Muse

When, in the night, I wait for her, impatient,

Life seems to me, as hanging by a thread.

What just means liberty, or youth, or approbation,

When compared with the gentle piper’s tread?

And she came in, threw out the mantle’s edges,

Declined to me with a sincere heed.

I say to her, “Did you dictate the Pages

Of Hell to Dante?” She answers, “Yes, I did.”

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Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August, 2000
Edited by Orit Bonver, August 2000

-         Anna Akhmatova