Anna Akhmatova Venice
Gold dovecote by waters,
Tender and dazzlingly green;
A salt-breeze sweeps away
The gondola’s narrow wake.
Such sensitive, strange eyes in the streets,
The bright toys in the shops:
A lion with a book, on a lace pillow,
A lion with a book, on a marble pillar.
As in an ancient, faded canvas,
The sky is a cool, dull blue…
But one’s not crushed in the crowd,
Nor stifled in this damp heat.