Autumn Day

Autumn Day

Wandering restless as the leaves.

Autumn Day (Herbsttag)
Rainer Maria Rilke

Lord, it is time. The summer was so great.
Let fall your shadow on the sundials,
and across the fields let loose the winds.

Command the last fruits now to ripen:
Give them two more days as from the south,
Drive them to completion and chase
The final sweetness into heavy wine.

Who has no house will not build now
Who is alone, alone will stay
Will wake and read, write long letters
And in the avenues wander restless
Here and there, where leaves are drifting.

Translated by Tilo Ulbricht, as quoted in the current issue of Parabola (Many Paths, One Truth: Vol. 36 Num. 4 , Winter 2011–12)


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