By: Rainer Maria Rilke
The white veiled maids to confirmation go
Through deep green garden paths they slowly wind;
Their childhood they are leaving now behind:
The future will be different, they know.
Oh! Will it come? They wait—It must come soon!
The next long hour slowly strikes at last,
The whole house stirs again, the feast is past,
And sadly passes by the afternoon . . .
Like resurrection were the garments white
The wreathed procession walked through trees arched wide
Into the church, as cool as silk inside,
With long aisles of tall candles flaming bright:
The lights all shone like jewels rich and rare
To solemn eyes that watched them gleam and flare.
Then through the silence the great song rose high
Up to the vaulted dome like clouds it soared.
Then luminously, gently down it poured—
Over white veils like rain it seemed to die.
The wind through the white garments softly stirred
And they grew vari-coloured in each fold
And each fold hidden blossoms seemed to hold
And flowers and stars and fluting notes of bird,
And dim, quaint figures shimmering like gold
Seemed to come forth from distant myths of old.
Outside the day was one of green and blue,
With touches of a luminous glowing red,
Across the quiet pond the small waves sped.
Beyond the city, gardens hidden from view
Sent odors of sweet blossoms on the breeze
And singing sounded through the far off trees.
It was as though garlands crowned everything
And all things were touched softly by the sun;
And many windows opened one by one
And the light trembled on them glistening.