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Bella Akhmadulina

Bella Akhmadulina



The coming day was whitened in the dark,
The day, that’s come, was much alike a-singing,
And those four – whose sight was wonders bringing –
Those four rowers moved me in a bark.

At the amazing dearness of the four,
I would have looked till my eyes should be closed.
And there’s no need in solving any problems:
One’s soul would sigh – a word is one before.

We had a mercy of the sea and sky,
And, have been saved between these two abysses;
Just for supporting our contention, needless,
We sailed afar, not knowing where and why.

In utter silence, we achieved some land –
Till the odd times, safe of the death’s embraces.
But something died when the worn and breathless,
We made the first step on the coast’s sand.

Oh, Arion, your rowers had come dead,
My ones were saved from such predestination;
But I’m depressed: my palms have a sensation
Of the flame-orphanage that o’er them is spread.

I pity us! And let on only me 
Fall all great tempests and all hails of stones,
I’ll lock my mouth for cries ‘help!’ or for moans,
Or for songs, luring dolphins from the sea.

Why? Without those four I’m not useful else.                   
There’s no sense in blames or any facts’ eclipses.
The bark is wrecked, and only in its pieces
Still stay united our own names.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, January 8, 2005

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