104 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE post-War Germany is pathetically expressed in a letter of in 1918, he says, Germany might have shamed the world by accept- ing humiliation and changing its pre-War policy. After wandering about in Switzerland, Italy, and France he stationed himself- one cannot say that he settled - in the Rhone valley, and passed his last years in an old tower dating from the thirteenth century near Sierre in Valais, his Chateau de Muzot sur Sierre, placed at his disposal by the Swiss patron of literature Werner Reinhart of Winterthur, whom Rilke ever afterwards referred to as his Lehns- berr. Here in the little garden he had a hundred roses planted; and he died in 1926 from blood poisoning caused by pricking himself with the thorn of one of his roses he gathered one day for a lady visitor. He is buried in the cemetery at Rarogne. Outwardly Rilke's life was eventless; and yet it is the intensity of his experiences which we follow up in his work from stage to stage. In his early verse there is naturally more imitation than ex- perience, certainly in luarenopfer, the only strictly juvenile poems admitted to Erste Gedichte (1913), where they take place with the three verse collections which chronologically followed them: Traumgekrbnt (i 897), Advent (1898) and Mir %ur Feier (i 899). Laren- opfer is - if one may be allowed a paradox - urban Heimatkunst: the poems reproduce the architecture and the medieval and Baroque aspects of Rilke's native city of Prague. Metrically the stamp is that of Heine: Alte Hauser, steilgegiebelt, hohe Turme voll Gebimmel, - in die engen Hofe liebelt nur ein win^ig Stuckchen HimmeL Und aufjedem Treppenpflocke mude lachelnd- Amoretten; hoch am Dache urn barocke Vasen rieseln TLosenketten. Heine-esque ballads rub shoulders with crass Armeleutepoesie. But there is already Rilke's verbal invention and glaring imagery: Die Stadt mrschwimmt me hinter Glas. Nur hoch> me ein behelmter Huney ragt klar vor mir die grunspangrune Turwkuppel von Sankt Nikolas. 1 Briefe an einejunge Fraut pp. 43-4.