The First Elegy Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic Orders? And even if one were to suddenly take me to its heart, I would vanish into its stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear, and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains to destroy us. Every Angel is terror. And so I hold myself back and swallow the cry of a darkened sobbing. Ah, who then can we make use of? Not Angels: not men, and the resourceful creatures see clearly that we are not really at home in the interpreted world. Perhaps there remains some tree on a slope, that we can see again each day: there remains to us yesterday¶s street, and the thinned-out loyalty of a habit that liked us, and so stayed, and never departed. Oh, and the night, the night, when the wind full of space wears out our faces ± whom would she not stay for, the longed-for, gentle, disappointing one, whom the solitary heart with difficulty stands before. Is she less heavy for lovers? Ah, they only hide their fate between themselves. Do you not know yet? Throw the emptiness out of your arms to add to the spaces we breathe; maybe the birds will feel the expansion of air, in more intimate flight. Yes, the Spring-times needed you deeply. Many a star must have been there for you so you might feel it. A wave lifted towards you out of the past, or, as you walked past an open window, a violin gave of itself. All this was their mission. But could you handle it? Were you not always, still, distracted by expectation, as if all you experienced, like a Beloved, came near to you? (Where could you contain her, with all the vast strange thoughts in you going in and out, and often staying the night.) But if you are yearning, then sing the lovers: f or long their notorious feelings have not been immortal enough. Those, you almost envied them, the forsaken, that you found as loving as those who were satisfied. Begin, always as new, the unattainable praising:
think: the hero prolongs himself, even his f alling was only a pretext for being, his latest rebirth. But lovers are taken back by exhausted Nature into herself, as if there were not the power to make them again. Have you remembered Gastara Stampa sufficiently yet, that any girl, whose lover has gone, might feel from that intenser example of love: µCould I only become like her?¶ Should not these ancient sufferings be finally fruitful for us? Isn¶t it time that, loving, we freed ourselves from the beloved, and, trembling, endured as the arrow endures the bow, so as to be, in its flight, something more than itself? For staying is nowhere. Voices, voices. Hear then, my heart, as only saints have heard: so that the mighty call raised them from the earth: they, though, knelt on impossibly and paid no attention: such was their listening. Not that you could withstand God¶s voice: far from it. But listen to the breath, the unbroken message that creates itself from the silence. It rushes towards you now, from those youthfully dead. Whenever you entered, didn¶t their fate speak to you, quietly, in churches in Naples or Rome? Or else an inscription exaltedly impressed itself on you, as lately the tablet in Santa Maria Formosa. What do they will of me? That I should gently remove the semblance of injustice, that slightly, at times, hinders their spirits from a pure moving-on. It is truly strange to no longer inhabit the earth, to no longer practice customs barely acquired, not to give a meaning of human futurity to roses, and other expressly promising things: no longer to be what one was in endlessly anxious hands, and to set aside even one¶s own proper name like a broken plaything. Strange: not to go on wishing one¶s wishes. Strange to see all that was once in place, floating so loosely in space. And it¶s hard being dead, and full of retrieval, before one gradually feels a little eternity. Though the living all make the error of drawing too sharp a distinction. Angels (they say) would often not know whether they moved among living or dead. The eternal current
sweeps all the ages, within it, through both the spheres, forever, and resounds above them in both. Finally they have no more need of us, the early-departed, weaned gently from earthly things, as one outgrows the mother¶s mild breast. But we, needing such great secrets, for whom sadness is often the source of a blessed progress, could we exist without them? Is it a meaningless story how once, in the grieving for Linos, first music ventured to penetrate arid rigidity, so that, in startled space, which an almost godlike youth suddenly left forever, the emptiness first felt the quivering that now enraptures us, and comforts, and helps.
The Second Elegy Every Angel is terror. And yet, ah, knowing you, I invoke you, almost deadly birds of the soul. Where are the days of Tobias, when one of the most radiant of you stood at the simple threshold, disguised somewhat for the journey and already no longer awesome (Like a youth, to the youth looking out curiously). Let the Archangel now, the dangerous one, from behind the stars, take a single step down and toward us: our own heart, beating on high would beat us down. What are you? Early successes, Creation¶s favourite ones, mountain-chains, ridges reddened by dawns of all origin ± pollen of flowering godhead, junctions of light, corridors, stairs, thrones, spaces of being, shields of bliss, tempests of storm-filled, delighted feeling and, suddenly, solitary mirrors: gathering their own out-streamed beauty back into their faces again. For we, when we feel, evaporate: oh, we breathe ourselves out and away: from ember to ember, yielding us fainter fragrance. Then someone may say to us: µYes, you are in my blood, the room, the Spring-time is filling with you¶..... What use is that: they cannot hold us, we vanish inside and around them. And those who are beautiful, oh, who holds them back? Appearance, endlessly, stands up, in their face, and goes by. Like dew from the morning grass, what is ours rises from us, like the heat from a dish that is warmed. O smile: where? O upward gaze: new, warm, vanishing wave of the heart - : oh, we are that. Does the cosmic space, we dissolve into, taste of us then? Do the Angels really only take back what is theirs, what has streamed out of them, or is there sometimes, as if by an oversight, something of our being, as well? Are we as mingled with their features, as there is vagueness in the faces of pregnant women? They do not see it in the swirling return to themselves. (How should they see it?) Lovers, if they knew how, might utter strange things in night air. Since it seems everything hides us. Look, trees exist; houses, we live in, still stand. Only we
pass everything by, like an exchange of air. And all is at one, in keeping us secret, half out of shame perhaps, half out of inexpressible hope. Lovers, each satisfied in the other, I ask you about us. You grasp yourselves. Have you a sign? Look, it happens to me, that at times my hands become aware of each other, or that my worn face hides itself in them. That gives me a slight sensation. But who would dare to exist only for that? You, though, who grow in the other¶s delight until, overwhelmed, they beg: µNo more¶ -: you, who under your hands grow richer like vintage years of the vine: who sometimes vanish, because the other has so gained the ascendancy: I ask you of us. I know you touch so blissfully because the caress withholds, because the place you cover so tenderly does not disappear: because beneath it you feel pure duration. So that you promise eternity almost, from the embrace. And yet, when you¶ve endured the first terrible glances, and the yearning at windows, and the first walk together, just once, through the garden: Lovers, are you the same? When you raise yourselves one to another¶s mouth, and hang there ± sip against sip: O, how strangely the drinker then escapes from their action. Weren¶t you amazed by the caution of human gesture on Attic steles? Weren¶t love and departure laid so lightly on shoulders, they seemed to be made of other matter than ours? Think of the hands how they rest without weight, though there is power in the torso. Those self-controlled ones know, through that: so much is ours, this is us, to touch our own selves so: the gods may bear down more heavily on us. But that is the gods¶ affair. If only we too could discover a pure, contained human place, a strip of fruitful land of our own, between river and stone! For our own heart exceeds us, even as theirs did. And we can no longer gaze after it into images, that soothe it, or into godlike bodies, where it restrains itself more completely.
so easily delayed. as if she did not exist. that hidden guilty river-god of the blood. What does he know. held up.. alas. who often out of his solitariness. There wasn¶t a single creaking you couldn¶t explain with a smile.
