The Last Supper
by Rainer Maria Rilke
They are assembled–astonished, panicked–
around him, who like a sage concludes himself
and who withdraws from those he’s gathered
and who ungraspably flows past them.
The old solitude comes over him,
which reared him for his deep action;
now he will wander through the olive woods again,
and those who love him will flee before him.
He has summoned them to the last meal
and (as a shot scatters birds from the wheat)
he scatters their hands from the loaves
with his word: they fly up to him;
they flap, terrified, all around the table
and seek a way out. But no use: he
like a twilight hour, is everywhere.
You can find this poem in The Book of Images: Poems / Revised Bilingual Edition (English and German Edition)“>The Book of Images.