THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Temple
BOOK IINTRODUCTIONTHE SONNETSRAINER MARIA RILKEROBERT TEMPLE'S WEBSITE
To celebrate in song, - yes! He who delivers such praises
Arises from silence like veins of ore emerging
From stone. His soul presses immortal wine,
But from a wine-press that must perish.

If moved by the godís example, never
Can his voice fail him, even for lowly things.
Everything becomes vineyard, all becomes clusters of grapes,
And his sensibilities are south-facing.

No lies can assail his praisings,
Not though the kings moulder in their tombs,
Not though the gods cast their shadows.

He is the messenger who tarries yet awhile,
Whose fruit keeps fresh, as he peels it slowly
Within the very doors of death.


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