Rainer Maria Rilke’s Evening Prayer

You, neighbour God, if sometimes in the night

I rouse you with loud knocking, I do so

only because I seldom hear you breathe;

I know: you are alone.

And should you need a drink, no one is there

to reach it to you, groping in the dark.

Always I hearken.  Give but a small sign.

I am quite near.

Between us there is but a narrow wall,

and by sheer chance; for it would take

merely a call from your lips or from mine

to break it down,

and that without a sound.

The wall is builded of your images.

They stand before you hiding you like names,

And when the light within me blazes high

that in my inmost soul I know you by,

the radiance is squandered on their frames.

And then my senses, which too soon grow lame,

exiled from you, must go their homeless ways.

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