From the morbid, immense tower
loudly clicked both hands of the clock,
when choking fumes of cheap tobacco
Fused with sweat and sweet perfumes.
All bustling motions at the terminal
plaintively drooped and froze for an instant.
In the drop - restrained, but crystal
in agony - concealed the cry!
Amidst the haze our arms apart,
more ardent than our last terse chatter,
before that lumbering, run-astray train
Rolled through the platform to nowhere.
(original Russian translation)
Again my skin is catching fire
I'm losing nights of sleep
turning into a vampire
Instead of blood I thirst for ink.
I dig a graveyard for the corpses
of inkless pens I dispatched earlier
Chasing after furtive words
my traps are nothing more, but folly.
I shut my eyes to spoof my foes
Bluffing I gave up desire
instead; I'm having tea with ghosts
Hosting Whitman, Blake and Byron
to share voices long endorsed.
We have a ball before my neighbors
Begin rapping on the walls.
When laughter halts Whitman cries,
"Beat! Beat, Drums! Blow bugles blow
through the window - through the doors
Burst like a ruthless force!"
Byron grins, "Oh captain, my captain!
I ain't surprised you're causing noise!
Let's go Tiger, burning bright
it's time for us to call it a night."
"Wait," says Blake.
"What the hammer? What the chain,
in what furnace was thy brain?
What was the anvil? What dread grasp
dare its deadly terrors clasp?"
"I see the bursting morning light," goes Byron.
"All that the proud can feel of pain
the agony they do not show
the suffocating sense of woe
which speaks in its loneliness
and then is jealous lest the sky
should have a listener, nor will sigh
until its voice is echoless."
Without effort, more than less
I thought, indeed, all echoes lie.
With guests all gone I pull a pen
and promise never let it die;
Oh glory to these magnanimous men
bringing a house gift -- an inkwell!