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.


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