From A Poem

I also loved, and the restless breaths
Of sleeplessness, fluttering through darkness,
Out of the park would downward drift
To the ravine, on to the archipelago
Of meadows, sinking from sight among
Wormwood, mint and quails beneath the wispy mist.
And the broad sweep of adoration's wing grew
Heavy and drunken, as though stung by shot,
Floundered into the air and, shuddering, fell short,
Scattering across the fields as dew.

And then the dawn was breaking. Till two
Rich jewels blinked in the incalculable sky,
But then the cocks began to feel afraid
Of darkness and strove to hide their fright,
But in their throats blank mines exploded,
As they strained, fear's putrid voice erupted.
As though by order, as the constellations faded,
A shepherd, goggle-eyed as though from snuffing candles,
Made his appearance where the forest ended.

I also loved and she, it well may be,
Is living yet. The time will pass on by
Till something large as autumn, one fine day,
(If not tomorrow, then perhaps some other time)
Will blaze out over life like sunset's glow, in pity
For the thicket. For the foolish puddle's tormenting,
Toadish thirst. For the clearings trembling timidly
As hares, their ears tight-muffled in the wrapping
Of last year's fallen leaves. For the noise, as though
False waves are pounding on the shores of long ago.
I also loved, and know: as damp mown fields
Are laid by the ages at each year's feet,
So the fevering newness of the worlds is laid
By love at the bed-head of every heart.

I also loved, and she is living still.
Cascading into that first earliness, as ever
Time stands still, vanishing away as it spills
Over the moment's edge. Subtle as ever this boundary.
Still as before, how recent seems the long ago.
Time past streams from the faces of those who saw,
Playing still its crazy tricks, as if it did not know
It has no tenancy in our house any more.
Can it be so? Does love really not last,
This momentary tribute of bright wonderment,
But ever, all our life, recede into the past?

by Boris Pasternak

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