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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

ANNA AKHMATOVA: To the Londoners

To the Londoners

(From the "In the Fortieth Year")
1940
The twenty-fourth drama of Shakespeare
Time’s writing with its indifferent hand.
We, selves, the guests of the awful Feast here,
Better would read Hamlet, Caesar, and Lear
Over the river, in heavy lead clad;
Better – to bear, with singing and torches,
Juliet, the dove, to her family’s graves,
Peep into windows of Macbeth’s castle godless,
Tremble with scum – hired killers and knaves –
But not this one, Lord… oh, not this...oh, not this, – 
To read this one we already haven’t strengths!


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, July, 2002


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