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Marina Tsvetaeva

Marina Tsvetaeva

"You, Whose Greatcoats Were..."

From "To the Generals of the 1812"
You, whose greatcoats were lithely streaming,
Reminiscent of broad sails,
Whose voice and spurs were gaily ringing
Like silver bells,

Whose eyes, like diamonds, were leaving
On hearts their delightful trace, --
The charming fops of vanished being
In time and space.

With help of heartened aspiration
You conquered hearts and rocky walls, --
The kings in every field of action
And at the balls.

For you -- stiff bread was no wander,
And greatest mountains were flats,
O, young  and passionate commanders
Of own fates!

In single gallop, fierce and risky,
You passed your shortest lives and glow --
And  your ambitious curls and whiskers
Sank under snow.

You all were winning and enjoying
And love and edges of a sword...
And with a sunny smile were going                                 
Out the world.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, October 1996,
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, July 1998.

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