The wind in the winter wood
Drives the snowflake flock like a shepherd.
A fir tree, sensing how soon
She will be lit with holiness,
Strains to listen. She stretches wide
Her branches to the white paths,
Braced to brave the wind, growing
Toward that glorious night.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, born this day in 1875,
translated by Jenn Cavanaugh