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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

The Grey-Eyed King

   
Hail! Hail to thee, o, immovable pain!
The young grey-eyed king had been yesterday slain.

This autumnal evening was stuffy and red.
My husband, returning, had quietly said,

"He'd left for his hunting; they carried him home;
They'd found him under the old oak's dome.

I pity the queen. He, so young, past away!...
During one night her black hair turned to grey."

He found his pipe on a warm fire-place,
And quietly left for his usual race.

Now my daughter will wake up and rise --
Mother will look in her dear grey eyes...

And poplars by windows rustle as sing,
"Never again will you see your young king..."

1910


© Copyright, 1996
Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August 1996

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