Poetry Lovers' Page
Poetry Lovers' Page:
featuring complete collections of poems by the following poets:
Rudyard Kipling
Edgar Allan Poe
Robert Louis Stevenson

You are here: Home » Russian Poets » Anna Akhmatova » The New Year's Ballad



Share |
Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

ANNA AKHMATOVA: The New Year's Ballad

The New Year's Ballad

1923
In cloudy darkness, the bored crescent-sable
Had sent to our room its grim shine.
Six sets are installed on the white of the table,
And empty of them – only one.

We wait – I, my husband and few friends of mine –
For time the New Year to be met.
But, just like a poison, burns me a red wine,
My fingers – like sunk in blood red.

The host was all solemn, immovable, strained,
While raising his filled to rims glass:
“I drink to the soil of our native land,
In which every one of us lies!”

My friend then exclaimed in a loud, gay voice,
While thinking of something naïve,
“I drink to her songs, to her beautiful songs,
In which we eternally live!” 

But the third, which till now hadn’t known, I think, 
When He had closed his eyes, 
Answered my thoughts at once,
“I’m sure that we all have right now to drink
To him, who isn’t still with us.”


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, January, 2002


Share |


You are here: Home » Russian Poets » Anna Akhmatova » The New Year's Ballad
Poetry Lovers' Page
Poetry Lovers' Page is going through renovation. Please stay tuned for new and exciting features.
We are now dictionary-enabled. Try it: double-click on any word on this page, and then click on Definition