Classic and Contemporary Poetry
WHAT WILL YOU DO, GOD?, by RAINER MARIA RILKE Poet's Biography
First Line: What will you do, god, when I die?
Last Line: What will you do, god? I'm afeared.
Subject(s): Death; God; Dead, The
What will you do, God, when I die?
I am your jar (if cracked, I lie?)
Your well-spring (if the well go dry?)
I am your craft, your vesture, I,
you lose your purport, losing me.
When I go, your cold house will be
empty of words that made it sweet.
I am the sandals your bare feet
will seek and long for, wearily.
Your cloak will fall from aching bones.
Your glance, that my warm cheeks have cheered
as with a cushion, long endeared,
will wonder at a loss so weird,
and when the sun has disappeared,
lie in the lap of alien stones.
What will you do, God? I'm afeared.
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