Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
What Will You Do?
By Rainer Maria Rilke
 
From “Modern German Poems”
Translated by Babette Deutsch and Avrahm Yarmolinsky

WHAT will you do, God, when I die?
I am your jar (if cracked, I lie?)
Your well-spring (if the well go dry?)
I am your craft, your vesture I—
You lose your purport, losing me.        5
 
When I go, your cold house will be
Empty of words that made it sweet.
I am the sandals your bare feet
Will seek and long for, wearily.
 
Your cloak will fall from aching bones.        10
Your glance, that my warm cheeks have cheered
As with a cushion long endeared,
Will wonder at a loss so weird;
And, when the sun has disappeared,
Lie in the lap of alien stones.        15
 
What will you do, God? I am feared.
 
 
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