Anna Akhmatova At Tsarskoye Selo
Horses along the ride,
Long waves of combed manes.
O enchanting town of enigmas,
I’m sad. I’m in love with you.
Strange to recall soul’s longing,
Suffocating, delirious death.
Now I’m simply a plaything,
Like the green parrot, my friend.
If you wish to, look in my eyes;
There’s no hint of pain in my heart;
But I dislike the hour before sunset;
Wind from the sea; the word ‘depart’.
And then…there’s my marble double,
Lying under the ancient maple,
Giving his face to the waters,
Listening to rustling leaves.
While a bright rain laves
His clotted wound…
Cold one, white one, wait,
I’ll turn to marble too.
III – Pushkin
Dark-complexioned, he wandered these alleys,
Was sorrowful on this lake shore,
And a century later we cherish,
The faint stir of his footsteps.
A litter of pine needles,
Low stumps, a dense bristling mat…
Here lay his dog-eared copy of Parny,
And here, his tricorn hat.