It is morning. The golden sunshine that creeps through the shadowy realms of forest to fall upon the slow-moving waters of the river is beginning to gain warmth – but as yet the air retains the cold-crispness of the early day. Down the clear-water swims a swan, with white plumage smoothed down sleekly, and neck arched gracefully over the water. A serenity, a grace, a strange sadness is in its movements – and the way the dark eyes look at you seems as if the swan has been interrupted in some sad reflection, and is reproachful. But it breaks reflections itself – it breaks the reflection in the water – and causes ripples to split in pieces the sweet picture of the elms, standing straight and tall, and the green-grey willows, dipping their leaves in the water. So we can break the sweet pictures in each other’s heads.
For there are two kinds of reflections – those in the water, and those in our imagination – but in many ways they are similar to each other.