Monday, March 19, 2007

From First Poems by Ranier Maria Rilke

From First Poems by Ranier Maria Rilke

Understand, I'll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale
stars rising, blooming over the oaks.

I'll pursue solitary pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream:
You come too.


  1. We're thinking about reading this poem at our wedding, but we can't seem to find any attribution for it. Do you know where this poem comes from? I've seen it attributed in numerous places to Rilke, but would like to find a hard copy, published version, to ensure that it is in fact a Rilke poem.

    Any help would be much appreciated!


  2. It is Rilke, from Advent. You will find it quickly if you look for it in the German:

    Weisst du, ich will mich schleichen
    leise aus lautem Kreis,
    wenn ich erst die bleichen
    Sterne über den Eichen
    blühen weiß.

    Wege will ich erkiesen,
    die selten wer betritt
    in blassen Abendwiesen -
    und keinen Traum, als diesen:
    Du gehst mit.

    What I am interested to know is who was responsible for the translation above. It is much better than the other one that is floating around but as you have noted, this version is never properly attributed.

  3. There's only one published English translation I know of - from H.D. Herter Norton (p29 here: )

    The above is probably a fragment from someone's unpublished translation.