Anything else that might come was pure gift, superfluity. It was always this way: an experi­ence never came alone. Its birds always flew ahead, there were always harbingers and omens: the Asiatic maternal animal look in that doorway, the black-haired village beauty in the window, and now this.
   For a second the feeling darted through him: “If only I were ten years younger, ten brief years, this girl could have me, capture me, wind me around her finger. Now, you are too young, little red queen, too young for the old wizard Klingsor! He will admire you, will get to know you by heart; but he will make no pilgrimage to you, climb no ladder to you, commit no murder for you, and sing no serenades outside your pretty balcony. No, unfortunately he will do none of these things, not the old painter Klingsor, the old ram. He will not love you, he will not cast his eyes at you as he cast his eyes at the Asiatic, at the black-haired girl in the window, who is perhaps not a day younger than you are. He is not too old for her, only for you, Queen of the Mountain, red flower on the hill. For you, wild pink, he is too old. For you the love that Klingsor has to give away between a day full of work and a night full of red wine is not enough. All the better, then, my eye will drink you down, slender rocket, and know you when you have long since faded within me."
   Through stone-floored rooms separated by doorless arches they entered a hall where fantastic baroque plaster figures pranced above tall doors and all around ran a dark frieze of painted dolphins, white horses, and pink Cupids floating in a densely popu­lated mythical sea. There were a few chairs and parts of the disassembled grand piano on the floor, nothing else in the large room. But two alluring doors led to two small balconies above the sun-struck operatic plaza, and diagonally across the balconies of the neighbouring palazzo thrust out, they too wreathed with paintings. There a fat red cardinal floated like a goldfish in the sun.
   They stayed. In the big hall provisions were un­packed, a table set. Wine was brought, rare white wine from the north, the key to hosts of memories. The piano tuner had decamped; the dismantled piano held its peace. Thoughtfully, Klingsor stared at the exposed bowels of glittering strings; then he softly closed the lid. His eyes ached, but the summer day sang in his heart, the Saracen mother sang, blue and soaring the dream of Kareno sang. He ate and clinked his glass with others; he talked gaily in a high voice; and behind it all the apparatus of his workshop operated. His eyes enveloped the wild pink, the field poppy, like water round a fish. A diligent chronicler sat in his brain and carefully wrote down forms, rhythms, movements as if inscribing brazen columns of figures.
   Talk and laughter filled the empty room. The doc­tor's kindly, prudent laugh sounded, Ersilia's low and friendly, Agosto's strong and subterranean, Martha's birdlike. The poet talked sensibly, Klingsor jokingly. Watching closely, a little shy, the red queen went among her guests, dolphins and horses, sped here and there, stood by the piano, crouched on a cushion, cut bread, poured wine with an inexperienced girlish hand. Joyousness resounded in the cool hall; eyes glis­tened dark and blue; outside the high balcony doors the dazzling noon stared down, on guard.
   The clear, splendid wine flowed into the glasses, delicious contrast to the simple cold meal. The red day flowed clear from the queen’s dress through the high room; alert and clear, the eyes of all the men followed it. She vanished, returned, and had donned a blue kerchief.
   After eating, tired and satiated, they set out for the woods, lay down in grass and moss. Parasols gleamed, faces glowed under straw hats, the sun glit­tered and burned. The Queen of the Mountains lay redly in the green grass, her fine throat rising white from the flame, her high shoe intensely coloured and alive on her slender foot. Klingsor, close by her, read her, studied her, filled himself with her, just as he had as a boy read the magical story of the Queen of the Mountains and filled himself with it. They rested, dozed, chattered, flicked at ants, thought they heard snakes. Prickly chestnut shells clung to the women's hair. They thought of absent friends who had missed this hour - there were not many. They wished Louis the Cruel were here, Klingsor's friend, the painter of carousels and circuses. His antic spirit hovered above the group, close by.
   The afternoon passed like a year in paradise. There was a great deal of laughter when they parted from the Queen. Klingsor took everything with him in his heart: the Queen, the woods, the palazzo and the dol­phin room, the two dogs, the parrot.
