"You all know the wild grief that besets us when we remember times of happiness. How far beyond recall they are, and we are severed from them by something more pitiless than leagues and miles. In the afterlight, too, the images stand out more enticing than before; we think of them as we do of the body of a dead loved one who rests deep in the earth, and who now in his enhanced and spiritual splendour is like a mirage of the desert before which we must tremble. And constantly in our thirst-haunted dreams we grope for the past in its every detail, in its every line and fold. Then it cannot but seem to us as if we had not had our fill of love and life; yet no regret brings back what has been let slip. Would that this mood might be a lesson to us for each moment of our happiness.
Sweeter still becomes the memory of our years by moon and sun when their end has been in the abyss of fear. Only then do we realise that for us mortals even this is great good-fortune - to live our lives in our little communities under a peaceful roof, with pleasing discourse and with loving greeting at morning and at night. Alas! always too late do we grasp that, if it offered no more than this, our horn of plenty brimmed with riches."
On The Marble Cliffs, Ernst Jünger