Among my most delightful memories of travel, I treasure that of a sail across the bay from Capri to Naples by moonlight. For hours everything lulled us to complete oblivion of care and calm enjoyment of the present. As our boat bent her cheek to the waves, the water answered the caressing movement with a sound resembling a sigh. Occasionally, white-winged vessels glided by us, ghost-like on their way to Sicily, meeting the wavelets from the outer sea, which, having passed the isle of Capri, seemed to have been turned into molten silver by the moon. Before us rose the fire-crowned volcano, emitting smoke and flames as from a sacrificial altar which has claimed its many victims. Enraptured by the scene, I felt that I could linger here, as heedless of the lapse of time as was the monk who laid his ear so close to heaven that he heard in his dreams the music of Paradise, and woke to find he had been listening to it for a thousand years. On that night, therefore, I realized as never before the truth and exquisite beauty of the lines:
The Natural Arch.
Sailing From Capri.
"My soul to-day Is far away, Sailing the blue Vesuvian bay,
With watchful eyes My spirit lies Under the walls of Paradise.
Far, vague, and dim The mountains swim,
While on Vesuvius' misty brim, With outstretched hands, The gray smoke stands
O'erlooking the volcanic lands.
There Ischia smiles
O'er liquid miles, And yonder - bluest of the isles -
Calm Capri waits,
Her sapphire gates Beguiling to her bright estates.
No more, no more
The worldly shore Upbraids me with its loud uproar.
With dreamful eyes
My spirit lies Under the walls of Paradise".