Praise this world to the Angel
Praise this world to the Angel, not the unutterable one.
You cannot impress him with the splendor you've felt,
for in the heaven of heavens, where he feels so sublimely,
you're but a beginner. Show him some simple thing, then,
that's been changed in its passage through human ages
till it lives in our hands, in the shine of our eyes, as a part
of ourselves. Tell him things. He'll stand more astonished,
as you stood by the roper in Rome or the potter in Egypt.
Show him how happy a thing can be, how innocent and ours;
how even Sorrow, in the midst of lamenting, is determined to alter,
to serve as a thing, or fade in a thing -- to escape
into beauty beyond violining. These things whose life
is a constant leaving, they know when you praise them.
Transient, they trust us, the most transient, to come
to their rescue; they wish us to alter them utterly,
within our indivisible hearts, into -- so endlessly -- us!
Whoever we may finally be.
-from The Ninth Elegy
Rainer Maria Rilke (tr. Wm. Gass)