She Dried Her Tears

She dried her tears and they did smile
To see her cheeks' returning glow
How little dreaming all the while
That full heart throbbed to overflow

With that sweet look and lively tone
And bright eye shining all the day
They could not guess at midnight lone
How she would weep the time away

by Emily Jane Brontë

Comments (1)

The external features of the self-portrait resemble photos of Rilke. The noble family lineage, as with Churchill, brings confidence and the ambition to succeed. The childhood fears are endearing, as is the calm humility and conciseness of one who follows where his art leads, in the service of truth as he sees it. It’s unclear to what ‘succeeding’ (second line of the sestet) refers in this translation, possibly to the remarkable poetic works that Rilke is already planning.