Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
Maiden Melancholy
By Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)
A YOUNG knight comes into my mind,
As in some old, old saying.
He came. Thus comes the storm to bind
You in its mantle, all entwined.
He went. Thus you are left behind        5
By church-bell’s blessing—to yourself confined
When you are praying—
You want to scream into the calm, but find
You do but gently weep, your face, inclined,
Into your cool scarf laying.        10
A young knight comes into my mind.
In arms I see him straying.
His smile, it was so mild and kind:
Like sheen of ivory enshrined,
Or like a homesick longing blind,        15
Like Christmas snow where dark ways wind,
Like turquoise stone that sea-pearls bind,
Like moonlight kind
On some dear volume playing.

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