Again they fell silent by the



Never more splendid sky; never more air and more … And only the two of them went to the embankment that limited the rice field from the immense prairie.

The colors of the late May surpassed the green and cut them: yellow of pretty, of tulips and buttercups; lilac of porrette; vegan cricket; purple of prunelle and of salvie; white of ornitogali and nigelle, of heathers and daffodils; pink and blue of hyacinths; cornflower bleu; red clover and poppies. And daisies from all over. How much it is!

They went, lovers, alone, looking around; looking and smiling without finding words. In the late steps, mutually and almost timidly, they felt that their looks were full of memories, of the brightest memories. And so seemed to increase the intimate joy of a return to themselves and deepen the consciousness of their soul; they seemed to extend the vital capacity of every sense, to lighten the thought of existence as a laugh, to rise again in their being, reintegrated with every little strength, to a renewed life and to an unknown harmony. It was a light, dreamful, yet tenacious and valid joy; it was an illusion aroused and maintained by the divine reality that welcomed them; it was a vague desire, continuous and continuously fulfilled in that flow of moments;

From time to time she bent to the edge and stood out for a cornflower or ranunculus or a rustic geranium.

Then, holding out his hands to the meadow where he had not yet left the foot of a man, he had left a trace and from which the harmony of the colors assumed like that of the sounds in a symphony, he exclaimed:

– I would like to run, throw me there in the middle!

– It goes!

She shook her head.

– You can not, without trampling!

Further on, at the tank, they descended into the boat. He was staying.

Even the water seemed to rest and enjoy in the blue expanse, spotted here and there by the green of the water lilies and scattered with scarce or copious patches in reeds and rushes, and closed to the hollows by the shady banks of willows; while the boat proceeded slowly, gently, for that coolness.

Canerini of the valley rose with a subtle voice and so lively as to believe it, not a sign of fear but of more lively joy in flight.

As long as the boat found its way through the thickest spot of cinnamon and saracco, and it rested where the brown water, under the shadow, revealed a shiver, to the rezzo. They heard a strong flutter, coots and ducks. And nothing more.

– We stay a little? – For a long time she would have wanted to stay there with him. He left his hand in his hand.

– Are you happy to have come?

– I did not promise you …: in the spring? And say: do not you think that if I had not come on such a beautiful day, our happiness would have been less great?

He gripped his white hand tightly.

– You are mine!

And she:

– How good you want me!

Again they fell silent by the sweetness of that hour, in that solitude and in the silence that only a few pigolìos interrupted, or some distant song. The scent of distant flowers reached far too heavy. A when a murmure in the reeds.

Suddenly the beloved asked in a low voice:

– Have you heard?

He turned to remove the fronds and the slender stems nearest; he wanted him to advance the boat to that side, to see better in the thick.

– There! They said to a voice.

At the limit of the water, resting on the rushes that the weight bent, it was a nest of coots. Further advancing the boat, here is leaping from the nest in the water, with a painful call, the frightened coot; and he rose to flutter about the water around, calling his companion desperately.

More black, with a menacing cóvv , the male came, from the spot; he fell down, near here; but to see the enormous danger he began to run on the ground, with such haste and with so much desire of escapes and returns that seemed crazy.

– Poor creatures! – said the lady.

Nor did he want to afflict them for a long time. Indeed, then he had seen the nest admirably in the context of straws and pollen and stalks:

– Let’s go away! – he prayed. A strange repugnance kept her from observing inside the nest.

– What a strange impression! – he murmured while the boat returned to the open air.

– You saw the little ones throw themselves into the fresh water! – said the lover.

And he told of the fierce hunting that gave the swamp hawks to the small coots. But his voice had no mercy.

The beloved did not pay him any attention. In her little by little the impression received became sentiment, became aversion riot from the bottom of the soul, became a thought.

He kept his gaze fixed on the lover, who did not doubt, asking, “Why does he love me? Why do I love her? “He read the answer in those eyes. Their love had for its own sake: nothing else. The exhilaration of the senses in which the soul suffocated awaited … and not anymore. This, this was the fault: that their desire did not exceed their pleasure. Nothing else! And not from the conscience the rebuke or the admonition arose, but it came to her from a thousand voices of fruitful life and new life that in the fervid day the generating earth elevated and spread in an indistinct hymn of love.

The sublime understanding of a divine joy was lacking in the voluptuousness that she herself had promised: this is the fault! From a humble nest she had learned because she loves herself.

The lover asked her anxiously, feeling her escape with a veiled look:

– What do you have?

She was silent; he lowered his eyes. And as he, in a rush of desire, fìnd to draw it to his chest, he rejected it decisively:

– No!

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