THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Temple
BOOK IINTRODUCTIONTHE SONNETSRAINER MARIA RILKEROBERT TEMPLE'S WEBSITE
Be in advance of all leave-taking, as if it were already behind you,
Like a winter which has already gone.
For of all the winters, there is one so endless,
that your heart, through enduring that winter at last overcomes it.

Be always dead in Eurydice -, rise up singing,
Rise with greater praise, back into the pure relationship.
Here, be amongst that which disappears, and in the Kingdom of the running-down,
be a resounding glass, which shatters with the sound.

Be and at the same time learn the terms of Non-Being,
the endless ground of your own inner vibration,
so that you fully consummate it this one time.

To that which has been used, to what is stored up of the hollow,
of the mute, in the fullness of Nature, those untallied sums,
add yourself with jubilation to them, and nullify the account.


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