Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
Growing Blind
By Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)
SHE sat, like all the rest of us, at tea.
It seemed at first as if she raised her cup
Not quite as all the others held theirs up.
She smiled: her smile was pitiful to see.
And when we rose at last with talk and laughter,        5
And through the many rooms with idle pace,
As chance would have it, strolled from place to place—
Then I saw her. She slowly followed after,
Restrained, like one who must be calm and cool
Because she soon will sing before a crowd;        10
Upon her happy eyes, without a cloud,
The light fell from outside, as on a pool.
She followed slowly, hesitating, shy,
As if some height or bridge must still be passed,
And yet—as if, when that was done, at last        15
She would no longer walk her way, but fly.

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