X x x
They’re on the way, the words of love and freedom,
They’re flying faster than the moment flies
And I am in stage fright before singing –
My lips have grown colder than ice.
But soon that place, where, leaning to the windows
The tender birches make dry rustling sound,
The voices will be ringing of the shadows
And roses will in blackened wreaths be wound.
And further onward still – the light is generous
Unbearably as though ‘t were red hot wine..
And now the wind, all redolent and heated,
In perfect vigor has enflamed my mind.
X x x
Oh, this was a cold day
In Peter’s wonderful town!
The shadow grew dense, and the sundown
Like purple fire lay.
Let him not want my eyes fair
Prophetic and never-changing
All life long verse he’ll be catching –
My conceited lips’ empty prayer.
X x x
This way I prayed: “Slake the dumb thirst
Of singing with a sweet libation!”
But to the earthling of the earth
There can be no liberation.
Like smoke from sacrifice, that it could not
Fly Strength – and Glory-ward – alas –
But only clouded at the feet
And, as if praying, kissed the grass.
Thus I, O Lord, before thee bow:
Will reach the fire of the sky
My lashes that are closed for now
And muteness utter and divine?
X x x
In intimacy there exists a line
That can’t be crossed by passion or love’s art –
In awful silence lips melt into one
And out of love to pieces bursts the heart.
And friendship here is impotent, and years
Of happiness sublime in fire aglow,
When soul is free and does not hear
The dulling of sweet passion, long and slow.
Those who are striving toward it are in fever,
But those that reach it struck
with woe that lingers.
Now you have understood, why forever
My heart does not beat underneath your fingers.
X x x
All has been taken: strength as well as love.
Into the unloved town the corpse is thrown.
It does not love the sun. I fear, that blood
Inside of me already cold has grown.
I do not recognize sweet Muse’s loving taste:
She looks ahead and does not let a word pass,
And bows a head in the dark garland dressed
Onto my chest, exhausted from the haste.
And only conscience, scarier with each day,
Wants a great ransom and for this abuses.
Closing the face, I answer her this way..
But there remain no tears and no excuses.
X x x
To lose the freshness of the words and sense, for us,
Is it same as for an artist to lose vision,
Or for an actor – voice and motion,
Or for a gorgeous woman – her finesse?
But do not seek now for yourself to keep
What heaven has given to you below:
We have been judged – and we ourselves both know –
To give away, and not to keep.
Or else alone you go to heal the blind,
To know yourself in heavy hour of doubt
The students’ smug shaudenfreude
And the uncaring of mankind.
The quiet April day has sent me
What a strange missive.
You knew that passionately in me
The scary week is still alive.
I did not hear those ringing bells
That swam along in glazier clear.
For seven days sounded copper laugh
Or poured from eyes a silver tear.
And I, then having closed my face
As for eternal parting’s moment,
Lay down and waited for her grace
That was not known yet as torment.
X x x
This city by the fearsome river
Was my crib blessed and dear
And a solemn wedding bed
Which the garlands for the head
Your young cherubs held above –
A city loved with bitter love.