Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet

(5 December 1820 - 3 December 1892 / Novosyolky)

By Life Tormented


By life tormented, and by cunning hope,
When my soul surrenders in its battle with them,
Day and night I press my eyelids closed
And sometimes I'm vouchsafed peculiar visions.

The gloom of quotidian existence deepens,
As after a bright flash of autumn lightning,
And only in the sky, like a call from the heart,
The stars' golden eyelashes sparkle.

And the flames of infinity are so transparent,
And the entire abyss of ether is so close,
That I gaze direct from time into eternity
And recognize your flame, universal sun.

Motionless, encircled by fiery roses,
The living altar of the cosmos smolders
And in its smoke, as in creative slumber,
All forces quiver, eternity's a dream.

And all that rushes through the abyss of ether,
And every ray, embodied or ethereal,-
Is but your reflection, O universal sun,
It is but a dream, but a fleeting dream.

Through the worldly breath of these reveries
I fly like smoke, involuntarily disperse,
And in this vision, in this delirium,
I can live with ease and breathe without pain.

In the darkness and still of a mysterious night
I see a fond and welcoming spark,
From the chorus of spheres, familiar eyes
Shine upon a grave forgotten in the steppe.

The grass has faded, the desert is grim,
A lonely tomb dreams an orphan's dream,
And only in the sky, like an eternal idea,
The stars' golden eyelashes sparkle.

And I dream you've risen from the dead,
Unchanged since you departed the earth,
And I dream a dream: we both are young,
And you've looked at me as you did back then.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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