…from the quills of the dead white poets
Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966)
Oh, if I’ve known, when, in dress of whiteness,
Muse was just coming to my living place,
That to the lyre, stoned in the timeless,
My hands’ warm flesh will be forever pressed.
Oh, if I’ve known, when was flying fierce
And playful tempest of my love, the last,
That to the best of youths, in bitter tears,
I’ll close his, like eagle’s, dear eyes.
Oh, if I’ve known, when, by my successes
Pined, I was tempting destiny, discreet,
That soon with laugh, so scornful one and merciless,
Will people answer to my last entreat.
Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August, 2000