No man understands a deep book until he has seen and lived at least part of its contents. - Ezra Pound
To Alexandra Ivanovna Osipova
I love you - love you, e'en as I
Rage at myself for this obsession,
And as I make my shamed confession,
Despairing at your feet I lie.
I know, I know - it ill becomes me,
I am too old, time to be wise...
But how?.. This love - it overcomes me,
A sickness this in passion's guise.
When you are near I'm filled with sadness,
When far, I yawn, for life's a bore.
I must pour out this love, this madness,
There's nothing that I long for more!
When your skirts rustle, when, my angel,
Your girlish voice I hear, when your
Light step sounds in the parlour - strangely,
I turn confused, perturbed, unsure.
You frown - and I'm in pain, I languish;
You smile - and joy defeats distress;
My one reward for a day's anguish
Comes when your pale hand, love, I kiss.
When you sit bent over your sewing,
Your eyes cast down and fine curls blowing
About your face, with tenderness
I childlike watch, my heart o'erflowing
With love, in my gaze a caress.
Shall I my jealousy and yearning
Describe, my bitterness and woe
When by yourself on some bleak morning
Off on a distant walk you go,
Or with another spend the evening
And, with him near, the piano play,
Or for Opochka leave, or, grieving,
Weep and in silence pass the day?..
Alina! Pray relent, have mercy!
I dare not ask for love - with all
My many sins, both great and small,
I am perhaps of love unworthy!..
But if you feigned love, if you would
Pretend, you'd easily deceive me,
For happily would I, believe me,
Deceive myself if but I could!