First Friday Poem

Autumnal Day

Lord! It is time. So great was Summer’s glow:
Thy shadows lay upon the dials’ faces
And o’er wide spaces let thy tempests blow.

Command to ripen the last fruits of thine,
Give to them two more burning days and press
The last sweetness into the heavy wine.

He who has now no house will ne’er build one,
Who is alone will now remain alone;
He will awake, will read, will letters write
Through the long day and in the lonely night;
And restless, solitary, he will rove
Where the leaves rustle, wind-blown, in the grove.

Rainer Maria Rilke



      • I know Rilke only from The Ballad of Love and Death, one of those curiosities I own in old German script (language teachers recommend one learns). I liked it.
        Curious again, I located the original of yours (Herbsttag). I think your translator has done a wonderful poetic job. Thanks for posting.
        I also found a terrible translation on a site called poem hunter.

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