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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

ANNA AKHMATOVA: "He, Who Was Called..."

"He, Who Was Called..."

1945 (?)
He, who was called by men in days of yore,
A king – in mock, in truthfulness – a god,
Who was once killed – whose tools of suffer sore
By my hot breast is permanently wormed…  

They tested Death – the witnesses of Jesus,
Severe solders, and she-gossips old,
The Rome procurator… – all, in sadness,
Had passed the place where stood a dome bold,
Where stroke a sea, and blacked a cliff in splashes, –  
They’re drunk in wine, inhaled with dusty hot
And with a smell of roses, ever freshest.

Gold makes self rot, and dissipates best steel,
Marble is crammed – all’s ready to be perished.
The staunchest on the earth is pine, we feel,
And most living – Kingly Word, we relish. 


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August, 2002


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