Evening Poetry, November 8

To Say Before Going To Sleep

by Rainer Maria Rilke

I would like to sing someone to sleep,

to sit beside someone and be there.

I would like to rock you and sing softly

and go with you to and from sleep.

I would like to be the one in the house

who knew: The night was cold.

And I would like to listen in and listen out

into you, into the world, into the woods.

The clocks shout to one another striking,

and one sees to the bottom of time.

And down below one last, strange man walks by

and rouses a strange dog.

And after that comes silence.

I have laid my eyes upon you wide;

and they hold you gently and let you go

when something stirs in the dark.

You can find this poem in The Book of Images.

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