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Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet

Nightingales, A Sigh, A Whisper

Nightingales, a sigh, a whisper
In a shady nook
And the lullaby in silver
Of a lazy brook.

Light of night and midnight shadow
Falling from above
And the changing mood and magic
Of a face you love

Through dark clouds a red rose peeping
And an amber gleam,
And the kissing and the weeping
And the dawn serene!

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The September Rose

To sighs of morning air, that froze,-
(With her lips opened for a say),
How curiously has smiled the rose
On a September fleeting day!

And how has she ever dared
To greet, with air of springy queens,
The single blue-tit, in the bare
Shrubs fleshing in the orb of wings;

To bloom with steadfast dream that later,
Just leaving her cold bed in rest,
She’ll cling, the last and dissipated,
To a young hostess’s charming breast!

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When You Were Reading Those Tormented Lines

When you were reading those tormented lines
In which the heart's resonant flame sends out glowing streams
And passion's fatal torrents rear up,-
Didn't you recall a single thing?

I can't believe it! That night on the steppe
When, in the midnight mist a premature dawn,
Transparent, lovely as a miracle,
Broke in the distance before you

And your unwilling eye was to this beauty drawn
To that majestic glow beyond the realm of darkness,-
How could it be that nothing whispered to you then:
A man has perished in that fire!

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I Have Come To You Delighted

I have come to you, delighted,
To tell you that sun has risen,
That its light has warmly started
To fulfil on leaves its dancing;

To tell you that wood’s awaken
In its every branch and leafage,
And with every bird is shaken,
Thirsty of the springy image;

To tell you that I’ve come now,
As before, with former passion,
That my soul again is bound
To serve you and your elation;

That the charming breath of gladness
Came to me from all-all places,
I don’t know what I’ll sing, else,
But my song’s coming to readiness.

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Upon A Haystack On A Southern Night

Upon a haystack in lands of South,
I lay, while facing skies of night,
The choir of stars, alive and couth,
Was trembling, spread at every side.

The earth, mute as a dream half-hidden,
Was fast receding into space,
And I, as if the first in Eden,
Alone met the black night’s face.

Did I race to the depth profound,
Or did the stars race strait to me?
In mighty hands, it seemed me how,
I hanged above abysmal sea.

With heart, so sinking and bewildered,
I measured with my look a depth,
Into which, every moment sighted,
I sink, and nobody helps.

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My Face Turned Upwards To The Sky

My face turned upwards to the sky
One summer night I lay upon some hay
A lively close-knit starry chorus
Was flickering all around.

The mute earth, nebulous and dreamlike,
Rushed off without a trace
And I, like Eden's first inhabitant,
Faced night's gaze all alone.

Was it I hurtling into midnight's depths
Or was it crowds of stars that hurtled toward me?
It seemed as if a mighty palm
Held me suspended over the abyss.

And with a heart confused and stunned
I cast my gaze into the depths,
Whence sinking every moment deeper,
I never will return.

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I Always Like The Northern Birches

I always s like the northern birches:
Their view, so downcast and grave,
The fever, which poor souls scorches,
Cools like the mute speech of a grave.

But yet, the willow, which branches,
With their long leaves, cast in a flood,
Is closer to a dream, that scourges,
And longer lives in our heart.

Deploring groves their own,
Their meadows – with bitter tears,
Tell birches to cold wind alone
Their common sufferings and fears.

Believing that the whole ground
Is motherland of sacred grieves,
The weeping willow all around
Inclines its branches with long leaves.

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With One Firm Thrust

With one firm thrust to force the boat of living
From off the sands, and, by a wave tossed high,
Be toward a new life borne, a new beginning,
To feel the wind from scented shores sweep nigh,

To wake from torpid sleep a mind turned sluggish,
To revel in the strange and the unknown,
To lend fresh breath to life, and joy to anguish,
To make another's cares and griefs your own,

To speak of things it numbs the tongue to utter,
To fire the timid heart that fierce 'tmay pound -
This can the chosen songsmith do, no other,
And 'tis for this that he is known and crowned!

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While Lounging In A Chair

While lounging in a chair, I looked up at the ceiling
Where, teasing my imagination,
A circle hangs above the quiet lamp,
And spins just like a ghostly shadow.

Within the flicker there's a trace of autumn sunset:
As if, above the rooftop and the garden,
Unable to fly off, afraid to land,
Dark flocks of blackbirds circle. . .

No, it's not wings I hear, but hooves at the front gate!
I hear the trembling hands . . .
How chill the pallor of a lovely face!
How bitter parting's whisper! . .

Lost and in silence, I survey the distant road
Beyond the dimming garden,-
While the impatient flock of blackbirds,
Unsheltered, circles still.

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What Grief! The Alley's End

What grief! The alley's end
Is lost in snow again today,
And once again, the silver snakes
Are crawling through the snow.

The sky's without a patch of blue,
The steppe's completely smooth and white,
A single crow is struggling hard
To beat its wings against the storm.

My soul is frozen as the land,
There is no sign of dawning there.
My languid thought drops off to sleep
Above my slowly dying work.

But in my heart still glows a hope
That accidentally, perhaps,
My soul will once again grow young
And see its native home once more,

[...] Read more

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