Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sonnets to Orpheus 1.2 (Rilke)

And it was almost a girl and came to be
out of this single joy of song and lyre
and through her green veils shone forth radiantly
and made herself a bed inside my ear.

And slept there. And her sleep was everything:
the awesome trees, the distances I had felt
so deeply that I could touch them, meadows in spring:
all wonders that had ever seized my heart.

She slept the world. Singing god, how was that first
sleep so perfect that she had no desire
ever to wake? See: she arose and slept.

Where is her death now? Ah, will you discover
this theme before your song consumes itself?--
Where is she vanishing? ... A girl almost ....

-- transl. Stephen Mitchell


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