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Ranier Maria Rilke: “The Last Supper”

24 March 2016

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The Last Supper, by Ranier Maria Rilke

They are assembled, astonished and disturbed
round him, who like a sage resolved his fate,
and now leaves those to whom he most belonged,
leaving and passing by them like a stranger.
The loneliness of old comes over him
which helped mature him for his deepest acts;
now will he once again walk through the olive grove,
and those who love him still will flee before his sight.

To this last supper he has summoned them,
and (like a shot that scatters birds from trees)
their hands draw back from reaching for the loaves
upon his word: they fly across to him;
they flutter, frightened, round the supper table
searching for an escape. But he is present
everywhere like an all-pervading twilight-hour.

Here they are gathered, wondering and deranged,
Round Him, who wisely doth Himself inclose,
And who now takes Himself away, estranged,
From those who owned Him once, and past them
flows.
He feels the ancient loneliness to-day
That taught Him all His deepest acts of love;
Now in the olive groves He soon will rove,
And these who love Him all will flee away.

To the last supper table He hath led.
As birds are frightened from a garden-bed
By shots, so He their hands forth from the bread
Doth frighten by His word: to Him they flee;
Then flutter round the table in their fright
And seek a passage from the hall. But He
Is everywhere, like dusk at fall of night.

rilke

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 24 March 2016 5:52 pm

    Thank you for your blog, a daily reminder to us that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added unto us, Matt. 6: 33.

  2. 24 March 2016 5:53 pm

    Reblogged this on necltr.

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