Friday, November 5, 2010

The Gazelle

Enchanted thing: how can two chosen words
ever attain the harmony of pure rhyme
that pulses through you as your body stirs?
Out of your forehead branch and lyre climb,
and all your features pass in simile,through
the songs of love whose words, as light as rose-
petals, rest on the face of someone who 
has put his book away and shut his eyes:
to see you: tensed, as it each leg were a gun
loaded with leaps, but  not fired while your neck
holds your head still, listening: as when,
while swimming in some isolated place,
a girl hears leaves rustle, and turns to look:
the forest pool reflected in her face.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
edited and translated by Stephen Mitchell