Night (O You Whose Countenance)

Night. O you whose countenance, dissolved
in deepness, hovers above my face.
You who are the heaviest counterweight
to my astounding contemplation.

Night, that trembles as reflected in my eyes,
but in itself strong;
inexhaustible creation, dominant,
enduring beyond the earth's endurance;

Night, full of newly created stars that leave
trails of fire streaming from their seams
as they soar in inaudible adventure
through interstellar space:

how, overshadowed by your all-embracing vastness,
I appear minute!---
Yet, being one with the ever more darkening earth,
I dare to be in you.


Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

by Rainer Maria Rilke

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