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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova



And everywhere with me the foul slander was.
Her almost-crawling step I felt in my dreams’ worst,
And in the town, dead under the merciless heaven,
While seeking, by a chance, some bread and place to live in.
Reflections of her flames are seen in all men eyes –
Sometimes as treachery, as simple fear, sometimes.
I am not feared by it. To every challenge here
I always have my word, the descent and severe.
The day, I can’t avoid, I now foresee:
In light of early dawn, my friends will come to me
To steer my pleasant dream with their lamenting, endless,
To put an icon on my breast, that’s now breathless.
Then, known by none, it’ll enter my room, sad:
In my cooled blood, its mouth will be set
To count ceaselessly the offences, imagined,  
To plait its low voice into laments, emerging.
And all will understand its shameful, crazy lies,
Which will forbid each one to look in others’ eyes,
And draw in emptiness my whole body, dying,
And, in the last time, fill my soul, now flying
In the dawn’s haze, with burning helplessness
And with great pity for abandoned Earth.    

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August 12, 2004
Corrected May-June 2008

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