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Aleksandr Blok

Aleksandr Blok

ALEXANDR BLOK: The Snow Maiden

The Snow Maiden

She came to me from the vast distance – 
The child of night and other times.
Her kin were lost in space and seasons,
Our skies didn’t brighten for her eyes.

But under snow of night tempests,
Over Neva, so cold and might,
She met a sphinx, as her friend prettiest,
With easy cry of her delight.

And she dreamed of her Egypt native
Through dark and mists of our North,
When blizzards with their stars attractive
Were covering her gentle forms;

And, as a whole realm of marvels
With unbelievably strong faith,
Laid to her heart my city sunless –
With all its glum, and winds and rains.

She fell in love with buildings’ masses,
Sleeping in wilderness of night,
And quiet icon-lamps through glasses 
Joined to the dreams of her sweet heart.

She fathomed – with her mind and soul –
Shadows and fires, smog and swell –   
The city-mystery in whole… 
Being a mystery herself.    

She grants me with a ring of snows,
Because my cloak’s full of stars,
Because I am in armors closed,
Bearing on them the cross of Christ.

She looks into my eyes with rightness
Praising her foe – not her friend –
From frozen fields of her night’s darkness
Snows invade my spirit’s land. 

And Snow Maiden’s heart is silent,
And it will never take a sword
To cut with her hand, gentle and ardent,
The straps which are my helm to hold.

And, like a chief of hosts in hatred,
Under the armors heavy steel,
The dream of junctions celebrated
I bear in my sacred thrill.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, March, 2002

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