Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

(1891 - 1938 / Warsaw)

How hard for me, the splendor of this crown and robe


-- How hard for me, the splendor of this crown and robe,
amidst my shame --


-- In stony Troezen will be an infamous calamity,
the royal staircase will grow red with disgrace,
. . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . .
and for the mother in love,
the black sun will rise.


-- O, if hate would boil in my breast --
but see, the admission itself
has fallen from my lips.


-- Phedre burns in a black flame
in broad daylight.
The funeral torch fumes
in broad white daylight.
Dread your mother, Hippolytus:
Phedre -- night -- watche s over you
in broad white day.


-- I have stained the sun with black love . . .
Death from a bottle will cool my ardor --
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .


-- We are afraid, we do not dare
relieve the king's grief.
Wounded by Theseus, night
fell upon him. But we,
with a funeral song bringing home the dead,
will pacify the black sun
of wild and sleepless passion.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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