Rilke, Rainer Maria - 01 First elegy
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic Orders?
And even if one were to suddenly take me to its heart, I would vanish into its stronger existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains to destroy us.
Every Angel is terror.
And so I hold myself back and swallow the cry of a darkened sobbing.
Ah, who then can we make use of?
Not Angels: not men,
and the resourceful creatures see clearly that we are not really at home in the interpreted world.
Perhaps there remains some tree on a slope, that we can see again each day:
there remains to us yesterday’s street,
and the thinned-out loyalty of a habit that liked us, and so stayed, and never departed.
Oh, and the night, the night,
when the wind full of space wears out our faces – whom would she not stay for,
the longed-for, gentle, disappointing one,
whom the solitary heart with difficulty stands before.
Is she less heavy for lovers?
Ah, they only hide their fate between themselves.
Do you not know yet?
Throw the emptiness out of your arms to add to the spaces we breathe;
maybe the birds will feel the expansion of air, in more intimate flight...........