Dirait-on– Rainer Maria Rilke

This is part of Rilke’s Les Roses which is a song cycle that has been set to music by Morten Lauridsen.  An English translation by Barbara and Erica Muhl follows.

Abandon entouré d’abandon,
tendresse touchant aux tendresses…
C’est ton intérieur qui sans cesse
se caresse, dirait-on;

se caresse en soi-même,
par son propre reflet éclairé.
Ainsi tu inventes le thème
du Narcisse exaucé.

Dirait-on

Abandon surrounding abandon,
Tenderness touching tenderness…
Your oneness endlessly
Caresses itself, so they say;

Self-caressing
Through its own clear reflection.
Thus you invent the theme
of Narcissus fulfilled.

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