Encounter In The Chestnut Avenue

A poem by Rainer Maria Rilke

He felt the entrance's green darkness
wrapped cooly round him like a silken cloak
that he was still accepting and arranging;
when at the opposite transparent end, far off,

through green sunlight, as through green window panes,
whitely a solitary shape
flared up, long remaining distant
and then finally, the downdriving light
boiling over it at every step,

bearing on itself a bright pulsation,
which in the blond ran shyly to the back.
But suddenly the shade was deep,
and nearby eyes lay gazing

from a clear new unselfconscious face,
which, as in a portrait, lived intensely
in the instant things split off again:
first there forever, and then not at all.

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