Venetian Morning

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Windows pampered like princes always see
what on occasion deigns to trouble us:
the city that, time and again, where a shimmer
of sky strikes a feeling of floodtide,

takes shape without once choosing to be.
Each new morning must first show her the opals
she wore yesterday, and pull rows
of reflections out of the canal
and remind her of the other times:
only then does she concede and settle in

like a nymph who received great Zeus.
The dangling earrings ring out at her ear;
but she lifts San Giorgio Maggiore
and smiles idly into that lovely thing.

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