Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev
A queer and fearful question is tight,
Oppresses my soul and tosses:
Can one be alive if Atreus has died --
Has died on a bed of roses.
All that we dreamed of and everywhere praised,
All our longing and fear --
Were fully reflected in those calm eyes,
As were in a glass of a tear.
Ineffable power dwelt in his hands,
A saga of feet was retold;
A beautiful cloud he was for his land
Mycenae -- the country of gold.
What am I? A fragment of ancient dread,
A javelin, fallen on earth --
Atreus, the leader of nations, is dead, --
But I have been spared by death.
The down is full with reproachful flame,
The waters enticingly sing,
It’s hard to exist with the horrible shame,
If one had forfeited one's king.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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