The business of art lies just in this--to make that understood and felt which, in the form of an argument, might be incomprehensible and inaccessible. - Leo Tolstoy
* * *
To Yevgeny Ivanov
The gondolas are coffins. Chilled by
The winds that blow from the lagoon,
Young, sick, beside the lion's pillar
I lie. Around me all is gloom.
The chant of iron. Booming tones.
The giants midnight striking. His
Rich, lace-like iconostasis
St Mark in moonlit waters drowns.
Past galleries in shadow buried
Salome steals - how soft her tread!..
The moonbeams fall on her: she carries
A platter with my bloody head.
Canals, men, palaces lie sleeping.
Alone the shade wings noiseless by,
And - see!- the head, as darkness deepens,
To pierce it tries with mournful eye.