Two Poplars on a Hill
And we: always and everywhere spectators,
turned not toward the Open
but to the stuff of our lives.
It downs us. We set it in order.
It falls apart. We order it again
and fall apart ourselves.
Who has turned us around like this?
Whatever we do, we are in the posture
of one who is about to depart.
Like a person lingering
for a moment on the last hill
where he can see his whole valley—
that is how we live, forever
taking our leave.
From the Eighth Duino Elegy