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Flowers don’t survive with me...

У меня не живут цветы...

Flowers don’t survive with me
Their beauty pleases but a moment,
They last a day, or two, and wilt,
Flowers don’t survive with me.

Indeed no birds survive here,
I rescue them, forlorn and mute,
Next day — small tufts of fluff are left...
Indeed no birds survive here.

Only books in eight straight rows,
Reticent and dingy tomes,
Look down on aging boredom
Like teeth in eight straight rows.

A huckster sold those old used books,
A humpbacked pauper — still his stand
I see... behind the curséd graveyard,
A huckster sold those old used books.*
___
* The Liteiny Proskekt (or boulevard) is a major commercial street running north and south through downtown Petersburg, ending at the north at Liteiny Bridge. In Gumilev’s days there was a well known section with used book stalls on the Liteiny Prospekt.

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