. You.. into her face¶s purity... Oh where are the years when you simply repelled the surging void for him. of that lord of desire. and begins himself. how the night becomes thinned-out and hollow. Not for you. with your slight form? You hid so much from him then: you made the suspect room harmless at night. and his restless future. Your being was so tenderly potent: his fate there stepped. oh. rousing the night to endless uproar? O Neptune of the blood. and it shone as if out of friendship. did his lips curve into a more fruitful expression.. often. before the girl soothed him. Of course he wants to. though? Mother you made his littleness: you were the one who began him: to you he was new. as if you had long known when the floor would do so. Did he ever begin himself. her young lover. dripping. from the pure stars? It was not you.you can¶t quite call him away from that dark companion. girl. feeling his presence. you who wander like winds at dawn? You terrified his heart. out of the twisted conch. escape: relieved. Do you truly think that your light entrance rocked him so. And he heard you and was soothed. stars. oh. not his mother that bent the arc of his brow into such expectation. from your hea rt filled with refuge mixed a more human space with his spaces of night. and does. tall and cloaked.The Third Elegy To sing the beloved is one thing. and defended him from what was strange. his godhead. not for you. is it not from you that the lover¶s joy in the beloved¶s face rises? Does he not gain his innermost insight. Not in the darkness. another. no. and takes on. O the dark storm-wind from his chest. whom she knows distantly. fitted the folds of the curtain. behind the wardrobe. in your nearer being you placed the light. from what unknowable depths. Hear. winning his way into your secret heart. you hung the friendly world over new eyes. Call him. O his trident of terrors. that¶s so: but more ancient terrors plunged into him with the impetus of touching. himself.
: the whole silent landscape under a clouded or clear destiny . Lovingly went down into more ancient bloodstreams. of your gentle creation. How could he help loving what smiled at him. into ravines where Horror lay. gently.And he himself. relieved. like an informant. Dread smiled. but dreaming. fearful. there was little caution in the sleeper: sleeping.. this came before you. but the immeasurable seething: not a single child. winked. Loved. since. in a single year: when we love. but the fathers: resting on our depths like the rubble of mountains: the dry river-beds of those who were mothers . it was dissolved in the waters. among prowling bestial forms. this: that we loved inside us. Before you he loved it. show him with love a confident daily task . went on. that render the embryo light. we don¶t love like flowers..: girls. the primal flood inside him? Ah.. gently. in strangling growths. Relinquished it.. And every Terror knew him..... as he lay there. give him what outweighs
. What women hated you there... And you yourself. under his sleepy eyelids. new.lead him near to the Garden. prevent. How he gave himself to it -. still gorged on his forefathers.. but fevered: what began there! How. newly green. through his own roots.. that first world within. on whose mute overthrow his heart stood.. What feelings welled up from lost lives.: seemed protected.. how could you know ± that you stirred up primordial time in your lover. Loved.Seldom have you smiled so tenderly. What sinister men you roused up in his young veins.O. while you carried him. into the sleep he had tasted .. girls. not one to come. mothers. Yes. Dead children wanted you. dissolving a sweetness.But inside: who could hinder. Loved his inward world.. he was tangled in ever-spreading tendrils of inner event: already twisted in patterns. to the vast fountain where his little birth was already outlived. See. an ancient sap rises in our arms. his inner wilderness. O.
......... Be in him...
Am I not right? You.. Aren¶t lovers always arriving at boundaries. We do not know the contours of feeling. feel the loss of some other. even if someone says to me: µNo more¶ . Even if the lights go out. Here. O when are you wintering? We are not unified. We realise flowering and fading together. I¶ll still be here.
. not even the boywith the brown. hunting. and fall down to an indifferent lake. onto the wind. though. father. Enmity is our neighbour. we force ourselves. I will suffer its shell. squinting. Who has not sat. its wire. Not him. We have no instincts like those of migratory birds. even if none of my silent forefathers sits by me any more. That is complete. a contrasting background is carefully prepared so that we can see it: then this is clear to us. of any weakness. Easy to comprehend. eyes. I am waiting. The familiar garden swaying a little: then the dancer appeared. not one woman. that first clouded infusion of my necessities. wholly. while we are intent on one thing. suddenly. And somewhere lions still roam. to whom life tasted so bitter. as long as they have their splendour. even if emptiness reaches me as a grey draught of air from the stage. only what forms it from outside. scared. before his heart¶s curtain? It drew itself up: the scenery was of Departure. Useless. Enough! However lightly he moves he is in costume. and late. for the sketch of a moment. you kept on tasting.The Fourth Elegy O trees of life. I don¶t want these half-completed masks. and home? And when. each of the other. One can always watch. rather the Doll. and goes through the kitchen into his house. Never knowing. We. tasting mine. who promised distance. as I grew. and turns into a citizen. its face of mere appearance.
am I not right? And you women. Angel and Doll: then there¶s a play at last. have often been anxious within my innermost hopes. who since you were dead. See the dying must realise that what we do here is nothing. to hold it so softly. Then at last from our seasons here.. and gives the measure of distance into its hand? Who makes a child¶s death out of grey bread. how full of pretext it all is. O hours of childhood. the kingdoms of calm the dead own. comes together. where you no longer existed. and stood there. there was more than the past.. who would love me for that small beginning of love.When I feel like waiting in front of the puppet theatre.. before life. half for the sake of those others who had nothing but their grown-up-ness. rather gazing at it. so intently. yet. and in front of us was not the future.. in the space between world and plaything. as I loved. Who shows a child. at a point that from first beginnings had been marked out for pure event.
. dragging the puppets on high. Over and above us. an Angel must come and take part. searched my misted gaze ± you. . for my bit of fate. merely by being. We were growing. the orbit of all change emerges. behind the images. happy with Timelessness. am I not right. nothing in itself. no. and giving up calm. the Angel plays. on our own. just as they are? Who sets it in its constellation. And were. and sometimes urged that we soon grew up. But this: death. that at last. that I always turned away from.and preoccupied by the after-taste of such a strange future. my father. into cosmic space. and not live in anger. for you. the whole of death. then. to balance my gaze. because the space of your faces changed.. that hardens.or leaves it inside its round mouth like the core of a shining apple? Killers are easy to grasp. Then what we endlessly separate. it¶s true. when.
.cannot be expressed.
urgently. O you. this pistil..and already the ever -returning grasp wrings the strongest of men again. bends them. and sometimes a little confused in his widowed skin. and swings them. and the other had survived him. so they land on the threadbare carpet. this carpet lost in the universe. that was still small. on surface thinness.. as if the suburban sky had wounded the earth there. only a drummer now.. wrung out for whom ± to please whom. even more transient than we are ourselves. these Travellers. as if he were son of a neck and a nun: taut and erectly filled with muscle and simple-mindedness. as though it had once contained two men. disinterest. deaf.. twists them. as King August the Strong would crush a tin plate.. seeming-to-smile. tell me.. the man. their never-conscious.The Fifth Elegy But who are they. Ah. gleaming lightly. There. Round this stamp. and one was already lying there in the churchyard. in jest. shrunk in his massive hide. fertilised again to a shadow-fruit of disinterest. upright.
. And scarcely there. and catches them again: as if from oiled more slippery air. by a never-satisfied will? Yet it wrings them. worn by their continual leaping. an old man. And the young one. and around this centre. throws them... from their earliest days. Stuck on like a plaster. the rose of watching flowers and un-flowers. wrinkled lifter. caught in the pollen of its own flowering. there and revealed: the great capital letter of Being. that a sorrow. the withered.
. praise it.. in half-pauses.. You.. inscription: µSubrisio Saltat: the Saltimbanque¶s smile¶ You. that small-flowered healing herb. a hundred times a day from the tree of mutually built-up movement (that.. then..
. blindly. unripe. with the thud that only fruit knows. gather it. close to your constantly racing heart.. still fell away from each other.. market fruit of serenity laid out. and needing nothing. Make a vase.... with flowery. Angel! O. You. a loving look tries to rise from your face towards your seldom affectionate mother: but it loses itself in your body. before a few quick tears rush bodily into your eyes. you.. in a few moments. beloved.. its source. who fall. And yet.. Perhaps your frills are happy for you ± or the green metallic silk. oh where is the place ± I carry it in my heart ± where they were still far from capable. swirling. feels itself endlessly pampered.. that smile. like coupling animals. and before a pain can become more distinct. shows spring. endlessly.. over your firm young breasts. pluck it.. not yet ready for pairing: where the weights are still heavy: where the plates still topple from their vainly twirling sticks. on all the quivering balance scales.And again the man is clapping his hands for your leap.. a burning grows in the soles of your feet. keep it safe! Place it among those joys not yet open to us: on a lovely urn. beneath the shoulders.. and impact on the grave: sometimes. Where.once received as a plaything. publicly.. swifter than water.. in one of its long convalescences.. summer and autumn). fall. whose surface consumes the shy scarcely-attempted look. that the loveliest delights silently over-leapt.
suddenly. endless show-place. their ladders. winds and twists the restless trails of the earth. altered into that empty too-much. trembling. eternally valid coins of happiness in front of the finally truly smiling pair on the silent carpet?
