Orpheus, Eurydice, Hermes (II)

On this single path they came.

First, the slender figure cloaked in blue,
looking straight ahead, tense and unspeaking.
Propelled by relentless haste,
his stride devoured the path. Under the folds
of the mantel, his hands were clenched,
and barely felt the weight of the lyre he carried with him always.
His senses were as though divided:
for his sight, like a dog, raced ahead,
turned around, came back only to run off again
and wait at the next bend.
But his hearing lingered behind.
Sometimes it seemed to be trying to reach back
to the steps of the two
who should follow him all the way uphill.
At times there was nothing but the echo of his own footfall
and the flutter of his cloak behind him.

— Rilke, New Poems

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