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The Lost Tram

Заблудившийся трамвай

I was walking an obscure route
And abruptly I heard caws of crows,
A distant thunder and a tinkling lute:
A rushing tram was really close.

How I leapt to its step
Is still a mystery to me.
It left a fiery track beyond itself
Which even in the daylight I could see.

Dashing like a dark-winged storm,
It strayed in the time abyss.
I shouted: "Driver, stop,
Stop this machine, please!".

Too late. A wall couldn't be seen.
We glided through a palm grove.
The Neva, the Seine, the Neil —
There were three bridges we rumbled over.

And, flashing behind a window frame,
An old beggar threw us an inquiring stare.
Of course, I know him - the same
Who died in Beirut last year.

Where am I? My heart beats
Anxiously and languidly in reply:
"Do you see a station where tickets
To India of the Spirit can be acquired?"

A sign... Letters, bloody and reddish,
say "Vegetables". I know here instead
Of rutabagas and cabbages
You may buy a dead head.

In a red shirt, with a face like an udder
The executioner severed my head.
It lay in a wet box, at the bottom,
Alongside others, they all were dead.

On a side street a fence of boards,
A house with three windows, trees.
I shouted: "Driver, stop,
Stop this machine, please!".

Mashenka, here you sang and dwelled,
For me, your love, you wove a carpet.
Where are your voice and body, who can tell?
Is it possible that you are dead?

When you moaned in your parlour,
I went to the Empress to submit
With my hair in powder.
And it was our last meet.

Now I've grasped it: our freedom
Is light striking only from there.
At the gate shades and people
Stand to zoological garden of planets.

And suddenly sweet familiar breeze,
The Horseman hand in an iron mitten
And two hooves of his great steed
Were flying towards me.

By orthodoxy truthful stronghold
St. Isaac is incised above my head.
There I'll have a memorial song for me
And there I'll pray for Mashenka's health.

Anyway, my heart is forever gloomy,
It's hard to breathe, it hurts to live.
Mashenka, I never thought one could
Have such love and such grief.

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