To Clara Rilke,
Villa Discopoli, Capri

This morning began so radiantly, now it is becoming a gray day; but first there was a shining as from a brand-new, never used year. And the night was a bright, distant one that seemed to rest above far more than just the earth; one felt that it lay above oceans and far out beyond, above space, above itself, above stars that looked toward its own stars out of endless depths. All that was mirrored in it and held by it above the earth and hardly even held any longer: for it was like a continual overflowing of heavens. I thought there would perhaps be midnight Mass and went out after eleven; the streets and footpaths between the walls lay there long, like lowered outspread banners, black and white, made of a strip of wall shadow beside a strip of light; for it was the first night after full moon, and the moon stood very high in the sky and sharply outshone all the stars, so that only here and there a distant very big one flared so strongly that some darkness was formed about it.

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