Париж в ночи мне чужд и жалок,
Skyscrapers, and the sky below,
It nears the earth in misty layers.
The same covert and secret woe
Persists in vast and happy Paris.
The evening boulevards are loud,
The sunset’s final glimmer dies.
And there are couples all around,
And trembling lips and daring eyes.
I’m here alone. It’s nice to rest
One’s head against the chestnut tree!
Just as in Moscow, here, the chest
Cries out with Rostand’s poetry.[i]
Dear are the long gone days of folly,
Paris at night is strange and dull,
I’m walking home to grieving violets
And someone’s portrait on the wall.
That profile glance, as of a brother,
Is intimate and sad. It seems,
Tonight I’ll see the Reichstadt martyr,
Rostand and Sarah,[ii] in my dreams!
In vast and happy Paris, here,
I dream of grass and cloudy nights,
And laughter’s far and shadows near,
Again, the same deep pain abides.
By Marina Tsvetaeva
Translation by Andrey Kneller
[ii] Sarah Bernhardt: (1844 – 1923) a French stage actress, who acted a role in Rostand’s play L'Aiglon, a tragedy based on the life of Napoleon's son, the Duke of Reichstadt.
Marina Tsvetaeva >