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« Buena Vista Social Club | Main | Ali: Fear Eats the Soul »
Friday
Mar202009

Akhmatova, "Алиса"

A work ("Alisa") by this Russian poet.  You can read the original here.

1

She worried still about the past,          
About her dreams of distant Mays, 
As Pierrette's mind became the last  
Retreat of whole and golden days.

The shards of jug she gathered strewn,  
Not knowing how to piece them back.           
"If only you, Alisa, knew                           
How life is dull, how life is slack!

"At dinner yawns engulf the meal,    
And food and drink I soon forget.   
Be sure oblivion conceals
My brows, which I no longer fret.

"Give me the means, Alisa mine,    
To bring it back, all back to me!   
All that I have is yours with time,             
From house and clothes then set me free.         

"He came to me in dream-like crown,         
Each night I fear, each night lie scared!"   
Do you know whose dark ringlet frowns             
In the locket Alisa wears?   

2

"How late! So tired then I yawn."
"Мignon, lie there, you needn't move,
My reddish hair, coiffed and drawn,
For my coy mistress I improve."

In bows of green with pearly hasp
Amidst her hair, she read the note:
"I'll wait for you by maple's grasp;
For you I'll wait, O Count unknown!"

Beneath a mask of lace I see 
Her stifle laughs of baleful spite; 
Today she even ordered me    
To strangle her with garters tight.   

On blackest dress came morning's face  
From window's corner dark it shone:
"And me I know he will embrace
By maple's grasp, my Count unknown."

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