Sonnets to Orpheus

Rainer Maria Rilke

O here's the beast that no existence hath.
By sight they knew it not but held it dear -
Its roaming, bearing and its bray not wrath,
Even indded the light of its soft leer.
Truly it never was. Yet through their love became
A taintless beast. For it, space ever freed.
And in that space, unhampered without claim,
Its head it nimbly raised with scare a need
To be. They nourished it not with corn,
But ever with the prospect, it might be,
And that gave so much vigor to the beast,
That from its brow there sprouted a horn.
One unique horn. To virgin blamelessly
It came - In silvern mirror and in her to feast.


Hilda Domin

Such pleasure's
In this most discreet of beasts.
This unicorn mild

Treads so soft
One hears it not
Coming in, nor going;
Tame pet
Of joy

When it's thirsty
It licks the teardrops
Out of fancies.

New Year Letter

W. H. Auden

O unicorn among the cedars
To whom no magic charm can lead us,
White childhood moving like a sigh
Through the green woods unharmed in thy
Sophisticated innocence
To call thy true love to the dance...


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