. artificial fruits ± all falsely coloured. endless ribbons. Where the many-placed calculation is exactly resolved. Squares: O square in Paris. into new bows.And. flowers. Angel: if there were a place we know nothing of. . lovers revealed what here they could never master. their high daring figures of heart¶s flight. in front of the circle of watchers.for winter¶s cheap hats of destiny. ever-saved. Madame Lamort. their towers of desire. suddenly. on each other ± and mastered them. on some unsayable carpet. frills. leaning. soundless dead: Would these not fling their last. ever-hidden. in this troublesome nowhere. rosettes. and there. where the milliner. unknown to us. the unsayable point where the pure too-little is changed incomprehensibly -. long since standing where there was no ground. the countless.
And if he shattered pillars. and sit. our pride is in flowering. if I were a boy. The hero is strangely close to those who died young. and.We. to enter the changed constellation his risk entails. like the mild night air. your arched bough drives the sap downward. O mother. already betrayed. in whom Death the gardener wove different veins. linger. and reading about Samson. how gladly I would hide from the yearning: O if I. O sources of ravening rivers! Ravines into which
.. ah. but see: he grasped and let go.. Being is his ascent: he moves on.The Sixth Elegy Fig-tree. and might come to it still. for such a long time now. These plunge ahead: they go before their own smile.. See: like the god into the swan . Then. All at once I am pierced by his darkened sound carried on streaming air. sings him into the tempest of his onrushing world. it was when he burst out of the world of your flesh into the narrower world. into the early.. Was he not a hero already.. But Destiny. touches their eyelids: heroes perhaps. where he went on choosing. like the team of horses in the slightly hollowed-out relief of Karnak¶s victorious pharaoh. in you.. how his mother first bore nothing. there has been meaning for me. O mothers of heroes. chose and achieved. propped on the future¶s arms. Few could find him there. Lasting doesn¶t contain him. that they are already waiting and glowing with their heart¶s fullness when the temptation to flower. we reach the late core of our final fruit.. resolute fruit. though. in the way you almost wholly omit to flower and urge your pure secret.. In a few the urge to action rises so powerfully. that darkly hides us. I hear no one like him. unheralded. and those chosen to vanish prematurely.. into the bliss of its sweetest achievement. suddenly inspired. then up: and it leaps from its sleep barely waking. touches their tender mouths. and then all. Like the jet of a fountain. did not his imperious choice begin inside you? Thousands seethed in the womb and willed to be him. time and again. achieving.
whenever the hero stormed through the stations of love. future offerings to the son. someone other. each heartbeat. stood at the end of the smiles.weeping girls have plunged from the high heart¶s edge.
. he turned away. meant for him. lifting him onward. Because.
And the summer to come. also the stars.. the breathing freshness. not only the evening fields.. in promise¶s play. how. fountain that in its rising jet already anticipates falling.. Like him. not only the paths. all the stars: for how. still invisible. in whom a reply slowly wakes and grows warm. the ascending one.... voice that¶s outgrown it: true. as she listens ± the glowing feeling mated to your daring feeling. you would cry pure as a bird. the stars of this Earth! O to be dead at last and know them eternally. the silent one. Then up the stairway. also the nights! Also the high summer nights. after a late storm. that a purely affirmative day surrounds more deeply with heightened stillness. how to forget them!
. the stairway of calling. and not just a solitary heart that it flings into brightness. to intimate heavens. some girl would sense you.. First the tiny questioning piping. Not only the devotion of these unfolded forces. no longer: wooing will not be the form of your cry. you also. when the season lifts him.: then the trill. Oh and the Spring-time would comprehend ± there is no place that would not echo its voice of proclamation. almost forgetting that he is a suffering creature.The Seventh Elegy Wooing. evenings.. would be wooing no less ± so that. not only approaching sleep and a premonition. up to the dreamed-of temple of future . not only.
beloved. as if it existed.. one that was scarcely measurable by time¶s measure.for. Everything. You knew it. We want to visibly show it. the Sphinx. you who seemed dispensable. finally upright. stood in the midst of fate. how could I limit the call. saved at last. where you had a being. to whom the former does not. will world be. some conceptual structure springs up.See. Many no longer see it. Those extravagances of the heart we keep. as it is. This once stood among men. but within. ± You. Yes.Girls would come from delicate graves and gather. stood in the midst of not-knowing-towards-what. Where there was once a permanent house. the destroyer. Veins filled with being. pylons. a single thing once prayed to. festering. formless. children. like the tense yearning gained from all things. where even one survives. And ever-shrinking the outer diminishes. Columns. but strengthen in us the keeping of still recognisable forms. with columns. the stirring thrust
. Our life passes in change. or open for refuse. once called? The buried always still seek the Earth. even you.. and statues... But we forget so easily what our laughing neighbour neither acknowledges nor envies. but lose the chance to build it inside themselves now. I was calling my lover. Being here is the wonder. between two moments. Since even the next is far from mankind. Temples are no longer known. But not only she would come.. girls. panting. as fully at home among concepts. a single thing grasped here is many times valid. grander! Each vague turn of the world has such disinherited ones. belong. while even the most visible of joys can only display itself to us when we have changed it. Vast reservoirs of power are created by the spirit of the age. there! It will stand in your gaze. Don¶t think that Fate is more than a childhood across: how often you overtook the beloved. and drew stars towards itself out of the enshrined heavens.. Angel. also. and the next does not yet. from within. as if it still stood in the brain. into what¶s free. Though this should not confuse us.. athwart us. served. more secretly. I¶ll show it to you.. already there in the invisible. Since an hour was given ± perhaps not so much as an hour. panting after the blissful chase after nothing. in the worst streets of the cities.. sunken ± you. Nowhere. knelt before ± it stands.
you would not come! Since my call is always full of outpouring: against such a powerful current you cannot advance.) But a tower was great. Angel. wide open. my call. out of a fading or alien city. since we are this. when they are not overfull of our feelings. these generous ones. Like an outstretched arm. alone in the night. at her window. grey. as if for defence and for warning. after all. be astonished. Why even a girl in love. did she not reach to your knees? ± Don¶t think that I¶m wooing.of the cathedral. that we could achieve this: my breath is too slight for this praising. before you. O great one. we have not failed to make us of these spaces. after thousands of years. opened above for grasping. Incomprehensible One. oh.
. our spaces. And its hand. Angel. were I doing so. was it not? O Angel. So. (How frighteningly vast they must be. O tell them. remains open. Was it not miracle? O. it was though ± even compared to you? Chartres was great ± and Music towered still higher and went beyond us.
. and surround it. As a child loses itself sometimes. and without a view of its condition. and never the Nowhere without the Not: the pure.. such as flowers open endlessly into. Or someone dies and is it. Always turned towards creation. If there was consciousness like ours in the sure creature. and when it moves. And where we see future it sees everything. Since near to death one no longer sees death.The Eighth Elegy The creature gazes into openness with all its eyes.
. it moves in eternity. everywhere. not for a single day. Or that an animal mutely. As if through an oversight it opens out behind the other.. that moves towards us on a different track ± it would drag us round in its wake. in wonder. without craving. as streams do.. perhaps with the large gaze of the creature. not that openness that is so deep in the animal¶s vision. But our eyes are as if they were reversed.But there is no way past it. and is healed for ever. Free from death. we see only a mirroring of freedom dimmed by us. We know what is outside us from the animal¶s face alone: since we already turn the young child round and make it look backwards at what is settled. forever. and God before it.. Lovers are close to it. like barriers against its free passage. and it turns to world again. But its own being is boundless. Always there is world. pure as its outward gaze. unwatched-over.. opposite. that one breathes and endlessly knows.. We alone see that: the free creature has its progress always behind it.. This is what fate means: to be opposite. and to be that and nothing else. and itself in everything.. and is jolted back. one with the stillness. if the other were not always there closing off the view. unfathomable. and stares ahead. calmly is looking through and through us. We never have pure space in front of us.
