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You Who Never Arrived

You who never arrivedin my arms,

Beloved, who were lostfrom the start,

I don't even know what songswould please you.

I have given up tryingto recognize you in the surging wave of the nextmoment.

All the immenseimages in me— the far-off, deeply-felt landscape,cities, towers, and bridges, and unsuspectedturns in the path,and those powerful lands that were oncepulsing with the life of the gods-all rise within me to meanyou, who forever elude me.

You,

Beloved, who are allthe gardens I have ever gazed at,longing.

An open windowin a country house—, and you almoststepped out, pensive, to meet me.

Streets that I chanced upon,—you had just walked down them and vanished.

And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrorswere still dizzy with your presence and, startled,gave back my too-sudden image.

Who knows?perhaps the same bird echoed through both of usyesterday, separate, in the evening…Translated by Stephen Mitchell

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Rainer Maria Rilke

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. He is "widely recogn…

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