Gold leads a pampered life, protected by banks,
on intimate terms with the best people.
The homeless beggar is no more than a lost coin
fallen behind the bookcase or in the dustpile under the bed.
In the finest shops, money is right at home,
loving to parade itself in flowers, silk and furs.
He, the silent one, stands outside this display.
Money, near him, stops breathing.
How does his outstretched hand ever close at night?
Fate, each morning, picks it up again,
holds it out there, naked and raw.
In order to grasp what his life is like,
to see it and cherish it, you would need a song,
a song only a god could bear to hear.
— Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus II, 19