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A portrait of a man

His eyes are lightless underground lakes,
Abandoned castles of the ancient kings.
Marked with the sign of the eternal shame
Of that, the Other One, he never speaks.
The deepest wound, his mouth, dark and purple,
Made with a blade borne of the deadly poison;
And it is sad and grimly shut so early,
It's calling you to pleasures strange and poignant.
His hands are like the moonlight marble pallid,
All horrors of damnation in them shown.
They have caressed those girls who were called fairies
And bloody crucifixes they have known.
The strangest ever fate he's got in time
To be the dream of murderers and poets.
When he was born, in the forbidding sky
Appeared and dissolved a bloody comet.
Deep in his soul is pain of the unfair,
Deep in his soul are sorrows with no names;
And for all gardens of sweet Virgin Mary
His precious memories he won't exchange.
He's angry but blasphemous he is not.
The colour of his silky skin is tender.
He smiles so nice and he would laugh a lot,
But crying... crying's lost to him for ever.


Перевод стихотворения Николая Гумилёва «Портрет мужчины» на английский язык.

Портрет мужчины

Картина в Лувре работы неизвестного

Его глаза — подземные озера,
Покинутые царские чертоги.
Отмечен знаком высшего позора,
Он никогда не говорит о Боге.

Его уста — пурпуровая рана
От лезвия, пропитанного ядом.
Печальные, сомкнувшиеся рано,
Они зовут к непознанным усладам.

И руки — бледный мрамор полнолуний,
В них ужасы неснятого проклятья,
Они ласкали девушек-колдуний
И ведали кровавые распятья.

Ему в веках достался странный жребий —
Служить мечтой убийцы и поэта,
Быть может, как родился он — на небе
Кровавая растаяла комета.

В его душе столетние обиды,
В его душе печали без названья.
На все сады Мадонны и Киприды
Не променяет он воспоминанья.

Он злобен, но не злобой святотатца,
И нежен цвет его атласной кожи.
Он может улыбаться и смеяться,
Но плакать… плакать больше он не может.


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