Anna Akhmatova Always so many pleas from a lover!

Always so many pleas from a lover!
None when they fall out of love.
I’m so glad it plunges, the river,
Beneath colourless ice above.

And I’m to stand – God help me! –
On the surface, fissured, gleaming,
With my letters, for posterity
To judge, in your safe keeping,

So that clearly, and distinctly,
They can see you, brave and wise,
In your glorious biography,
No gaps revealed to the eye?

To drink of Earth’s too sweet,
And Love’s nets are too fine.
But may my name be seen
In the students’ books in time,

And, let them smile, secretly,
On reading my sad story…
If I can’t have love, if I can’t have peace,
Grant me a bitter glory.


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