Not heeding what would be a dizzy climb,
Aloft by the cathedral's stained-glass rose,
She stands with apple in the apple pose:
Innocent and guilty for all time
Of all the growing and the giving birth
Since her emergence from eternity.
(Since she went striding forth so lovingly,
Like the young springtime striving in the earth.)
She would have gladly lingered in that land,
Sharing with beasts a sense of what is best,
Each with a wisdom after its own kind.
But when she saw the man make up his mind
She went with him. They sought death as a quest
And life had then just barely touched her hand.
~ From the German of Rainer Maria Rilke. This translation copyright © 1998, 2001 by Leonard Cottrell.