All of You Undisturbed Cities


All of you undisturbed cities
haven’t you ever longed for the Enemy?
I’d like to see you besieged by him
for ten endless and groundshaking years.

Until you were desperate and mad with suffering;
finally in hunger you would feel his weight.
He lies outside the walls like a countryside.
And he knows very well how to endure
longer than the one that he comes to visit.

Climb up on your roofs and look out:
his camp is there and his morale doesn’t falter,
his numbers do not decrease; he will not grow weaker,
and he sends no one into the city to threaten
or promise and no one to negotiate.

He is the one who breaks down all walls,
and when he works, he works in silence.

Rainer Maria Rilke

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