The madness covers with its wing
Half of my soul from fear,
It gives me fiery wine to drink
And darkness lures me near.
I’ve come to see the resolution,
And I must cede the throne
And hearken to my own delusion
As if it ceased to be my own.
(However much I try to plead,
And beg for mercy’s sake)
It will not grant me what I need, -
Those things I’d like to take:
My child’s chilling frightening stare –
The torment’s heavy rock,
The jail visits that we shared,
The day when thunder struck,
The coolness of the hands I stroked,
The lime tree’s agitation,
The light and distant words we spoke
In parting consolation.
May 4, 1940
By Anna Akhmatova
Translation by Andrey Kneller