Poet Lore/Volume 26/Number 1/The Book of the Hours

For other versions of this work, see The Book of Hours.
Poet Lore, vol. 26, New Year's number  (1915) 
The Will o' the Wisp
by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Sasha Best

From the collection Das Stundenbuch (The Book of Hours) (1899–1903)

THE BOOK OF THE HOURS

By Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated by Sasha Best

Thus doth bend to me the hour
With clear metallic sound;
My senses are trembling, I feel my power,
And I seize the plastic day's round.

Naught was complete ere I saw it
And all creation stood still;
My eyes are ripe, like a bride to be,—
To ev’ry one cometh the thing of his will.

Naught is too small but I love it well,
And paint it large on golden ground,
And I hold it high, for I cannot foretell
Whose soul thereby will be unbound.

I live my life in circles that grow,
And are drawn over things that be;
The last mayhap I must ever forego,
But strive to reach it I may.

I turn about God; round the ancient tower’s form
On æons and æons I am borne along;
And I know not yet, am I falcon or storm,
Or one great song.

Copyright.svg PD-icon.svg This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.


The author died in 1926, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

 
Translation:

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).