   Descending the mountain among his friends, there gradually came over him that exuberant mood that he had only on rare days when he had voluntarily let his work go. Hand in hand with Emilia, with Hermann, with Martha, he danced down the sunlit road, start­ing songs, taking childlike pleasure in jokes and puns, surrendering to laughter. He ran ahead of the others and lay in ambush to frighten them.
   Quickly as they walked, the sun sank more quickly. By the time they reached Palazzetto it had dropped behind the mountain, and in the valley below, it was already evening. They had missed the way and de­scended too low; they were hungry and tired and had to abandon their plans for the evening: a stroll through the fields to Barengo, a fish dinner in the lakeside village's restaurant
   "My dears," Klingsor said, sitting down on a wall by the wayside, “Our plans were all very fine, and I would certainly be grateful for a good dinner among the fishermen or in Monte d'Oro. But we cannot make it that far, or at least I cannot. I'm tired and I'm hun­gry. I’m not taking another step beyond the nearest grotto, which certainly isn't far. There we can get bread and wine. That's enough. Who's coming?”
   They all came. They found the grotto; on a narrow terrace cut into the forested hill stood stone benches and tables under the darkness of trees. From the wine cellar in the cavern the innkeeper brought cool wine. There was bread on the tables. Now they sat eating in silence, glad to be sitting down at last. Beyond the tall tree trunks the day faded out; the blue mountain turned black, the red road white. Down below, on the nocturnal road, they could hear a car, and a dog bark­ing. Here and there stars appeared in the sky, and in the landscape below lights winked on; there was no telling the two apart.
   Klingsor sat happily resting, looking out into the night, slowly checking his hunger with black bread, quietly draining the bluish cups of wine. Satiated, he began to talk again and to sing; he rocked to the beat of the songs, played with the women, sniffed the fragrance of their hair. The wine seemed good to him. Practiced seducer, he easily talked down the propos­als that they go on their way. He drank wine, poured wine, sent for more wine. Slowly, out of the bluish earthenware cups, symbol of transitoriness, bright spells arose, magic transforming the world, colouring the stars and lights.
   They sat in a swing hovering high above the abyss of world and night, birds in a go1den cage, homeless, weightless, across from the stars. They sang, these birds, sang exotic songs; out of ecstatic hearts they cast fantasies into the night, into the sky, into the woods, into the enchanted universe. Answers came from stars and moon, from trees and mountains. Goethe sat there and his alter ego Hafis: torrid Egypt and grave Greece rose up; Mozart smiled; Hugo Wolf played the piano in the delirious night.
   There was a crash of noise, a blaze of light; below them, straight through the heart of the earth, with a hundred dazzling lighted windows, a railroad train streaked into the mountain and into the night. In the sky above, the bells of an invisible church rang. With a skulking air the half moon rose above the table, glanced at its reflection in the dark wine, marked a woman's mouth and eye off from the darkness, mount­ed higher, sang to the stars. The spirit of Louis the Cruel sat hunched, solitary, on a bench, writing let­ters.
   Klingsor, King of the Night, tall Crown in his hair, leaning back on his throne of stone, directed the dance of the world, set the beat, called forth the moon, willed that the railroad train vanish. At once it was gone, as a constellation plummets over the margin of the sky. Where was the Queen of the Moun­tains? Was that not a piano sounding in the woods? Was not the mistrustful little lion barking far off? Had she not been wearing a blue kerchief a moment ago? Hello, old world, see to it that you don't collapse! Come here, woods! Go there, black mountain! Keep to the beat! Stars, how blue and red you are, as in the folk song: “Your red eyes and your blue mouth!"
   Painting was lovely; painting was a dear, lovely game for well-behaved children, But it was something else, grander and more momentous, to direct the movements of the stars, to project the beat of your own blood, the circlets of colour from your own retina, into the world, to send the vibrations of your own soul thrumming out with the wind of the night Away with you, black mountains! Become a cloud, fly to Persia, rain on Uganda! Come here, spirit of Shake­speare, sing us your drunken fool's song of the rain that raineth every day!
   Klingsor kissed a woman's small hand, leaned against a woman's sweetly rising and falling breast. A foot under the table played with his. He did not know whose hand or whose foot; he felt tenderness all around him, gratefully felt old magic renewed. He was still young, it was still far from the end, he was still capable of radiation and allure; they still loved him, the good anxious little females, they still counted on him.
