Alexander Blok: As I was growing old and fading

As I was growing old and fading, 
A poet, used to streaks of grey, 
I wanted to postpone the ending 
The aged men should face some day. 
A sickly man, a puny creature, 
I’m looking for a lucky star, 
And in my senile dreams I picture 
A lovely image, now so far. 
Perchance I have forgotten something, 
I don’t believe in such a lie. 
This tremor has aroused nothing. 
I’m neither moved nor touched. Not I! 
These old time silly tales and stories 
Have fascinated me somehow, 
But I’ve been bowed by age and worries, 
It’s funny, I am a poet now… 
I don’t believe in books and omens 
Of silly men of our times! 
Damn all those dreams! Damn all those moments 
Of my prophetic dogg’rel rhymes! 
So here I am, alone and lonely 
An angry man, decrepit, sick… 
I stretch my hand and with a quandary 
Bend down to pick my walking stick… 
Whom should I trust? Whom should I doubt? 
Those doctors, poets, priests and all… 
If only I could join a crowd 
And learn to be a trivial soul! 

Translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov


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