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Nikolay Gumilev

Nikolay Gumilev

The Gates of Paradise

The eternal entrance into Eden
Is not locked with seven precious seals;
It has no charms nor light of heaven,
And the people don't know that it is.

It's a doorway in a wall forgotten --
Stones, moss and nothing more else,
Near stands a beggar; and the rotten,
Keys are hanging at his gaudy waist.

Paladins ride by in agitation,
Trumpets wail, and minted silver chant;
Nobody spares his attention
To the Peter -- the Apostle, the saint.

They dream: There, by Sepulchre of Savor,
Paradise will open doors for us;
At the footing of the Mount Thabor
The committed hour will thrust.

So by the armored monster goes;
In the air the trumpets ring and wail;
The Apostle in the tattered cloth,
Like a beggar, looks and poor and pale.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, September, 1995
Edited by Orit Bonver, August, 2000

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