The Dagger

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Mikhail Lermontov (1814 – 1841)


Yes, I like you, my knife of damask pledge, 
My friend so bright and so cold,
A thoughtful Georgian forged you for his revenge,
A free Circassian then sharpened for a row.

You had been trusted me by lily-like a hand – 
A sign for memory – in time of separation,
And now no blood has dripped from you on land,
But crystal tears – the pearls of depravation.

And looking strait at me, the black and immense eyes, 
Filled to their rims with the mysterious woe,
Like your reflective steel in light of fire-dance,
Were sometimes darkness – sometimes glow.   

On roads, you are friend – the voiceless passion’s grant, 
And for a traveler – the object to rely on:
I will be never changed – my soul will be hard
As you, as you, my friend of iron. 

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, November, 2001
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, June, 2001

About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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