Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
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Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
 
The Last Supper
By Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)
 
HERE they are gathered, wondering and deranged,
Round Him, who wisely doth Himself inclose,
And who now takes Himself away, estranged,
From those who owned Him once, and past them flows.
He feels the ancient loneliness to-day        5
That taught Him all His deepest acts of love;
Now in the olive groves He soon will rove,
And these who love Him all will flee away.
 
To the last supper table He hath led.
As birds are frightened from a garden-bed        10
By shots, so He their hands forth from the bread
Doth frighten by His word: to Him they flee;
Then flutter round the table in their fright
And seek a passage from the hall. But He
Is everywhere, like dusk at fall of night.        15
 
 
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