Leda

When the god in his urgency assumed its form,
he was startled by the beauty of the swan,
so swiftly did he disappear within it.
But his deception drove him to act

before he could feel
what his unknown body was like.
The woman recognized who was upon her
and already knew what he demanded,

and what she, confused in her resistance,
could no longer withhold. His weight bearing down,
his long neck thrusting her hand aside,

the god released himself into his beloved.
Only then did he delight in his feathers
and, in that moment, become truly a swan.

— Rilke, New Poems

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