As the laborer into refreshing sleep, so my beleaguered being often sinks into the arms of the innocent past.
Peace of childhood! heavenly peace! how often do I pause before thee in loving contemplation, and fain would conceive thee! But our concepts are only of what has degenerated and been repaired; of childhood, of innocence we have no concept.
When I was still a child and in quietude, knowing nothing of all that is about us, was I not then more than now I am, after all my trouble of heart and all my thinking and struggling?
Yes, divine is the being of the child, so long as it has not been dipped in the chameleon colors of men.
The child is wholly what it is, and that is why it is so beautiful.
The pressure of Law and Fate touches it not; only in the child is freedom.
In the child is peace; it has not yet come to be at odds with itself. Wealth is in the child; it knows not its heart nor the inadequacy of life. It is immortal, for it has not heard of death.
But this men cannot bear. The divine must become like one of them, must learn that they, too, are there; and before Nature drives it out of its paradise, men entice and draw it out into the field of the curse, so that, like them, it shall drudge its life away in the sweat of its brow.
from Hyperion by Hölderlin