The ideas in the reading can be slightly abstract or convoluted, but I'll try to share what I know is clear:
An earlier excerpt discussing the falling in love and it being beyond our control:
Falling in love, then, is a result of two things coming together: The longings which we have and the workings of our imagination.
The first draws us out of ourselves in search of another personl the latter intimates that a particular other person may be the one who can satisfy us. When these come together there is an amzing explosion of feeling. All our desires become focused upon that person and we look, dazzled, into those beloved eyes and see - if only for a while - the summation of our own existence and a new world of happiness. Although we have seen that those longings may be darker and more complex xthan we might like to believe.
His (Schiller) ode anticipation (to which Schubert gave on of his finest settings) describes the thoughts and emotions of a lover sitting by a window, awaiting the arrival of his beloved; it is probably based on an experience of his waiting for Charlotte von Lengefeld, the woman he was soon to marry. At every moment a slight sound or movement in the garden makes him think she has come at last - but no, he realizes it was only the wind in the branches of the tress, an apple dropping in the orchard, or the glimmer of a swan on the lake. But in his disappointment he enjoys a stronger and surer grasp of his love for her.
Why? Because anticipation, if conducted imaginatively (as it is here), doesn't just mean hanging around muttering: 'Where is she, when is she coming?' It involves thinking: 'Was that her footstep? I love the way she walks, she seems to carry herself so lightly.' that is it involves dwelling upon just what it is one is waiting for: the other comes alive under the benign influence of such thoughts. The lover, in this beautiful song, sees the whole of nature joining in his passion. He wants the trees to embrace her protectively, he wants the gentle breeze to enjoy the warmth of her cheeks; he begs night and silence to come quickly and provide the perfect sympathetic setting for their love. And he sees his own love as continuous with an eroticized nature: doesn't the wind kiss the flower; don't graps and pears swell under the loving influence of the sun?
The way the lover uses nature in this poetic example has, of course, a distinguished cultural history. It was a major obsession of the era to see in nature a reflection of human passions; this in turn was a special deveopment of the medieval view which regarded all of nature in symbolic terms. But the interest of the ode, for me (John Armstrong), does not lie in the specific images employed. Rather it is the way in which the lover spins out - and enlarges - his passion by aligning it with whatever comes conveniently to hand. This is the opposite of the climax and discharge of passion which brings feeling to a close. On the contrary, imagination in this case seeks to keep the passion growing in the mind of the lover.