   He soared higher. In a low, chanting voice he began to tell a tale, a tremendous epic, the story of a love affair, or rather it was really a trip to the South Seas where in the company of Gauguin and Crusoe he dis­covered Parrot Island and founded the Free State of the Blessed Isles. How the thousands of parrots had sparkled in the twilight, how their blue tails had glit­tered, mirrored in the green bay! Their cries, and the hundred-voiced shrieks of the big monkeys, had greeted him like thunder - him, Klingsor, when he proclaimed his Free State. He had called upon the white cockatoo to form a cabinet, and with the sulky rhinoceros bird he had drunk palm wine from heavy coconut cups. O moon of the past, moon of the bliss­ful nights, moon above the pile dwelling among the reeds! The shy brown princess bore the name of Kül Kalüa; slender and long-limbed she strode through the banana forest, gleaming like honey under the succulent roof of the giant leaves, doe-eyed, cat-backed, feline tension in springy ankle and sinewy leg. Kül Kalüa, child, archaic ardour and childish innocence of the sacred southeast; for a thousand nights you lay upon Klingsor's heart and every night was new, each was sweeter, each tenderer than all the others. O fes­tival of the Earth Spirit when the virgins of the Parrot Islands dance before the god!
   Over the islands, over Crusoe and Klingsor, over the tale and the listeners, the white-stared night arched, the mountain swelled like gently breathing belly and breasts under the trees and houses and the feet of men; the racing moon danced feverishly over the firmament, pursued by the stars in wild and silent choreography. Strings of stars lined up, the glittering wire of a cable railway to Paradise. Primeval forest darkened maternally, primordial mud wafted the scent of decay and generation, serpents and crocodiles crawled, the stream of forms poured on without bounds or banks.
   “I'm going to paint again after all," Klingsor said. “I’ll start again tomorrow. But no more of these houses and people and trees. I’ll paint crocodiles and starfish, dragons and purple snakes, and everything that is changing, filled with longing to become man, full of longing to become stars, full of birth, full of decay, full of God and death."
   In the midst of his almost whispered words, in the midst of the wild drunken hour, Ersilia's voice sound­ed low and clear. Quietly she sang the song of bel mazzo de fiori under her breath. Tranquillity poured from her song; Klingsor heard it as if it came from some distant floating island across seas of time and solitude. He turned his empty wine cup over, filled it no more. He listened. A child sang. A mother sang. What was he - an errant and reprobate fellow bathed in the mire of the world, a scoundrel and profligate, or was he a silly small child?
   “Ersilia," he said with reverence, "you are our lucky star.”
   Up the mountain through the steep dark woods, clinging to branches and roots, they sought their homeward path, reached the margin of the woods, boarded a field like pirates on a ship. The narrow path through the cornfield breathed night and home-coming, moon glancing against the shiny leaves of corn, rows of grapevines slanting away. Now Klingsor sang, softly, in his somewhat hoarse voice, sang many murmuring songs, German and Malay, with and without words. Singing low he poured out all that had ac­cumulated within him, as a brown wall at evening ra­diates the stored daylight.
   Here one of the friends took his leave, another there, vanishing along narrow paths in the shadow of the grapes. Each left, each went by himself, heading home, alone under the sky. A woman kissed Klingsor good night; burning, her mouth sipped at his. They rolled away, they melted away, all of them. When Klingsor, alone, climbed the stairs to his dwelling, he was still singing. He sang the praises of God and himself; he praised Li Po and the good wine of Pampam­bio. Like an idol, he rested upon clouds of affirmation.
   “Inwardly," he sang, "I am like a ball of gold, like the dome of a cathedral; people kneel in it, people pray, gold gleams from the wall, the Saviour bleeds in an old painting, the heart of Mary bleeds. We bleed too, we others, we errant souls, we stars and comets; seven and fourteen swords pierce our blessed chests. I love you, blond and dark women, I love all, even the philistines; you are all poor devils like myself, all poor children and misbegotten demigods like drunken Klingsor. Beloved life, I greet you! I greet you, beloved death!"


....The Music of Doom..