by Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Babette Deutsch
All will grow great and powerful again;
the seas be wrinkled and the land be plain,
the trees gigantic and the walls be low;
and in the valleys, strong and multiform,
a race of herdsmen and of farmers grow.
No churches to encircle God as though
he were a fugitive, and then bewail him
as if he were a captured, wounded creature,—
all houses will prove friendly, there will be
a sense of boundless sacrifice prevailing
in dealings between men, in you, in me.
No waiting the beyond, no peering toward it,
but longing to degrade not even death;
we shall learn earthliness, and serve its ends
to feel its hands about us like a friend’s.