Spring is again returned. The Earth
is like a child, that knows poems,
many, o many . . . . For the rigor
of such long learning she receives the prize.
Strict was her teacher. We appreciate the white
in the old man's beard.
Now, what to name green, or blue,
we may not ask: she knows, she knows!
Earth, now free, you happy one, play
now with the children. We want to catch you,
joyful Earth. Only the joyful are able.
O, what the teacher taught her, such plenteousness,
and that which is pressed in roots and long
heavy trunks: she sings, she sings!
by Rainer Maria Rilke
from Die Sonette an Orpheus 1, no. 21