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Boris Pasternak. Verses (translated by Andrey Kneller)

Winter night

The blizzards covered up the earth And roamed uncurbed The candle burned upon the desk The candle burned As in the summer, moths are drawn Towards the flame The pale snowflakes flown Unto the pane Upon the glass, bright snowy rings And streaks were churned The candle burned upon the desk The candle burned On the illumined ceiling Shadows swayed A cross of arms, a cross of legs A cross of fate Two boots fell down on the floor With crashing sound And from the crown tears of wax Dripped on the gown And nothing in the snowy haze Could be discerned The candle burned upon the desk The candle burned A gentle draft blew from the corner Flame in temptation, Would raise two wings into a cross As if an angel It snowed a lot all through the month This frequently occurred The candle burned upon the desk The candle burned

Hamlet

The clamor ceased. I walked onto the stage. While leaning on a jamb, through cheers, I'm grasping in the echo's distant range What will occur during my years. The twilight of the night has gathered Like thousands of binoculars on me. If so you're willing, Father, I beg you, take this cup from me. I love your plan, so firm and stubborn And I agree to play this role. But as of now, there's another drama. This time, expel me, I implore. But, the predestined plot proceeds. I cannot alter the direction of my path. I am alone, all sinks in phariseeism. To live a life--is not an easy task.

Easter

There's still a twilight of the night. The world's so young in its proceeding, That countless stars in sky abide, And each one, like the day, is bright, And if the Earth contained that might, She'd sleep through Easter in delight, Under the Psalter reading. There's still a twilight of the night. It's far too early; it appears, That fields eternally subside, Right from crossroad to the side, And 'til the sunrise and the light, There is a thousand years. The Mother Earth, of clothes deprived, Has nothing else to wear, To strikes the church bell through night Or echo choirs in the air. And from the Maundy Thursday night Right 'til the Easter Eve, The water bores the coastal side And whirlpools heave. The forest, in exposed expanse, To celebrate Christ's Holy times, As though in prayer, calmly stands, In gathered stems and trunks of pines. And in the city, in one place, As if a mob commenced, The naked trees sincerely gaze Upon the Church's fence. Their eyes are fully filled with rage. And their concern is heard. The gardens slowly leave their cage, The Earth shakes wildly in its range, They're burying the Lord. A light is seen that dimly glows, Black kerchiefs and the candle rows, By weeping eyes-- And suddenly, there's a procession, With holy shroud of the Christ And every birch, with a concession, Along the entrance subsides. They walk around the royal square, Along the sidewalk's edge. Into the vestibule with care, They bring the spring and springtime flair, A scent of Eucharist in the air And vernal rage. And March is tossing snow around To beggars gathered on Church ground, As though a person just walked out, Opened the shrine, took what he found And gave it all away. The singing lasts throughout the night, Those who have wept enough, they lastly, Calmly and gently stroll outside, Onto the land under the light, To read the Psalter or Apostles. But after midnight, all will quiet, Hearing the vernal lecture, That if we wait just for a while, We'll cast His death into exile With holy resurrection.

February

Oh February, to get ink and weep! And write about it mourning, While the uproaring, raging sleet, Like in the spring, is burning. Go rent a buggy. For six grivnas, Race through the blare of bells and wheels, To where the shower often drizzles Much louder than ink and tears. Where, like the charcoal pears, the crows From trees, by thousands, will rise, Crash into puddles, and then toss Dry sadness deep into your eyes. Below, thawed patch is showing through, With loud cries, the wind is grubbed. The more haphazard the more true-- The poems are composed and sobbed.

Last-modified: Wed, 05 Apr 2000 13:25:19 GMT
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