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Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by A. S. Kline

That was the strange mine of souls.
As secret ores of silver they passed
like veins through its darkness. Between the roots
blood welled, flowing onwards to Mankind,
and it looked as hard as Porphyry in the darkness.
Otherwise nothing was red.

There were cliffs
and straggling woods. Bridges over voids,
and that great grey blind lake,
that hung above its distant floor
like a rain-filled sky above a landscape.
And between meadows, soft and full of patience,
one path, a pale strip, appeared,
passing by like a long bleached thing.

And down this path they came.

In front the slim man in the blue mantle,
mute and impatient, gazing before him.
His steps ate up the path in huge bites
without chewing: his hands hung,
clumsy and tight, from the falling folds,
and no longer aware of the weightless lyre,
grown into his left side,
like a rose-graft on an olive branch.
And his senses were as if divided:
while his sight ran ahead like a dog,
turned back, came and went again and again,
and waited at the next turn, positioned there
his hearing was left behind like a scent.
Sometimes it seemed to him as if it reached
as far as the going of those other two,
who ought to be following this complete ascent.

Then once more it was only the repeated sound of his climb
and the breeze in his mantle behind him.
But he told himself that they were still coming:
said it aloud and heard it die away.
They were still coming, but they were two
fearfully light in their passage. If only he might
turn once more ( if looking back
were not the ruin of all his work,
that first had to be accomplished), then he must see them,
the quiet pair, mutely following him:

the god of errands and far messages,
the travelling-hood above his shining eyes,
the slender wand held out before his body,
the beating wings at his ankle joints;
and on his left hand, as entrusted: her.

The so-beloved, that out of one lyre
more grief came than from all grieving women:
so that a world of grief arose, in which
all things were there once more: forest and valley,
and road and village, field and stream and creature:
and that around this grief-world, just as
around the other earth, a sun
and a silent star-filled heaven turned,
a grief-heaven with distorted stars
she was so-loved.

But she went at that god's left hand,
her steps confined by the long grave-cloths,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.
She was in herself, like a woman near term,
and did not think of the man, going on ahead,
or the path, climbing upwards towards life.
She was in herself. And her being-dead
filled her with abundance.
As a fruit with sweetness and darkness,
so she was full with her vast death,
that was so new, she comprehended nothing.

She was in a new virginity
and untouchable: her sex was closed
like a young flower at twilight,
and her hands had been weaned so far
from marriage that even the slight god's
endlessly gentle touch, as he led,
hurt her like too great an intimacy.

She was no longer that blonde woman,
sometimes touched on in the poet's songs,
no longer the wide bed's scent and island,
and that man's possession no longer.

She was already loosened like long hair,
given out like fallen rain,
shared out like a hundredfold supply.

She was already root.

And when suddenly
the god stopped her and, with anguish in his cry,
uttered the words: 'He has turned round'
she comprehended nothing and said softly: 'Who?'

But far off, darkly before the bright exit,
stood someone or other, whose features
were unrecognisable. Who stood and saw
how on the strip of path between meadows,
with mournful look, the god of messages
turned, silently, to follow the figure
already walking back by that same path,
her steps confined by the long grave-cloths,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.

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shomermamillailah's Profile Picture
shomermamillailah
Cate
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Italy
Hi! I'm a girl from Italy and I like drawing, painting, watching movies and reading comic books :D Please, feel free to contact me and comment on my pieces! Bye :D

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:iconcrystal-chidori:
crystal-chidori Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fav :hug:
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:iconshomermamillailah:
shomermamillailah Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
no problem :D
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:iconcleverasfoxes:
CleverAsFoxes Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016  Student General Artist
Thanks for the favorite on my drawing of Phantom Ganon!! :D Would you say you're a Legend of Zelda fan? 
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:iconshomermamillailah:
shomermamillailah Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!!! Ehm to be honest I don't know it that much, I just liked the art...Sweating a little... 
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:iconcleverasfoxes:
CleverAsFoxes Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016  Student General Artist
Oh no worries!! Sorry, I probably shouldn't assume stuff like that haha. Well thank you, I'm really glad you like the art of it :3
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:iconnina-lupus:
Nina-Lupus Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2016
Thanks for all faves!!!
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:iconshomermamillailah:
shomermamillailah Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem :D
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:icontadpole7:
Tadpole7 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2016
Thanks for the fave. :D
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:iconshomermamillailah:
shomermamillailah Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem :D
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:iconboddhakin:
Boddhakin Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Grazie x il fav Cate!!! Sono felice che ti piaccia!!! :D:D:D
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