Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CAROUSEL; JARDIN DE LUXEMBOURG, by RAINER MARIA RILKE



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THE CAROUSEL; JARDIN DE LUXEMBOURG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A little while both roof and shadow turn
Last Line: Briefly upon this blind and breathless game.
Subject(s): Luxembourg Gardens, Paris; Merry-go-grounds; Carousels


A little while both roof and shadow turn
with the quick steeds, whose motley coats enchant,
all hailing from the land that knows no want,
whose distant end no childlike eyes discern.
And every champing horse is arrogant,
though some are hitched to coaches, it is true;
a red and wicked lion bounds there too,
and now and then a huge, white elephant.

Even a wild stag flies along the track,
as in the wood, but saddle he must wear,
and a small girl in blue perched on his back.

And on the ruddy lion rides a young
blonde boy, with small hot hand and quickened pant,
the while the lion shows his teeth and tongue.

And now and then a huge, white elephant.

And round and round on their swift steeds they tear,
and clear-eyed girls, who are quite grown, among
the other children ride embarrassed, swung
in forward flight, looking now here, now there—

And now and then a huge, white elephant.

And it goes on and hurries to a close,
circling and whirling with no end or aim.
A red, a green, a grey rides forth, and goes,
A small vague profile, fading as it came.
And sometimes a soft glance abruptly glows,
a dazzling spendthrift smile some child bestows
briefly upon this blind and breathless game.





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