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The Unicorn Analysis

Author: poem of Rainer Maria Rilke Type: poem Views: 14

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The saintly hermit, midway through his prayers

stopped suddenly, and raised his eyes to witness

the unbelievable: for there before him stood

the legendary creature, startling white, that

had approached, soundlessly, pleading with his eyes.

The legs, so delicately shaped, balanced a

body wrought of finest ivory. And as

he moved, his coat shone like reflected moonlight.

High on his forehead rose the magic horn, the sign

of his uniqueness: a tower held upright

by his alert, yet gentle, timid gait.

The mouth of softest tints of rose and grey, when

opened slightly, revealed his gleaming teeth,

whiter than snow. The nostrils quivered faintly:

he sought to quench his thirst, to rest and find repose.

His eyes looked far beyond the saint's enclosure,

reflecting vistas and events long vanished,

and closed the circle of this ancient mystic legend.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming


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