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Valery Bryusov

Valery Bryusov

To the Poet

1907

You have to be high as a banner,
You have to be sharp as a sword;
Your face, like the Dante's one, forever
By flames of the Hell must be burnt.

A cold observer of actions --
See all -- in the white and the black.
And let be your highest perfection --
Intention to stride to a stake.

May be, in this life, all around --
Is only the means for a verse.
And you from your childhood are bound
To seek combinations of words.

In flames of the lovers' embraces,
Remain void of passions and plain,
And while crucifixions are endless,
Sing songs to your horrible pain.

In morns' dreams and gulfs of the evenings,
Catch that what is whispered by Fate.
A wreath of the thorns, dry and stinging, --
The crown, prepared for your head.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, September, 2000

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