fields are asleep,
The evening in the harbour
Down his red sails takes.
Now wanders through
The moon, a lily white,
Blossoms within her hand.
How came, how came from out thy night
Mary, so much light
And so much gloom
Who was thy bridegroom?
Thou callest, thou callest and thou hast forgot
That thou the same art not
Who came to me
In thy Virginity.
THE BOOK OF PICTURES
I am still so blossoming, so young.
How shall I go on tiptoe
From childhood to Annunciation
Through the dim twilight
Into thy Garden.
I am like a flag
unfurled in space,
the oncoming winds and must bend with them,
While the things beneath are not yet stirring,
While doors close gently and there is silence
in the chimneys
And the windows do not yet tremble
and the dust is still heavy-
Then I feel the storm and am vibrant
like the sea
myself forth and am alone in the great storm.
The leaves fall, fall as from far,
in the heavens;
They fall with slow and lingering descent
And in the nights the heavy Earth, too, falls
From out the stars into the Solitude.
Thus all doth fall. This hand of mine
And lo! the other one:-it is the law.
But there is One who holds this falling
Infinitely softly in His hands.
Whoever weeps somewhere out in the world
Weeps without cause
in the world
Weeps over me.
Whoever laughs somewhere out in the night
Laughs without cause
in the night
Laughs at me.
Whoever wanders somewhere in the world
Wanders in vain
in the world
Wanders to me.
Whoever dies somewhere in the world
Dies without cause
in the world
Looks at me.
They all resemble
In God's garden they are silent
Like many, many intervals
In His mighty melody
But when they spread
as though God
With His far-reaching master
Turned the pages of the dark book of Beginning.
KINGS IN LEGENDS
Solitude is like a rain
That from the sea at dusk
begins to rise;
It floats remote
across the far-off plain
Upward into its dwelling-place, the skies,
Then o'er the town it slowly sinks again.
Like rain it softly falls at that dim
lanes turn toward the shadowy
When bodies weighed with satiate passion
from each other turn;
When men with quiet hatred burning deep
Together in a common
bed must sleep-
Through the gray, phantom
shadows of the dawn
Lo! Solitude floats down the river wan
Kings in old legends seem
Like mountains rising in the evening light.
all with their gleam
Their loins encircled are by girdles bright,
Their robes are edged with bands
stones-the rarest earth
With richly jeweled hands
They hold their slender
, shining, naked swords.
The Knight rides forth in coat of mail
Into the roar
of the world.
And here is Life: the vines in the vale
And friend and foe
, and the feast
in the hall,
And May and the maid, and the glen
and the grail
God's flags afloat on every wall
In a thousand streets unfurled.
Beneath the armour of the Knight
Behind the chain's black links
Death crouches and thinks and thinks:
"When will the sword's blade sharp
Forth from the scabbard
And cut the network
of the cloak
Enmeshing me ring on ring-
When will the foe
's delivering stroke
Set me free
I wish I might
become like one of these
Who, in the night on horses wild astride
With torches flaming out like loosened hair
On to the chase through
the great swift
I wish to stand as on a boat and dare
The sweeping storm, mighty
, like flag
In darkness but with helmet made of gold
That shimmers restlessly. And in a row,
Behind me in the dark, ten men that glow
With helmets that are restless
, too, like mine
Now old and dull
, now clear as glass they shine
One stands by me and blows a blast apace
On his great flashing trumpet
and the sound
Through which, as through
a wild mad dream
The houses fall behind us on their knees,
Before us bend the streets and them we gain
The great squares yieled to us and them we seize
And on our steeds rush like the roar
Whosoever thou art! Out in the evening roam
Out from thy room thou know'st in every part,
And far in the dim distance
leave thy home,
Whosoever thou art.
Lift thine eyes which lingering see
The shadows on the foot-worn threshold
Lift thine eyes slowly to the great dark tree
That stands against heaven, solitary
And thou hast visioned Life, its meanings rise
Like words that in the silence
As they unfold before thy will to know
Strange violin! Dost thou follow me?
In many foreign
cities, far away,
Thy lone voice spoke
to me like memory
Do hundreds play thee, or does but one play?
Are there in all great cities tempest-tossed
Men who would seek
the rivers but for thee,
Who, but for thee, would be forever lost
Why drifts thy lonely
voice always to me?
Why am I the neighbour always
Of those who force
to sing thy trembling strings?
Life is more heavy-thy song says-
Than the vast
, heavy burden
of all things.