Sunday Poem Series
To Say Before Going to Sleep
by Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Albert Earnest Flemming
I would like to sing someone to sleep,
have someone to sit by and be with.
I would like to cradle you and softly sing,
be your companion while you sleep or wake.
I would like to be the only person
in the house who knew: the night outside was cold.
And would like to listen to you
and outside to the world and to the woods.
The clocks are striking, calling to each other,
and one can see right to the edge of time.
Outside the house a strange man is afoot
and a strange dog barks, wakened from his sleep.
Beyond that there is silence.
My eyes rest upon your face wide-open;
and they hold you gently, letting you go
when something in the dark begins to move.