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Valery Yaklovich Bryusov

To A Young Poet

Pale youth with burning gaze,
I give you three commandments now:
Follow the first: don't live by the present,
The future is a poet's only place.

Second, remember: feel for no one,
Love yourself without bounds.
Safeguard the third: worship art,
Art alone, without thought or goal.

Pale youth with embarrassed gaze!
If you follow my three commandments,
I'll die in peace, a defeated warrior,
Knowing I leave a poet behind.

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Twilight

Electric moons glow
On long bent stalks
The telegraph wires hum
In gentle unseen hands;

Circular amber clock faces
Brighten like magic above the crowd,
And a cool calm alights
On the parched slabs of pavement.

Beneath the fluttery, beguiling net
The misty park grows quiet,
And with a smile, evening kisses
The eyes of passing courtesans.

With the soft sounds of a clavier -
The faraway day murmurs...
O twilight! Mercy of the world
Dawn once again upon me!

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Creative Work

The shadow of uncreated creatures
Flickers in sleep,
Like palm fronds
On an enamel wall.

Violet hands
On the enamel wall
Drowsily sketch sounds
In the ringing-resonant silence.

And transparent kiosks,
In the ringing-resonant silence,
Grow like spangles
In the azure moonlight.

A naked moon rises
In the azure moonlight...
Sounds hover drowsily,
Sounds caress me.

[...] Read more

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At Home

It's all so familiar and clear,
My eye's accustomed to every turn;
I'm not mistaken- I'm at home;
The wallpaper flowers, the chains of books...

I don't disturb yesterday's ashes -
The fire here has long gone cold.
Like a snake surveying its molted skin,
I gaze upon what I was.

Though many hymns remain unsung
And many blessings unbestowed,
I sense the glint of a different world,
A chance for new perfection!

I am called to unknown mountain peaks
By the chorus of spring,
And these letters from a woman
Lie in a cold, lifeless pile!

[...] Read more

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Saint Sebastian

On slow and smoky fire thou burn'st and art consumed,
O thou, my soul!
On slow and smoky fire thou burn'st and art consumed,
With hidden dole.

Thou droopest like Sebastian, pierced with pointed arrows,
Harassed and spent.
Thou droopest like Sebastian, pierced with pointed arrows,
Thy flesh all rent.

Thy foes encircle thee and watch with gleeful laughter
And bended bow.
Thy foes encircle thee and watch with gleeful laughter
Thy torments slow.

The embers burn, and gentle is the arrow's stinging
'Neath the evening sky.
The embers burn, and gentle is the arrow's stinging
When the end draws nigh.

[...] Read more

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