And see the half-assurance of the bird. It collapses. and collapse ourselves. We arrange it again. whatever we do.
. on the last hill. as if what one is pursuing now was once nearer. even when it is wed: since womb is all. And we: onlookers.. everything. and are always taking leave. Compared to that first home the second one seems ambiguous and uncertain. And how dismayed anything is that has to fly. as if it were the soul of an Etruscan. and joined to us with infinite tenderness. that shows them all their valley . Here all is distance. stop. Who has turned us round like this. Since it too always has within it what often overwhelms us ± a memory. born of a dead man in a space with his reclining figure as the lid. O bliss of little creatures that stay in the womb that carried them forever: O joy of the midge that can still leap within. everywhere. we always have the aspect of one who leaves? Just as they will turn. so that. As the track of a bat rends the porcelain of evening. linger. never out of. We arrange it. as a crack runs through a cup. for one last time. It fills us. always looking into. so we live. almost aware of both from its inception. and leave the womb. always.And yet in the warm waking creature is the care and burden of a great sadness. As if it were terrified of itself. truer. zig-zagging through the air. there it was breath.
the difficulty.. do we take into that other dimension? Not the gazing which we slowly learned here. Once. what use is it: it is better unsayable. only once.. and be spent so. pure.but for saying.. realise. But later. for each thing.. which could exist in the laurel. the long experience of love. alas. and before those to come. to have been. the ephemeral. fountain. unsayable to others.. fruit-tree... and because all that¶s here seems to need us. for saying: house. if it could begin as laurel. And we too. this space of Being....: why then have to be human ± and shunning destiny long for destiny?. Are we here. or to practice the heart. Once. they too. Never again. not because happiness exists. and nothing that happened. though only once. Trying to become it. that over-hasty profit from imminent loss. gate.. bridge. jug. But this once. and no more. then. in the overflowing gaze and the speechless heart. window ± at most: column. simple. Nothing. what. Oh. trying to contain it in our simple hands.Ah. perhaps. and trying to achieve it.. But because being here is much. Since the traveller does not bring a handful of earth from mountain-slope to valley. Suffering then..The Ninth Elegy Why. once... Is not the secret intent of this discreet Earth to draw lovers on. a yellow and blue gentian. Above all... then ± what is wholly unsayable. after the many before them. to have been an earthly thing ± seems irrevocable. but only a word that was won. And so we keep pushing on.. for a saying such as the things themselves would nev er have profoundly said. We: the most ephemeral. tower.
. that strangely concerns us. a little darker than all the surrounding green. with little waves at the edge of every leaf (like a breeze¶s smile) .. among the stars.... so that each and every thing is delight within their feeling? Threshold: what is it for two lovers to be wearing their own threshold of the ancient door a little. oh. Whom to give it to? We would hold on to it for ever. not out of curiosity..
serves as a thing. beside the rope-maker in Rome. ah. under a crust that will split. Earth.
. An act. one day? ± Earth! Invisible! What is your urgent command if not transformation? Earth. our heart lives on. we are. or dies into a thing: transient. from the first. to be invisible. On what? Neither childhood nor future grows less. keeps praising. and be witness. beloved. See I live.. in the end. as the tongue between the teeth. how even the cry of grief decides on pure form. into us! Whoever. into ± oh. I will. Will us to change them completely. Speak.Excess of being wells up in my heart. and your most sacred inspiration is that familiar Death. is it not this that you want: to rise invisibly in us? ± Is that not your dream.. I have been truly yours. Praise the world to the Angel. or the potter beside the Nile. You were always right. you need no more Spring-times to win me: only one. Tell him things. Show him how happy things can be. More than ever the things of experience are falling away. you are a novice.. He¶ll be more amazed: as you were. as soon as the business within outgrows it. in our invisible hearts. that in spite of them. believe me. is already more than my blood can stand.. Namelessly. Between the hammers. O. the most transient of all.Here is the age of the sayable: here is its home.. we. since what ousts and replaces them is an act with no image. fashioned in age after age. endlessly. how guiltless and ours. one. where he feels more deeply. not the unsayable: you can¶t impress him with glories of feeling: in the universe. and limit itself differently. that lives close to hand and in sight. So show him a simple thing. they look to us for deliverance.
or a doubtful. where.¶
. one of the seasons of our inner year ± not only season . Let my streaming face make me more radiant: let my secret weeping bear flower. Children are playing. How we gaze beyond them into duration¶s sadness. the statue cast from the mould of emptiness bravely swaggers: the gilded noise... not just to amuse: the private parts of money. beyond her. the streets of Grief-City. though... From applause at his luck he staggers on further: as booths for every taste are wooing him. only for adults. The youth is drawn on. squanderers of pain.. settlement. to see if they have an end. just at the back of the hoardings.to instruct and make potent. She says: µIt¶s far. Nights of anguish.. Let not a single one of the cleanly-struck hammers of my heart deny me. O. alas. the flawed memorial.. anatomy. to view: how money is got. let me sing jubilation and praise to assenting Angels. lovers are holding each other ± to the side. and dogs are following their nature. Inconsolable sisters. why did I not kneel more to greet you. We live out there. or a broken string. the whole thing. how an Angel would utterly trample their market of solace. in the artificiality of a drowned-out false stillness. bounded by the Church.. targets that shake tinnily whenever some better marksman hits one. Swings of freedom! Divers and jugglers of zeal! And the figures at the shooting range of easy luck. disenchanted and shut like the post-office on Sunday. it¶s real.. all of it. as long as they chew fresh distractions along with it. . drumming. soil... that bitter beer that tastes sweet to its drinkers. in the emergence from this fierce insight. Beyond though.. just behind them. O. but just beyond behind the last hoarding. and bawling. the act. Strange..He comes to the field. lose myself more in your loosened hair? We.: but place.. camp. how dear you will be to me.The Tenth Elegy Some day.O. sombrely. the outskirts are always alive with the fair.. Here¶s something special. plastered with adverts for µDeathless¶. dwelling.. then. bought ready for use: untouched. Though they are nothing but our winter-suffering foliage. our dark evergreen. through a slack. further: perhaps it¶s a young Lament he loves.... in the sparse grass.
one of the older Laments. like a moon.. Our ancestors worked the mines on that mountain -range: among men you¶ll sometimes find a lump of polished primal grief. waves. we Laments.. Brother to that of the Nile. positioned the human face in the scale of the stars. ± With youths she walks on in silence.) shows him the herds of Grief. shows him the columns of temples. so they move more softly..
. and the fields of flowering Sadness. along the cheek. And they are astonished by the regal head. and soon. that forever. He is moved by her manner. will inscribe on the far distance the written form of its lonely cry ± At evening she leads him to the graves of the elders of the race of Laments. She waits for girls and befriends them. the ruins of castles. in the valley. Her shoulders. But there. from which the lords of Lament ruled the land. the sibyls and prophets. that came from there. the all-guarding sepulchre rises. that of being weaned. looks back. the secret chamber¶s countenance. takes to the youth. µa large family once.¶ she says. flying low through their upward glance. Yes. Only those who died young. We used to be rich. in their first state of timeless equanimity.. grazing ± and sometimes a startled bird. the tall Sphinx. She shows them gently what she is wearing. and the bird brushes. But he leaves her. follow her lovingly.What¶s the point? She¶s a Lament..µWhere?¶ And the youth follows. turns round.µWe were. wisely. still dizzied by early death. (The living know it as only a tender shrub. But as night falls. Shows him the tall Tear-trees. But her gaze frightens an owl from behind the rim of the crown.. or the lava of frozen rage from some old volcano. Pearls of grief and the fine veils of suffering. where they live.¶ And she leads him gently through the wide landscape of Lament. with slow skimming flight. His sight cannot grasp it. her neck ± perhaps she¶s from a notable family. silently. when he questions: .
