Anna Akhmatova Evening Room

Ispeak those words, today, that come
Only once, born in the spirit.
Bees hum on white chrysanthemum:
There’s the must of an old sachet.

And the room, with narrow windows,
Preserves love, remembers the past.
Over the bed a French script flows:
It reads: ‘Lord, have mercy on us.’

Those saddened marks of so ancient a tale,
You mustn’t touch, my heart, or seek to…
Isee bright Sèvres statuettes grow pale:
Even as their lustre grows duller too.

A last ray, yellow, heavy,
Sets on the dahlias’ bright bouquet,
And I can hear viols playing,
A clavichord’s rare display.


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