Russia, Past and Present
Saturday, 21 May 2016
Anna Akhmatova: Grey-eyed king
Inconsolable anguish, I hail your sting!
Yesterday died the grey-eyed king.
The autumn evening was stifling and red,
My husband returned and casually said:
“Back from the hunt, with his body they walked,
They found him lying beside the old oak.
I pity the queen. So young! Passed away!...
In the span of a night, her hair became grey.”
He found his pipe and wandered outside,
And went off to work, like he did every night.
My daughter’s asleep. I’ll bid her to rise,
Only to gaze at her grey-colored eyes.
Outside the window, the poplars unnerved,
Whisper: “Your king is no more on this earth”
Translation by Andrey Kneller
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