The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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April 2017

Before the Passion - Rilke

Oh, willing this, you should not have been born
of womens body; saviours should by right
be quarried from the mountains, brought to light
where out of what is hard the hard is torn.

When you lay waste the valley that you love
does it not grive you?  I am helpless, look,
I only have a milk-and-tear-filled brook
and you were always over and above.

You were announced to me with so much splendour
why did you not rush wildly from my womb?
If you want tigers tearing you asunder,
why was I brought up in the womens room,

to weave for you a garment soft and clean
where not one trace of joining should be found
harsh to the touch: - thus my whole life has been,
and you have suddenly turned nature round.

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