I am, O Anxious One
By Rainer Maria Rilke
From the german:
Ich bin, du Ängstlicher. Hörst du mich nicht
I am, O Anxious One. Don't you hear my voice
surging forth with all my earthly feelings?
They yearn so high, that they have sprouted wings
and whitely fly in circles round your face.
My soul, dressed in silence, rises up
and stands alone before you: can't you see?
don't you know that my prayer is growing ripe
upon your vision as upon a tree?
If you are the dreamer, I am what you dream.
But when you want to wake, I am your wish,
and I grow strong with all magnificence
and turn myself into a star's vast silence
above the strange and distant city, Time.
All those who live and move away
From Time, that city of distress,
All who their hands on stillness lay,
Upon a place where no roads stray,
That hardly doth a name possess—
Thee, blessing high of every day,
They name, and write in gentleness:
But prayers alone are real—naught more;
Our hands are sanctified—behold!
What they have fashioned doth implore:
If one doth mow, or sacred lore
Doth paint—the very tools adore,
In toil a piety unfold.
And time in many shapes is told.
We hear of time and yet we do
The everlasting and the old.
We know that God us doth enfold
Grand like a beard, a garment, too.
We lie within His glory’s gold,
As veins the hard basalt run through.