X x x
We noiselessly walked through the house,
Not waiting for anything.
They showed me way to the sick man,
And I did not recognize him.
He said, “Now let God have the glory”
And became more thoughtful and blue.
“It’s long time that I hit the road,
I’ve only been waiting for you.
So you bother me in my fever,
I keep those words from you.
Tell me: can you not forgive me?”
And I said, “I can do.”
It seemed, that the walls were shining
From floor to the ceiling that day.
Upon the silken blanket
A withered arm lay.
And the thrown-over predatory profile
Became horribly heavy and stark,
And one could not hear the breathing
Through the bitten-up lips turned dark.
But suddenly the last bit of strength
Came alive in the eyes of blue:
“It is good that you released me,
Not always kind were you.”
And then the face became younger,
And I recognized him once more.
And then I said, “Holy Father,
Accept a slave of yours.”
X x x
I came over to the pine forest.
It is hot, and the road is not short.
He pushed back the door and came out
Greyhaired, luminous, short.
He looked at me, insolent bastard,
And muttered at once, “Christ’s bride!
Do not envy success of the happy,
A place for you there does hide.
Do forget your parents’ abode,
Get accustomed to open heaven
You will sleep on the straw and dirty,
And will meet a blissful end.”
Truly, the priest must have heard
On the way back my singing voice
As I of untold happiness
Marveled and rejoiced.
X x x
The other cranes shout “Cour-lee”
Calling a wounded one
When autumn fields around
Are fallow and warm.
And I, being
sick, hear calling,
The noise of golden wings
From dense and low clouds
And thick underbrush.
“It’s time to fly, it’s time to fly,
Over the field and river.
For you already cannot sing
And wipe a tear from a cheek
With a weakened arm.”
X x x
I will quietly in the churchyard
Sleep on wooden boards in the sun,
On the Sunday as guest to mother
You will come, my dear one –
Through the river over the mountain
Can’t catch up to grown ones
From afar, the sharp-eyed fellow,
This my cross you’ll recognize.
I know, dear one, very little
Can you now recall of me:
Did not scold you, did not fawn you,
Did not hold the cup to thee.
X x x
With pride your spirit is darkened
For this you won’t know world at all.
You say that this faith is a dream
And mirage is this capital.
You say that my country is sinful,
Your country is godless, I scream.
May the guilt still lie upon us –
We can correct and redeem.
Around you are water and flowers
Why seek a beggar and sinner, my dear?
I know that you’re sick very badly:
You seek death and the end you fear.
X x x
The early chills are most pleasant to me.
Torment releases me when I come there.
Mysterious, dark places of habitation –
Are storehouses of labor and prayer.
The calm and confident loving
I can’t surmount in this side of mine:
A drop of Novgorod blood inside me
Is like a piece of ice in foamy wine.
And this can not in any way be corrected,
She has not been melted by great heat,
And what ever I began to glory –
You, quiet one, shine before me yet.
X x x
I dream less of him, dear God be gloried,
Does not shimmer everywhere any more.
Fog has fallen on the whitened road,
Shadows run over water to the shore.
And all day the ringing did not quiet