A room without books is like a body without a soul. - Cicero


Grief inexpressible was in
The strings' untiring twang and chatter.
Fresh oysters, waiting on a platter,
Smelled pungently  of salt and brine.

He said: "I am your friend." And as
He said it, touched my sleeve. How chary
Of warmth  those fingers were, how very
Far was their touch from a caress.

So cats and birds are petted, eyed
So is a circus rider slender.
A smile, one gay and almost tender,
Beneath his sandy lashes hid.

Behind the screen of smoke, a burst
Of music came. The fiddles shivered:
Bless God and thank him for this tryst,
Your very first with your beloved.

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]
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Akhmatova A.A.
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