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Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev

Nature is a Sphinx...

Nature's a Sphinx. And her ordeal
Is all the more destructive to mankind
Because, perhaps, she has no riddle.
Nor did she ever have one.

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Poetry

Among storms, among fires,
Among burning passions,
In elemental, flaming strife,
It flies to us from the heavens-
A heavenly creature to earth's son
With gaze of clearest azure-
And on the rebellious sea
It pours a soothing balm.

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Problème

Having rolled done a mountain, a rock lies in a valley. -
Why did it fall? Nowadays no one knows -
Did it break off from the heights of its own accord,
Or was it hurled down by an external will?
Century after century has gone by:
Still no one has resolved this question!

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Here, At A Meagre Earth

Here, at a meagre earth, despondent
And listless stare the dull grey skies,
And, as if plunged in leaden slumber,
A eary nature moveless lies.

Alone the few pale birches, gleaming
Mid greyish moss and stubby brush,
Like visions born of fevered dreaming
Disrupt the lifeless, eerie hush.

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It's There, Still There

It's there, still there, a past love's madness,
Dull pain and longing my heart fill.
Your image, hid amid the shadows
Of memory, lives in me still.
I think of it with endless yearning,
'Tis e'er with me though from me far,
Unreachable, unchanged, bright-burning
As in the sky of night a star...

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The Glare! The Heat!

The glare! The heat! O Nice, you blind me!
A dull unease upon me settles...
Life, like a bird shot down, strains wildly
To fly - In vain! Its wings are fetters,
Its broken wings... As in a fever
It struggles on, yet is it vanquished:
Pressed to the dust it lies and shivers
In fear and impotence and anguish...

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Elysium Of Shades

Elysium of shades this soul of mine,
Shades silent, luminous, and wholly severed
From this tempestuous age, these restless times,
Their joys and griefs, their aims and their endeavours.

Speak, O my soul, Elysium of shades!
What bonds have you with life? Speak, phantoms summoned
From out a day whose very memory fades -
What have you with this heartless mob in common?

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A Vision

There is an hour at night full of an awesome wonder,
When universal silence o'er the whole world lies
And when the cosmic chariot rolls, wakening no thunder,
Into the sanctuary of the skies.

The dark of chaos comes, land, sky and water merging;
Sleep Atlas-like treads earth, its weight like lead;
The gods with dreams prophetic fire the virgin
Soul of the Muse; all else is dead.

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Reproach Me Not

Reproach me not e'en if I earn your indignation;
Know: of us two you are to be more envied far.
Unlike my love for you, yours is sincere, unmarred
By jealousy's mistrust, its rancour and vexation.

A wretched sorcerer, who doubts himself and stifles
Faith in the magic world by his own efforts wrought
I know myself to be... I am - O bitter thought!-
Of your warm, living soul the idol cold and lifeless.

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How Tuneful Is The Voice Of Sea

How tuneful is the voice of sea,
What true accord in ocean's murmur,
And in the reed's light, rhythmic tremour
What tender musicality!

In nature all is harmony,
A consonance fore'er agreed on,
And 'tis alone our phantom freedom
That is disturbingly off-key.

Whence comes this breach? How to explain
Why with the sea its song sonorous
The soul declines to sing in chorus?
Why does the thinking reed complain?

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