the swan … Rainer Maria Rilke …

The Swan

This laboring through what is still undone,
as though, legs bound, we hobbled along the way,
is like the awkward walking of the swan.

And dying – to let go, no longer feel
the solid ground we stand on every day –
is like his anxious letting himself fall

into the water, which receives him gently
and which, as though with reverence and joy,
draws back past him in streams on either side;
while, infinitely silent and aware,
in his full majesty and ever more
indifferent, he condescends to glide.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(translated by Stephen Mitchell)