THE SONNETS TO ORPHEUS by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Temple
BOOK IINTRODUCTIONTHE SONNETSRAINER MARIA RILKEROBERT TEMPLE'S WEBSITE
Donít commend yourselves, dispensers of justice, that the rack
Is superseded, and collars of iron no longer fetter our necks.
Not one person, not one heart, has been elated that in our day
An intentional spasm of clemency contorts you into appearing more delicate.

The scaffold repays what it has received
Over time, like children their toys from old birthdays.
Into pure, into elevated, into open-door hearts
Treads the god, in other wise, -

He of true mildness. And he would come powerfully,
And grip you, streaming with radiance as gods do.
Not just as a wind for the great ships, secured by insurance.

Not less than the secret and slow awarenesses
Which we gain in our silent inner selves
So like a child who is endlessly re-conceived, and plays quietly.


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