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Nikolay Gumilev

Nikolay Gumilev

NIKOLAY GUMILEV: Don Juan

Don Juan

My own dream is lofty, simple thing:
To seize the oar, put feet into the stirrups,
And to deceive the time, that slow tries to stir us, 
By kissing lips, forever new and pink;

When getting old, to keep the law of Christ,
Cast down looks, put on sackcloth and ashes,
Put on the chest, as heavy obligations,  
The iron Cross, that He died on for us.

And only when, amidst the orgy’s madness, 
I get my senses – a sleepwalker aimless,
Just frightened in the silence of his ways – 

Then I recall: the worst of many others – 
I had no children from a woman in my years
And never called a man a brother.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, May, 2000
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, December, 2000


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