Classic · Collection · Elegy · Excerpt · Fragment · German Culture · German Literature · Inspirational · Modernism · Motivational · Passage · Poetry · Spiritual

Rainer Maria Rilke

Oh trees of life, when will your winter come?
We’re not in tune. Not like migratory birds.
Outmoded, late, in haste, we force ourselves on winds
which let us down upon indifferent ponds.
Though we’ve had to learn how flowering is fading,
somewhere lions still roam,
unaware, in their majesty, of any weakness.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the “Fourth Elegy,” Duino Elegies. Trans. by David Young. (W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition, June 17, 2006) Originally published 1923.


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