Youthful Portrait of My Father
...by René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke:
In the eyes dream. The forehead as in touch
with something far. About the mouth enormously
much youth, unsmiled seductiveness,
and before the full ornamental lacings
of the slim aristocratic uniform
the saber's basket-hilt and both the hands-,
that wait, quietly, impelled towards nothing.
And now scarce longer visible: as though they
first, seizers of far things, would disappear.
And all the rest curtained with itself
and effaced, as though we could not understand it,
and clouded deep out of its own depths--,
You swiftly fading daguerreotype
in my more slowly fading hands.