When at night I’m waiting her arrival,
Life, it seems, is hanging by a thread.
Glory, youth and freedom cannot rival
The joy she brings me, with a flute in hand.
She enters, and before I can discern her,
She stares at me with an attentive eye.
“Were you,” I ask, “the cause of the Inferno
For Dante?” – And she answers: “I!”
1924, Kazanskaya 2
By Anna Akhmatova
Translation by Andrey Kneller
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