Ivan Bunin: Russian Spring

IN the valley the birches are bored.
On the meadows, fog billows and weighs.
Sodden, with horse-dung floored,
The highroad blackens in haze.

Rich on the steppe’s sleepy air, 5
The odor of freshly-baked bread.
Bent to their packs, slowly fare
Two beggars to look for a bed.

Round puddles gleam in the streets.
The fumes of the ovens stun. 10
Thawing, the bleak earthen seats
Smolder and steam in the sun.

By the corn-bin, dragging his chain,
The sheep-dog yawns on the sill.
Walls smoke with the charcoal stain. 15
The steppe is foggy and still.

The carefree cock will perform
Day-long for the sap-stirred earth.
In the fields it is drowsy and warm.
In the heart—indolent mirth. 20


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