Already gravid, she ascended, nearly
bereft of any solace, faith, or hope.
The pregnant matron, proudly and austerely
knowing, met her on the slope,
aware of all that Mary need not share.
Since she was resting on her suddenly,
the heavy frau embraced with patient care,
and waited till the younger spoke: “You see,
I feel as if I were to live forever.
God fills the rich with vanities, dear friend,
almost not even looking at their clever
glitter; choosing maidens, though, He’s never
rash, but fills them with life without end.
That He found me! Consider, that on my
account His fiats moved the stars. Oh, raise
Him up, my soul. Exalt the Lord on high,
for all that you can praise.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)
translated from the German by Len Krisak