Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
The Knight
By Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)
THE KNIGHT rides forth in blackest mail,
The rustling world to meet.
Out there he finds all: the day and the dale
And the friend and the foe and the castle’s pale,
And fair May and fair maid and the woods and the grail,        5
And God Himself doth never fail
To stand upon the street.
    But within the knightly armour yonder,
    Behind that gloomy wringing,
    Cowers death and has to ponder, ponder:        10
    When will the blade come springing
    Over the iron wall,
    The stranger, freedom bringing,
    That from my hiding-place shall call
    Me forth, where I for many a day        15
    Am waiting, crouched and clinging,
    That I may stretch out, once for all,
    With play
    And singing?

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