± And we. He climbs alone. that almost dismays us. or they would intend the rain. falling on dark soil in Spring -time. who think of ascending joy. the Window..¶ They stand at the foot of the mountains.. And higher: the stars.. New stars. further. hanging from bare hazels.
. But if the endlessly dead woke a symbol in us.. that stands for the Mothers. as though on the doubly-unfolded page of a book.the one with the richer curve. And not once do his footsteps sound from his silent fate. the clearly shining M. see. the Burning Book. of Grief-Land. and in silence the elder Lament leads him as far as the ravine. towards the Pole: the Cradle. the Doll. pure as on the palm of a sacred hand. Slowly the Lament names them: µThere. Then.. see: the Rider. weeping. the Staff. and that larger constellation they name Fruit-Garland. and inscribes the indescribable outline. would feel the emotion.¶ But the dead must go on. on the new hearing born out of death. where the fountain of joy glistens in moonlight. the Way. But in the southern sky. With awe she names it saying: µAmong men this is a load-bearing river. on the mountains of primal grief. And there she embraces him. when a joyful thing falls. they would point perhaps to the catkins.
O when are you wintering? But who are they. for such a long time now. no longer: wooing will not be the form of your The creature gazes into openness with all Why.
. if it could begin as laurel. in the emergence from this fierce insight. would hear me among the Angelic Every Angel is terror. O trees of life.Index by First Line Who. another. To sing the beloved is one thing. oh. Wooing. tell me. there has been meaning for me. these Travellers. Some day. if I cried out. And yet. and be spent so. even more Fig-tree.
on the church walls. Santa Maria Formosa. who ordered his son Tobias to go and recover some of his property from Media. The Book of Tobit in the Apocrypha (5:4. The church. Collaltino. who died in childhood. in th e house where the original hung. Egon von Rilke. Linos. Back to text. Back to text. The mythical poet: in some versions of Greek myth. Famous for her intense love for the young Lord of Treviso. Picasso depicts a family of travelling acrobats. Back to text. disguised. Les Saltimbanques. She was for Rilke a µtype¶ of unrequited love. The Greek myths provide a complex of hints about him. She wrote some two hundred sonnets telling the story of her love for him. The reference is to one of the commemorative tablets.Notes Gaspara Stampa.
. 1523-1554.¶ Back to text. µSo they went forth. dying at the age of thirty -one. ritual lament. he is the brother of Orpheus. Rilke was familiar with such people from his stay in Paris. which he was ultimately unable to return. Tobias. in Munich). which Rilke visited in 1911. guided the young man. The Archangel Raphael.16) tells the story of Tobit the Israelite. The boy with the brown squinting eyes was Rilke¶s cousin. 570). song and music. Back to text. This elegy is founded on Rilke¶s knowledge of Picasso¶s painting Les Saltimbanques (he lived. where he became Rodin¶s secretary. in Venice. and the sacred nature of poetry. His brown eyes were µdisfigured b y a squint¶. from June to October 1915. that involve. Back to text. and the young man¶s dog with them. inscribed with Latin texts. The ancient µLament for Linos¶ was part of the vegetation rituals mentioned by Homer (Iliad XVIII. and son of Calliope the Muse.
as though spuriously added by a surreptitious hand. content aside. A handful are of drastically inferior quality to the others. The complex rhyme schemes are an integral part of the work.. which. the "small russet sails" of the sonnets (Rilke's description) compliment the dark rigging of the greater work. so far as I know. from lairs. The Sonnets to Orpheus: bright.
. ranging in tone from transcendent to cantankerous. written at a time of grief at the death of a young friend. the dancer Vera Knoop. and are included on her account. yet in this abeyance: seeds of change and new beginnings near.The Sonnets to Orpheus
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation by Robert Hunter
PREFACE This translation approximates the original rhythm & rhyme of The Sonnets to Orpheus. I acknowledge indebtedness to many previous translators of The Sonnets for guidance in nuance and a variety of perceptions concerning relative weights among the images. discrete songs. from dens. Written concurrently with later parts of the Duino Elegies. Creatures of silence emerged from the clear unfettered forest.
Robert Hunter 1993
-1 Tree arising! O pure ascendance! Orpheus Sings! Towering tree within the ear! Everywhere stillness. I believe the explanation is that they had profound sentimental value to Rilke. Not from shyness. It is. the only translation to attempt this. is a virtuoso study in the possibilities of sonnet form. Duino Elegies are freeform unrhymed verse. this silence of theirs.
Brutal shriek and roar dwindled in their hearts. vistas vast and nearly touchable. constructed of longing darkly drear. you built them a temple at listening's core.nor from any hint of fear. Singing God. Song.
-2 Something akin to a maiden strayed from this marriage of song and string. Where stood a mere hut to house the passions of the ear. is beyond achievable desire. it is rather the sheer reality of immanent being: simplicity itself for deity. where does she go?--something akin to a maid-3 Gods are able. Tell how a man. haphazardly wrought from front to rear. but how may we partake? When will you inspire our being. Her dream was my domain: the trees which enchanted me. simply from listening. could possibly thread the lyre's narrow modes? Vacillating at the heart's dark crossroads. She dreamed the world. bestowing earth and stars by turn? This has no relation. glowing radiant through veils of spring. youth. meadows of a vernal cast and every wondrous joy my heart could claim. Where is her death? O. And there she slept. you teach us. inside my ear a bed she laid. how made you that primordial repose so sound she never felt a need to waken? Upon arising she fell straight to dream. he beholds no temple of Apollo. to your enamored care:
. will you yet discover her theme before your song is eclipsed forever? -Abandoning me. though.
The lyre's strings do not tie his hand. heavy the sea.never the empty space. -5 Orpheus requires no tomb.. Return to earth its weighty share. But not the breeze.. The tree you seeded in childhood's place grows now too heavy for you to bear. A wind.
-4 O tender ones. suffice it that though he comes and goes: 'tis Orpheus singing wherever there's song. Air without object. arrow and target chosen: smiling sorrow is your eternal share.mouth forced wide by the thrust of your voice . It will end. now and again stand in the waves of a foreign air which parts upon your cheeks and then. O blessed ones. Give thanks should he sometime outlive the rose. comprising bow. he is flown beyond your interference.. True singing breaths a different air. whole and unbroken.
. heavy are its mountains. In the short and long. The god himself shines from the flower.. Fear not suffering's gravity. in his mortal stead behold the rose in bloom. Dreading his own disappearance. first throb of the heart's fanfare. rejoins behind you there. A gust within God. resurrected in one thing and another beyond our power to name.learn to set aside impassioned music. trembling. The instant his word transcends coherence. he vanishes that you may understand.
beneath his eyelids gently dreaming. instead. grapes of succulent rust matured in the sun of his Southern shore. haste they from graves or rooms external. Though mold o'ergrow the imperial crypts. with spell of rue and earthsmoke streaming. vision detailed as reason blazes.In overstepping lies his true obedience. -7 Exalting he came. mortal heart poised to press our fruit into deathless wine of endless days. Bread nor milk on the table leave to entice the dead while you lie abed. bearing the fruit of vibrancy through the doors of the dead in a shining grail. Let Orpheus. He can best twine the shoots of the willow who has dwelt a time in its root.
-6 Is he of our world alone? No. fine ore smelted from mute stone. He does not choke on the dust stirred up by transcendent metaphor: all becomes arbor. Nothing disturbs these forms eternal. He is the herald of constancy. their spirits weave into all that may be seen. nor yet.
. true accolade never fails his lips. as flask. clasp and ring he raises. magus. though heaven's disfavor prevail. anointed to the office of praise. Both realms his broader scope salute.
