Although, as from a prison walled with hate,

Although, as from a prison walled with hate,
each from his own self labors to be free,
the world yet holds a wonder, and how great!
ALL LIFE IS LIVED: now this comes home to me.
But who, then, lives it? Things that patiently
stand there, like some unfingered melody
that sleeps within a harp as day is going?
Is it the winds, across the waters blowing,
is it the branches, beckoning each to each,
is it the flowers, weaving fragrances,
the aging alleys that reach out endlessly?
Is it the warm beasts, moving to and fro,
is it the birds, strange as they sail from view?
This life — who really lives it? God, do you?

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Poems from the Book of Hours

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