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Vadim Shefner

VADIM SHEFNER: "The Engines Wailed..."

"The Engines Wailed..."

1943
The engines wailed on a railroad station,
The sweeps of wells squeaked after passing trains 
And scarlet roses of world-wide celebration
Ragingly flourished beside a dusty fence.

We met each other by a quiet river,
We went from there to meadows, far and fair,
To where, behind the hills of sandy silver,
Earth breathed with, full of ancient secrets, air.

There, until now, by the river wreathing,
Right on the halve-way to your house, plain,
Our past seeks us in empty darkness, wringing 
Her fragile hands – in woe and in vain!

There are a lot of white and red fine roses,
Of birds in skies and rivers around us,
There’s life or death… but no train, which goes
From any station to the people past.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, April, 2001


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