Suddenly. with girlish hands. in realms of shade.Lament. I salute you. Keenly upon our tumult she peers and marks they splash clear on the selfsame rock where the arch and tabernacle rise. recall the sign. with the dead. Lament alone still learns. Above her still shoulders intuition glisters: a sense that she. hesitant and awkward. may only on paths of glory walk. Through night's successions. on poppy dine. When the lagoon's mirror pane reflects all unclear. free of sorrow. Joy has certainty. she tallies.
. the lyre dares to raise. heavenward. -9 Who. sprite of the pool of tears. she chooses a constellation among our voices and flings it. yet flows through. like a wanderer's melody. receives in ominous trade endless powers of praise. Who. Longing: her confessions. need nevermore fear: the true sweetness in his rhyme shall never disappear. our ancient vices. Only in the dual domain can voices appear forever benign. is youngest of the heart's three sisters. the one who cries. -10 Thou from whom my sentiment rarely strays. ancient sarcophagi. conduit where exultant water of Roman days.
in joy. who rides. Let it suffice. trot and stay? Yet. by main force of intuition. to hail the apparent oneness. or do we not. Do we know. Is there no constellation Rider? Within us dwells. Are not we. Devoid of actual perception. a pride of place concerning earth. new horizons along the way? But are they twain? Do not both denote the nature of their common trail. directs and reins its trace. Observe a second figure.
-12 Hail the force sublime uniting we who live in signs. All that is wrested from doubt's dark den I salute: the voices which once more flower after knowing silence's ways. permitted to view. in our essential sinew. The clock's steps only mime the ticking of a truer time. by one deft touch. though one eat bread.
. oddly engrained. in twin cognition. friend? Both sides are framed by the reluctant hour and chiseled on the faces of men. open as the eyes of a happy shepherd glad to rise .or yonder tombs. the other oat? Should the starry union prove otherwise let us yet conspire. required to tack.wherein pale dead nettle and silence lies out of which flutter forth charmed butterflies. -11 Look into the sky. antenna to antenna we posit. track.
what can we know? It has ever been their task to make earth grow more virile through their marrow's passive toil. . fruit and vine.immense!
-14 We are caught up in flower. I sense it on his countenance as he partakes. pear gooseberry.what emptiness transmits. This comes from afar. with a jealous shine of the buried dead who fortify the soil. -13 Fat apple.all speak immanence of death and life to the child there. thick at first. . O pure tension! Isn't your obscure transmission immune to mundane converse? Though the planter toil and care he cannot reach down to where the seed becomes summer. replacing speech with fiats from the jam jar? Dare to declare a pear.
. bright manifestations rear. Or does anger swell in these fruitful shoots. . . . shining. Of their hand in this. From the darkness. Does something you cannot relate slowly traverse your own palate. Do they do this freely? we ask. . then to clarity reversed awakens from the slumbering nectar luminous twin significance of sun and earth. it may be. They speak to us more than the cant of the year. banana. . Music of forces. This sweetness. Earth confers. presence and joy .
once inside. . are lonely because.you discern the dead.a touch of music. become its own luscious completeness. yet it overcomes. Helping you will be hard. . you quiet girls . . of all: most dangerous and full of flaws. Glowingly reveal bouquet upon bouquet. to word and gesture prone. . What gesture can indicate a smell? Yet of the threatening powers benighted you know many . guiding my own masters hand. I will declare:
. But.that's tasty.a beating. I'd outgrow you. .already out the door. You must never aspire to plant me in your heart. You have possessed it. the masters of their task? Or are they.begrudging us. . cringe in terror at their magic spell. perhaps. who slumber deep beneath the roots. nearly self-drowned in its own sweetness. our masters. Your own concordat create with the pure. You warm girls. . Dance the orange. permitting it to shine in its own native breezes. . recalcitrant rind and the ebullient juice beneath the peel!
-16 You. gradually make the world our own we. yielding an overflow none misses of their hybrid of mute power and kisses? -15 Hold it. . .. . together we two must bear these fragments and parts as though they were entire. my friend.a hum -.come dance the taste of the fruits you savor! Dance the orange.. Fling the sultry climate far from you. . humankind. See here. Who can forget it?. .
. The last. whorling root of arising's course. secret at the source. comes a messenger. Branch to branch in the gyre. humble and serene. then let it serve us right. not one of them free. Look at the machine: how it turns and destroys. atop their wake. . No ear but is half broken by the clattering. Hunter's horns choraling. the machine has spoken. . women like guitars. As one! climb higher. .. vengefully twisting us like toys. This is Esau in his hide. Since we bequeath it might. beyond any beholding. arcs into a lyre.. Sir? Extolling its power. o higher.There. In course of time they break. aged men's discourse.
-18 Do you hear the future adrone and athrob. -17 Beneath all: the Eldest. . -19 -
. and requests our flattering. brothers out quarreling. .
How the Spring of his horse blood gushed! He felt the distance without restraint and O how he sang and received -. True love has never been learned. to spend one sweet night on the grassy lea..Quick though the earth itself churns. who taught all creatures their ear. His image: my testament. in April Russian twilight -. Nor do we know by what agency we are to death interned. .
-20 Tell. Master. Only the song over the land yields blessing and commemoration..your cycle of mythos. changing like cloud formations. your prelude is alone lasting: god with the lyre. each fulfilled thing returns to ancient foundations. an evening I remember.a steed. freer and higher. a hobble upon his foreleg lashed. From the outskirts of the village came he. earth like the double of a girl who has memorized many. The waves of his white mane dashed on his neck beating as his spirit rushed. . in spite of the shackle's impediment. in him completed. what could I offer you might receive? Long ago. -21 Spring has come once more. many verses. Beyond changing and passing. Grief is beyond comprehension. For her trouble
will stillness itself cast light to profile in bright relief the foremost ultimate tool. Can she tell us the name of the greensward light. All which is hurrying soon will reach conclusion. leave trials of speed forsook. Of what her teacher professed. manifold truths. flower and book. do not waste your clout on the rigors of flight. that we are. the meaning of this blue? She can! She can! Lucky Earth at liberty. Only the everlasting gives consecration. We liked the white in the whiskers of the old man.and long study she earns the prize. -23 O not till wing take flight unconsciously to fly in the self-sufficient sky.
. now. Youth. the long. All these things at last play out: darkness and brilliant light. what is imprinted within the roots. she sings!
-22 Time's drivers. demanding stems: she sings. play tag with youths who long to catch you. Her teacher was strict. Will any succeed? Only those most happily delighting. the seeds. Its repetitious pace is all but effaced in what endures forever.
Illness drew nearer. Our former fires burn hot only in boilers now. one who matches distance's stride become lone flight's own apogee. but pave them straight ahead. though in truth we know one another not. long since outsped. dependent on each other completely. beautiful companion of the irrepressible cry.
-24 Shall we reject our ancient friendship with the great undemanding gods. we no longer construct paths which meander sweetly. plucked too soon. I see first the dancer. checked by lingering fate. heady from so much gain. I will tell them of you as I seek your shifting image and again remember. mourning and listening till in celestial response music poured through her heart's transmuted gate.darling of the winds in chief. losing sight of their tardy messengers. curved and cool -not till undivided aim replace adolescent pride in unbridled technology will. We've far removed our spas and luncheons through the years. so slender.
. Already in the shadow's clasp. tax ourselves at length. like swimmers. if only because the steelplate we fire to high temper simply does not relate? Shall we seek to find them on some map of the state? These powerful allies who bear away our dead. driving pistons of increasing strength though we. Lonelier now. at no juncture mesh with any of our gears. -25 You whom I loved like an unnamed flower. as though her youth were being cast in bronze.
