“You are the bird whose wings came
when I wakened in the night and called.
Only with my arms I called, because your name
is like a chasm, a thousand nights deep.
You are the shadows in which I quietly slept,
and your seed devised in me each dream,—
you are the image, but I am the frame
that makes you stand in glittering relief.
What shall I call you? Look, my lips are lame.
You are the beginning that gushes forth,
I am the slow and fearful Amen
that timidly concludes your beauty.
You have often snatched me out of dark rest
when sleep seemed like a grave to me
and like getting lost and fleeing,—
then you raised me out of heart-darknesses
and tried to hoist me onto all towers
like scarlet flags and bunting.
You: who talk of miracles as of common knowledge
and of men and women as of melodies
and of roses: of events
that in your eyes blazingly take place,—
you blessed one, when will you at last name Him
from whose seventh and last day
shards of glory can still be found
on the beating of your wings …
Do I need to ask?”
Translated by Edward Snow, found in R.M. Rilke, “The Book of Images”, Kindle edition