The Sonnets To Orpheus: Xxv
But you now, dear girl, whom I loved like a flower whose
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I didn't know, you who so early were taken away:
I will once more call up your image and show it to them,
beautiful companion of the unsubduable cry.
Dancer whose body filled with your hesitant fate,
pausing, as though your young flesh had been cast in bronze;
grieving and listening--. Then, from the high dominions,
unearthly music fell into your altered heart.
Already possessed by shadows, with illness near,
your blood flowed darkly; yet, though for a moment
it burst out into the natural pulses of spring.
Again and again interrupted by downfall and darkness,
earthly, it gleamed. Till, after a terrible pounding,
it entered the inconsolably open door.
Translated by Stephen Mitchell