However they wrestled and raged. O mournful god forlorn! You inexhaustible trace! Only because rancor broke and strewed you through nature have we learned to hear. while from utter devastation rebounded your song afresh. unconvinced. Interchange in which I rhythmically emerge. How many spaces in this vast horizon have I contained within? Many a wind
. In each of these your song holds fast. seeing you persevere. acquiring the power to hear. divine one singing on the brink of destruction while legions of forsaken maenads tore at your flesh. yet broke the grasp to pulse forth once more the familiar spring fervor. space's conqueror. Whipped on by vengeance. whose gradual sea am I. it often surged rebounding. Lone wave. the most austere of all conceivable seas. oh bright one.
PART TWO -1 Breath. they dismembered you at last.her darkening blood. the bird and the tree. the boulder. they could destroy neither your head nor your lyre. mortal and bright. you poem beyond all seeing! Pure and ceaseless demi-urge in counterpoise with our own being. touching you. You. in the lion. till at last. with a fearful pounding. become the mouth of creation's face. turned soft. but your melody resounded intact. you vanquished their shrieks with h armony. From dark and relapse. for each sharp stone they launched at your heart in ire. it flowed through the hopelessly open door.
-26 But you.
Some even seem absorbed into your depths -other styles you timidly dismiss. Spendthrifts of the vacant foyer -wide as woods beneath twilight stars. the earth. -3 Mirrors: to this day. while later. so full of spots hitherto mine? You once smooth rind.
-2 As when a handy scrap is chosen to contain a master's swift authentic strokes and swirls. Do you know me. But the loveliest remains. swell and leaf of my spoken thoughts. .seems like my own son. And the chandelier bounds like a sixteen-pointer through your impenetrability. So much have gazing eyes poured into the soot charred embers of slowly dying blazes: glimpses of lost life forever outworn. or aided by compliant illumination. until appears Narcissus to press her chaste lips. a mere reflection is shown. of their true face's exhalation. O.. you breeze. mirrors may often capture and retain the unique and sacred smiles of girls as they try on morning all alone. who can construe her losses? Only one who yet praises can sing the heart which into the whole is born. no expertise can explain the key to what you truly are.
. filling the interstices of time's plane with mere holes as from a colander. Sometimes you are filled with canvases.
clear and unfenced. Yet since they always gave it room. into the motionless blossom star's tight womb of endless receiving. once in awhile so overpowered by fulness that twilight's call to rest finds you barely able to contract your wide sprung flower -petals for night's resuscitation: you. But when. They didn't know that. indeed.
-4 O this is the beast who does not exist. They fed it not with grain nor chaff but fortified and nourished it solely with the notion that it might yet come to pass. the pure beast persisted. it grew a single shaft upon it's brow and to a virgin came and dwelled in her and in her silvered glass. and in any case --with its stance. reared it's head freely and hardly needed to exist. shall we at last become receptacles?
. outlive your farewell. And in that loving space. it was not. the violent. at length. its arched neck and easy grace. of countless worlds. the will and power! We. -5 ]Flower muscle of the anemone slowly opening in meadow dawn until into her core the polyphony of clamorous Heaven's light is drawn.fully liberated and crystal clear. in which latent incarnation. so that. the light of its limpid gaze --they could not resist but loved it though.
playmates of childhood long gone. among the scattered gardens of the suburbs how we discovered one another. . so shyly fond. well gifted to do more good than you might guess. -7 Flowers. yet your single leaf is both estrangement and renunciation of such an insight. memory subsumes all which we have pleaded for in this.Rose enthroned. . fresh ones.even as you are lifted one more time between the streaming beams of compassionate fingers. a refueling of kinship with your confederates in blooming. drooping and gently violated. in the end. to us you are the fulsome infinity of bloom. whispered among you.
. Even so. to those arranging hands of maidens (both of present and time past) are you related as you await the water which once more redeems you from impending death . known to antiquity. And. we don't know what to call it. as a ringed calyx of small complexity. our hour. dismal and consuming. we infer.
-8 You few. upon that garden table often laden edge to edge. committed at the point of plucking. Suddenly it hangs in the air like fame. reaching toward it. You appear as garment upon rich garment clothing a body of nothing but light. Across the centuries your sweetest names have drifted down to us like soft perfume. reconnoitered in a vase where the act of cooling slowly from girlish heat seems like confessions. of sins. the inexhaustible entity.
-10 The machine threatens all we have gained.but sometimes one. Rather than let us linger to savor a master's deft care. vivid but phantasmal--and none ever knew us. as. there is nowhere we might escape. Nothing. Omnipresent. Exotic coaches rolled round about us. as through open gates.
. point out that iron chains no longer gird the convict's throat. Their glorious arches.speaking to one another without words like the lamb with the talking scroll. Into hearts that range pure and lofty. Only the balls. Not less than the subtle secret perception that wins us within. (In memorium Egon von Rilke ) -9 Judges: you congratulate yourselves upon disavowing torture. No heart beats lighter --none. as befits divinity. But how joy faded in all the striding people and in the anxious. it rules itself within its silent factory. It would just appear. The scaffold will relinquish what it has been granted through the ages. the unsupplanted god of true mercy enters in different fashion. Not even the children.. Nothing seemed very real at all. More than a wind for the great ships of condescension. would step beneath the falling ball. self-lubricating.. O. Joy belonged to no one. much like children exchange last year's broken toys. rather than its servant. houses glowered. lengthy year. just once. because some tender posture of spasmodic mercy lies within your interest to promote. like a quietly playing child of an infinite union. so long as it dare become the tyrant of spirit. it rigidly cuts the stone for structures ever more adamant. strong and gloriously. silently. a perishing one.
There is a certain rightness of which even that partakes. it is still the origin. with equal resolve able to order.It is life itself --convinced of its own omniscience. ever new. in any number of places.
-12 Aspire to transform. And music. For the bright spirit of serenity whatever happens is right. existence is still enchanted. with alacri ty performs his timely rite. . who could be truly secure beneath those folds of gray? Beware.. A playing of pure forces untouched except by one who kneels in wonder. you ribbons of canvas at one time dangled deep into the caverns of Karst. The mantle of conservatism is of itself a shroud. that generative spirit. . holds nothing dearer than the pivot point of the evolving image. not only from the eyes of the hunter who. O enraptured be by the fire wherein something elusive flames with brazen tidings of change. . Killing is one form of our wandering melancholy. Carefully were you lowered.. . I prefer. out of the most trembling stones. build or destroy. Far from espying eyes draw any breath of sympathy. like a banner bright celebrating peace. Words still serenely approach the unsayable. builds her home in those regions least usable. . from afar the hardest warns the hard aloud. An absent hammer swings high : --wehe.
. But for us. master of earth and all therein. -11 Many quietly acceptable methods of death have come to pass since onward conquering man first laid claim to the hunter's arts. But then a boy ga ve you a good hard shake -and the darkness hurled a tumble of pale doves into the light. . above the trap or net.
singing into the pure accord with boundless praising. like this departing winter. the numberless sum. slumber rapt with things -. But we go heavy burdened. to fully contain the eternal fount. To all the shopworn. within decline's rapidly fading country.Who pours forth like a spring is by knowledge herself known. All things wish to hover. Be --at the same time knowing the realm of non-being. O. once. different to a different day. If someone were to take them into intimate sleep. mute and glum debris of nature's stockpile.
-14 Behold the flowers. already accomplished. Daphne in mutation. requires your transformation into wind. joyfully add yourself and cancel the count. musty. Every astonishing space of joy through which they roam is child or grandchild of separation. out of that mutual deep. from the edge of destiny-but who knows for certain! If wilting should cause them rue. endure unvanquished.rise more joyfully. alone. lowering ourselves on all. it may be given us to be their melancholy. For among winters looms one so endlessly winter that hearts embracing winter.
