Oh scattered band, once my playmates, you few
Who were amidst the gardens here and there in the city,
How hesitantly we located one another, took fancies and
Like the tapestry lamb whose mute words are on a scroll,
Spoke through silence. Our little joys were
Never communicated, - Whose indeed were they?
And among all the passers-by, those hurriers, how it all
Evanesced quite away, weighed down by the torment of the endless year.
Past us were drawn the carriages, wholly indifferent,
Round us the houses stood strong but not real, - and none
Of these were aware of us. What was truly real in it all?
Nothing. Only the balls we tossed, their magnificent arcs,
But certainly not the children. ... Though sometimes one would step
- Alas, one who would soon be lost, - beneath a falling ball.
In memory of Egon von Rilke [Rilke’s cousin who died in childhood]
© Robert Temple 2010. Website designed by Jonathan Greet