. . . Our loving is not, like the flowers’, the offering
of a single year. When we love, there rises in us
a sap from time immemorial. Oh my dear girl,
it is this: that we loved, in each other, not an individual
or one coming toward us, but brimming multitudes;
not a single child but the fathers
fallen to the depths of us like fallen mountains,
and the dry riverbeds of ancestral mothers;
the whole soundless landscape
under the clear or clouded sky of fate:
all this, my dear, came before you.

— Rilke, From the Third Duino Elegy

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