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Poetry

Anonymous      

As our Ancestors looked at the Sun
As a Buddhist looks at the Lotus
As a Christian looks at the Icon
As an Artist looks at the Flower

As I look at You, my Beloved
And this is my Fortune, and my daily Happiness!

Anna Akhmatova
ON  LYUBIL

On lyubil tri vezshi na svete:
Za vechernej penie, belyx pavlinov
I styortye karty Ameriki.
Ne lyubil, kogda plachut deti,
Ne lyubil haya s malinoj
I zhenskoj isteriki.
…A ya byla ego zhenoj.
(1912)

HE DID LOVE…

He did love three things in this world:
Choir chants at vespers, albino peacocks,
And worn, weathered maps of America.
And he did not love children crying,
Or tea served with raspberries,
Or woman's hysteria.
…And I was his wife.
(1912)

Nikolaj Stepanovich Gumilyov

MOI  CHITATELI

Staryj brodyaga v Addis-Abebe,
Pokorivshij mnogie plemena,
Prislal ko mne chyornogo kopyenosca
S privetom, sostavlennym iz moix stixov.
Lejtenant, vodivshij kanonerki
Pod ognyom nepriyatelskix batarej,
Celuyu noch nad yuzhnym morem
Chital mne na pamyat moi stixi.
Chelovek, sredi tolpy naroda
Zastrelivshij imperatorskogo posla,
Podoshyol pozhat mne ruku,
Poblagodarit za moi stixi.

Mnogo ix, silnyx, zlyx I vesyolyx,
Ubivavshix slonov I lyudej,
Umiravshix ot zhazhdy v pustyne,
Zamerzavshix na kromke vechnogo lda,
Vernyx nashej planete,
Silnoj, vesyoloj I zloj,
Vozyat moi knigi v sedelnoj sumke,
Chitayut ix v palmovoj rozshe,
Zabyvayut na tonuzshem korable.

Ya ne oskorblyayu ix nevrasteniej,
Ne unizhayu dushevnoj teplotoj,
Ne nadoedayu mnogoznachitelnymi namyokami
Na soderzhimoe vyedennogo yajca.
No kogda vokrug svizshut puli,
kogda volny lomayut borta,
Ya uchu ix kak ne boyatsya,
Ne boyatsya I delat, chto nado.
I kogda zhenzshina s prekrasnym licom,
Edinstvenno dorogim vo vselennoj,
Skazhet: «Ya ne lyublyu vas», -
Ya uchu ix, kak ulybnutsya,
I ujti, I ne vozvrazshatsya bolshe.

A kogda pridyot ix poslednij chas,
Rovnyj krasnyj tuman zastelet vzory,
Ya nauchu ix srazu pripomnit
Vsyu zhestokuyu, miluyu zhizn,
Vsyu rodnuyu strannuyu zemlyu,
I, predstav pered likom Boga
S prostymi I mudrymi slovami,
Zhdat spokojno Ego suda.
(1921)


MY  READERS

The old vagabond in Addis Ababa,
Who conquered many tribes,
Sent me one of his black lancers
Greeting me with my own poetry.
A lieutenant, who used to lead gunboats
Under enemy fire,
Recited my poems to me all through the night
Upon the southern sea.
A man, who midst a crowd had shot
The Emperor's ambassador,
Came up to shake my hand,
To thank me for my verse.

Many of them - strong, wicked and gay -
Who killed elephants and people,
Who died of thirst in the desert,
Who froze on a polar ice-floe,
Loyal to our planet
(Strong, gay and wicked),
Carry my books in a saddlebag,
Read them in groves of palm trees
And abandon them with the ship.

I don't offend them with hypertensions,
Or humiliate them with too much heart,
Don't bug them with vital allusions
To the contents of an empty shell.
But when bullets whistle by,
When waves break the sides of the ship,
I teach them not to fear,
Not to fear and to do their job.
And when a woman with a beautiful face,
The only dear face in the world ,
Says, 'I don't love you',
I teach them to smile,
To leave her and never go back.

And when the last hour comes,
When the red, even mist films their eyes,
I wuill teach them to recall quickly
Their entire pleasant-cruel life
And all their ow, strange earth…
And when standing before God's face
To await valmly His Judgement
With simple, wise words.

* * *

NOVYI  VEK

Svobodnoe Bratstvo
Lyudei Spravedlivyx
Proshlo herez vse ispytan'ya
I vnov'
Na Znameni nashem
Vekami xranimy
Vospryanuli
Vera, Nadezhda, Lyubov'!

Slav'sya Soyuz
Nerushimoi Svobody,
Lyudyam daruyuschij
Shast'e na vek!
Slav'sya Sozdanie
Bozh'ei Prirody
Hudo Planety Zemlya -
HELOVEK!

* * *