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Rilke: Duino Elegies

Duino Elegies

First Elegy

Oh on earth if we cry out,
And in heaven, which angle would respond?
Even if there is one to embrace us, still we would shiver,
For how can we survive in front of his mighty existence?
Oh, beauty is merely our first encounter of terror,
When we can still bear and adore its awesomeness,
That it disdains to wipe out all of us.
For every angle is terrifying.
So we must swallow our own dark sobbing.
But to whom we can ask for help?
Not angels, not people, and the animals?
But the cunning animals have already figured out
That we are not at home,
And what’s left, only the trees,
On the hillside they stand, and we pass by them daily.
Such loyal presence becomes some habits,
That gives us pleasures so we can move on and about.

And the night, o yeah, at night,
When the wind gushing from outer space and licking our faces-
Oh, for whom she would not wait?
This mildly disappointed lady with so much effort,
And her lonely heart has to bear for all her desires.
But is it much easier for lovers?
Ah, we are only trying to manage by staying together,
And hoping that we can somehow survive the conclusion of our fate.
Can we comprehend this?
For we only throw our arms into the empty air
Trying to embrace what we breathe day by day-
Maybe only the birds can feel the airflow
And flip their wings with more passions.

(Rainer Maria Rilke/I incorrectly edited it the way I like, that I feel it is much easier for me to memorize)

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