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The Sonnets To Orpheus: IV

Rainer Maria Rilke 1875 (Prague) – 1926 (Montreux)

O you tender ones, walk now and then
into the breath that blows coldly past,
Upon your cheeks let it tremble and part;
behind you it will tremble together again.

O you blessed ones, you who are whole,
you who seem the beginning of hearts,
bows for the arrows and arrows' targets--
tear-bright, your lips more eternally smile.

Don't be afraid to suffer; return
that heaviness to the earth's own weight;
heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

Even the small trees you planted as children
have long since become too heavy; you could not
carry them now. But the winds...But the spaces....

Translated by Stephen Mitchell

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

33 sec read
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Rainer Maria Rilke

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke — better known as Rainer Maria Rilke — was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets", writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose. more…

All Rainer Maria Rilke poems | Rainer Maria Rilke Books

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