"Halcyon seasons, solstice of my days"

In her essay, "Tone and Language in the Historical Novel" (reproduced in a volume of Yourcenar's essays translated by Walter Kaiser, under the title of That Mighty Sculptor, Time - Noonday Press), Marguerite Yourcenar reflects on the writing of this passage: "I still believe that the emperor, retrospectively calling up his memories, could have seen them that way...But I no longer believe that he would have recounted them in quite that fashion...I don't hold the passage against him, or against myself. It is always difficult to recount a moment of happiness."