You are the future,
the red sky before sunrise
over the fields of time.
You are the cock’s crow when night is done,
You are the dew and the bells of matins,
maiden, stranger, mother, death.
You create yourself in ever-changing shapes
that rise from the stuff of our days—
unsung, unmoored, undescribed,
like a forest we never knew.
You are the deep innerness of all things,
the last word that can never be spoken.
To each of us you reveal yourself differently:
to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
Bohemian-Austrian poet, born December 4, 1875
THE BOOK OF PILGRIMAGE, II