from The Ninth Elegy
The pain, then. Above all, the hard labor of living,
the long experience of love, — all the purely
unsayable things. But later on,
among the stars, what then: there the unsayable reigns.
… Between the hammers our heart
lives on, as the tongue,
even between the teeth, remains
unceasing in its praise.
… Earth, isn’t that what you want: to arise
in us invisibly? Isn’t it your dream
to be invisible someday? Earth! Invisible!
What, if not transformation, is your urgent charge?
Earth, my darling, I will! Believe me, you need
no more of your springtimes to win me — , one,
just a single one, is already too much for my blood.
Nameless now, I am betrothed to you forever.
You’ve always been right, and your most sacred tenet
is Death the intimate Friend.
Look, I am living. On what? Neither childhood nor future
lessens … Superabundant existence
wells within my heart.
from The Tenth Elegy
May the tears that stream down my face
make me more radiant: may my hidden weeping
Rainer Maria Rilke
trans. Edward Snow