Rainer Maria Rilke

(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926 / Prague / Czech Republic)

Song Of The Orphan


I am no one and never will be anyone,
for I am far too small to claim to be;
not even later.

Mothers and Fathers,
take pity on me.

I fear it will not pay to raise me:
I shall fall victim to the mower's scythe.
No one can find me useful now: I am too young,
and tomorrow will be too late.

I only have one dress,
worn thin and faded,
but it will last an eternity
even before God, perhaps.

I only have this whispy hair
(that always remained the same)
yet once was someone's dearest love.

Now he has nothing that he loves.


Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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