David Sings Before Saul (I)

My king, hear how my fingers on the strings
open distances we can travel through.
Stars careen around us
and we find we are falling like rain.
Earth blooms where this rain has fallen.

Girls you still remember are blooming too.
They are women now, and they draw me.
Young boys wait by the still closed door.
Slender and tense, they hold their breath.

Oh, might my playing restore it all to you!
But my music reels drunkenly.
It’s those nights of yours, those nights —
my singing moves me to imagine
the exhausted forms when you had done with them.

I can accompany your memories
because I feel them. But on which strings
can I pluck for you the dark groans of your lust?

— Rilke, New Poems

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