You, Orpheus

But you, divine poet, to the end a singer:
falling prey to the pack of Maenads,
you wove their shrieking into wider harmonies,
and brought from that destruction a song to build with.

No one to call when they raged and wrestled,
but the jagged stones they hurled
turned gentle when reaching you,
as if able to hear you.

Hounded by hatred, you were torn to pieces
while your music still rang amidst rocks and lions,
trees and birds. There you are singing still.

O dear lost god, you endless path!
Only because you were broken and scattered
have we become the ears of nature, and her voice.

— Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus I, 26

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