. changing to laurel. She leads him enthralled through the benign creation which often ends in beginning and in beginnings ends. we are wearisome teachers for the myriad things who dwell in endless childishness. lent destiny. be as a ringing glass that shatters when it rings. in order. Here. by us. In Eurydice live ever dead -. to the earthly so very true.O how light he'd recover. exulting in weightiness. -13 Advance beyond all farewells as though they were. that infinite ground of your own intimate oscillating.
the water's endlessly flowing face. mask of marble. And from the distant peaks the aqueducts descend. from sloping Appenines do they carry the utterings you say. From far away. and they would bloom and praise him. but he is unfixated in serene being. into the basin which collects the flow. static in opposition. locus of healing.Or maybe he would remain. Only the dead drink out of the proper well at the god's silent signal. And the lamb begs for its bell out of quieter instinct. marble ear where all you say is conducted. he wielding the free end.
. o'er graves flowing. To us. the convert who is now like one of them. consecrated offering enters his sphere in no other fashion than as a polar apogee. it will seem to her you've interrupted. provider. only the water's loud gurgle is given. mouth that speaks one thing purely with continuous grace -you. we focus. This is the ear layed sleeping low. run down your blackened chin in streams. Ear of the earth.
-16 Ever and anon torn open by us is the place of the god. -15 O fountain's mouth. To herself conversing. Desiring to understand. Slip a pitcher between this discoursing. Even the pure. another easygoing sister or brother in the meadow wind.
Didn't it bloom so your earlier motion might swarm throughout. which your eyebrow's dark stroke drew quickly on the wall of its own turning? -19 -
. wasn't it sun. through any act of ours (too soon ripe . on what trees. and the vase. tree of motion asway fully retaining the hard swung year. ripen those exotic fruits of consolation ? Those delicious rarities. in the cups of which tenderly leafless flowers. Often. wasn't it summer . in your meadow's trampled poverty. the lot of us but shadows and shades. in wonder. perfectly amazed that some careless bird or jealous worm away beneath the root has not deprived you of it. over its soundness and unblemished exterior. tended mysteriously in slow degrees by obscure hands. where angels slide.-17 Where.too soon decayed. able. it bore. Aren't these its tranquil fruits? The pitcher shot through with ripe shades. more slow to mature? And in the shapes: wasn't the sketch enduring. in what blessed garden of eternally flowing waters. though not ours. of which you may discover one.) disturb the calm composure of those blissful summers?
-18 Dancer: O transporter of all fading away in very transition: indeed you deliver it here. Whirl and closure. that unmeasurable inner warmth you could bring? It bore fruit as well. to sate our hungers? Could we ever.the warmth. into sudden stillness flowering? And on high. you stand marveling at the size of the fruit. your tree of rapture. Are there indeed such trees.
so that it appears uncanny to us. Who knows? Is there not a place where the language of the fish. is a lost place to a ten pfennig copper.
-20 Between the stars. let us say a child. or like some cupboard's undusted corner. transparent and unattainable. fur and carnations. in their absence. marveling. . miserable. endlessly destructible. so one thought. If only someone capable of seeing would at last understand and. O how does it close when night falls.nowhere does the circle close. that blind man. behold. the silent one. she fans his memory. yet yonder beggar. perhaps. Only the singer can say what is to the god alone audible. another -O how incredibly faraway. praise its persistence. Money feels right at home in all the shops. Let us see: between a maid and a man may range such wide gaps.Gold abides inside a pandering bank vault somewhere. Fish are mute. is at last in common parlance? -21 -
Sing. On the table gaily set. He. Someone. within the dish. stands in the respiratory stops of all that breathing money as it sleeps or awakens. and yet vastly further: the lessons of this place and day.and beside him. the fishes' queer countenance. . All is distant-. that always open hand? Fate will roll it out again tomorrow. my heart. and each day keep it extended: bright. dressed to the nines in silk. while shunning him. . . on intimate terms with thousands. that. Fountains and roses of Ispahan or of Shiraz.
. of unknown gardens poured in glass. how far. Fate measures us with the rod of being.
for whom their figs have ripened. that you could never truly miss them.
-22 O despite fate: a glorious overflowing of our worldly being. but then and anon is forever turned to. my heart. But even this frenzy vanishes without trace. o silken thread. Show. outliving nearly eternal temples.
. Today these same abundances transit at full dash. gushing through park trees -or formed into sculpted men with stone backs bearing tall fluted columns supporting balconies! O the bright brass bell supernal which against tedium wields its daily truncheon. That in your revery. since it is you. -23 Summon me to the one among your hours that most stubbornly resists you: close as a begging dog it lowers. just as you thought it finally caught. snatched in haste in a horizontal flash of yellow day into bedazzled night's magnification. perhaps. If only through reflection. is in vain. alone. Whatever the motif constricting you internally (if only for a moment in the painful life you lead) intuit the full meaning of the glowing tapestry. Avoid the error of thinking something dear was shed in the transaction of your grave decision to be! You are part of the very weave. What's withheld like this is your truest property. obscured. that singular column. envisioning powers heightened. you are kin to each flowering branch the sweet breezes evince. The flyers and their trajectories through space. incomparable.Praise and joyfully sing of them. Or the Karnak column. none of it.
comes again like something new. But they are the immortals. Let us listen and hear them out. For we are the bough and the axe to raze and sweet danger's ripening sheen. In the oak trees' wintry leaves
. Instead. already you can hear the first rakes laboring. again the human rhythm as the hard earth's spring stillness wakes. too old for what has never been. With anxiety we scrabble for a hold. it seems. who will shake and overwhelm us. Dismissed from the exact spot we thought assured us the most security. we. were pitchers filled with water and oil. Gods: with broad strokes we give them definition though testy fate wrecks our work again and again. what vast time is ours! And only silent death really knows our true share and what he always reaps from these borrowed hours.We're free. too young sometimes for what is old. -25 Listen.
-24 O the fresh delight of new spaded soil! Those who first dared found little aid. Where we truly stand is where we praise. We. We. what is to come. Nevertheless. the endlessly daring. it captured you. near happy bays. were cities made. You never seized it in the act of preparing for its advent. who will hear us in the end. even so. Never banal. so often recurring. our heir apparent. a single generation through the aeons: parents growing ever more full of the child we are to bear. What has come to you.
through receptive innocence passes like tenuous vapor. Alas. the driving force.
-26 How we are stirred by the call of a bird. belonging to the gods forever. will falsify their cries to be heard. wedges of shrieking (where bird-cries wing unbroken as men go into dreams). . deep into the world space's very seams. as fate would have us believe. As what we are. Or any full hearted crying. when will the demi-urge rend it with dire might? Are we. a current to carry the heads and the lyres. Black are the bushes. Piles of dung lie blacker yet upon the fields we see. cunningly shot halfway to the brink of gaiety.
. melodious god! Awaken them resoundingly. out of doors playing. wind tattered. They cry probabilities. timidly brittle? Is childhood's deep promise beyond reprieve. quite so entirely. But even children. Passing hours grow ever more young. --Harmonize the criers.evening discerns a brown to be. Signaling breezes give and receive. -27 Does it truly exist: time the destroyer? When topples the tower atop the peaceful height? This heart. at the very root one day layed still? The specter of transience. where are we? Ever more free like dragon kites cut loose. . pile-driving.
the magic force at your sense's crossroad. For she attained full power of hearing only when Orpheus performed his song. You were the one enthralled of old. You still knew from whence the lyre drew forth its sound-. Among the rafters of dark belfries peal your own sweet tones. Be. You. the dance figure: a pure constellation where we fleetingly excel the primitive juxtapositions of nature. feel how space dilates with each breath of yours. For the sake of this you turned those lovely figures. fill.the unheard-of center. appearing somewhat surprised if a tree took too long deciding whether to enter the listening ear. declare to the silent earth: I flow. in this immensity of night. Know transformation in its varied sign. And though you fade from earthly sight. Which experience produces most despair? If drinking offend. nearly a child still. for the flicker of an eye. transform yourself to wine. -29 Silent friend of many distances. that towards the perfect celebration might aspire the footsteps and the face of one held dear. Your predators will grow strong upon such fare.we count as a matter of course in the divine endeavor.
-28 O come and go. the purpose of their mysterious plan.
. To the rushing water say: I am.