Just like the last green in a colour pot
So are these leaves, withered and wrecked
Behind the flower umbels, which reflect
A hue of blue only, more they do not.
Reflections are tear-stained, inaccurate,
As if they were about to cease,
And like old blue notepaper sheets
They wear some yellow, grey and violet,
Washed-out like on a children's apron,
Outworn and now no more in use:
We contemplate a small life's short duration.
But suddenly some new blue seemingly is seen
In just one umbel, and we muse
Over a moving blue delighting in the green.
Translation © by Guntram Deichsel, 2003-12-03 and written by
Rainer Maria Rilke, July 1906, Paris