Ranier Maria Rilke
translated by Robert Bly
When the god, needing something, decided to become a swan,
he was astounded how lovely the bird was;
he was dizzy as he disappeared into the swan.
But his deceiving act soon pulled him into the doing,
before he had a chance to test all the new feelings
Inside the being. And the woman, open to him,
recognized the One Soon To Be Born
and she knew: what he asked for
was something which, confused in her defending, she
could no longer keep from him. He pressed closer
and pushing his neck through her less and less firm hand
let the god loose into the darling woman.
Then for the first time he found his feathers marvelous
and lying in her soft place he became a swan.
Leda and the Swan