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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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Beatrice

Muses, enough, cease your sobbing, / Pour out your grief into singing, / Sing about Dante soul-stirring, / Or play the flute, play with feeling. / / Move on, annoying faun deities, / Music is dead in your screaming! / Haven’t you learned only lately / Beatrice exited Eden....

Yet All But Once

Yet all but once you’ll reminisce of me / And of my world mysterious and thrilling, / The quirky world of songs and fervency, / But among all, unique and undeceiving. / / It could have been yours also, but alas, / It was too much for you, or was too scanty, / I must have ...