This Night Is Irredeemable

This night is irredeemable.
Where you are, it is still bright.
At the gates of Jerusalem,
a black sun is alight.

The yellow sun is hurting,
sleep, baby, sleep.
The Jews in the Temple’s burning
buried my mother deep.

Without rabbi, without blessing,
over her ashes, there,
the Jews in the Temple’s burning
chanted the prayer.

Over this mother,
Israel’s voice was sung.
I woke in a glittering cradle,
lit by a black sun.

by Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

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