In a restaurant
I’ll never forget it (did it happen or not,
This evening): The setting sun’s blaze
Drew open the sky and burned it, red hot,
And the streetlamps shone - in its rays.
I sat by the window and leaned on the pane.
Distant bows sang something of love.
I sent you a black rose in a glass of champagne,
Just as gold as the sky up above.
I replied to your haughty gaze with a bow,
I felt both, courageous and strained.
You turned to your suitor and abruptly somehow
“He, too, is in love,” you exclaimed.
In reply, the strings roared with the loud refrain
And the fiddles wouldn’t relent…
But you were all mine, with your youthful disdain,
I could tell by your trembling hand…
Like a terrified bird, you burst through the room,
As light as my dream, in distress,
To the stupor of lashes, the sighs of perfume,
And the whispers of silk in your dress.
From the depths of the mirrors you threw me a glance,
And throwing it, “Catch it!” you cried.
The gypsy’s long necklace clanked as she danced,
Shrieking of love through the night.
April 19, 1910
By Alexander Blok
Translation by Andrey Kneller