Read CHAPTER XVII of Raphael Pages Of The Book Of Life At Twenty, free online book, by Alphonse de Lamartine, on

This conviction gave to my love all the security of immutability, the calm of certainty, the overflowing ecstasy of joy that would never be impaired. I took no note of time, knowing that I had before me hours without end, and that each in succession would give me back her inward presence. I might be separated from her during a century without reducing by one day the eternity of my love. I went and came; sat down and got up again. I ran, then stopped and walked on without feeling the ground beneath my feet, like those phantoms which glide upon earth, upheld by their impalpable, ethereal nature. I extended my arms to grasp the air, the light, the lake; I would have clasped all Nature in one vast embrace in thankfulness that she had become incarnate, for me, in a being that united all her charms and splendor, power, and delights. I knelt on the stones and briers of the ruins without feeling them and on the brink of precipices without perceiving them. I uttered inarticulate words, which were lost in the sound of the noisy waters of the lake; I strove to pierce the vaults of heaven, and to carry my song of gratitude, and my ecstasy of joy, into the very presence of God. I was no longer a man, I was a living hymn of praise, prayer, adoration, worship of overflowing, speechless thankfulness. I felt an intoxication of the heart, a madness of the soul; my body had lost the consciousness of its materiality and I no longer believed in time, or space, or death. The new life of love which had gushed forth in my heart gave me the consciousness, the anticipated enjoyment, of the fulness of immortality.