I have outlasted all desire,
My dreams and I have grown apart;
My grief alone is left entire,
The gleanings of an empty heart.
The storms of ruthless dispensation
Have struck my flowery garland numb-
I live in lonely desolation
And wonder when my end will come.
Thus on a naked tree-limb, blasted
By tardy winter's whistling chill,
A single leaf which has outlasted
Its season will be trembling still.
Epigram on A. A. Davydova
One had Aglaya by attraction
Of raven curls and martial stance,
One for his money (no objection),
A third because he was from France,
Cleon* by dint of being clever,
Damis* for tender songs galore;
By, my Aglaya, say, whatever
Did your own husband have you for?
A Little Bird
In alien lands devoutly clinging
To age-old rites of Russian earth,
I let a captive bird go winging
To greet the radiant spring's rebirth.
My heart grew lighter then: why mutter
Against God's providence, and rage,
When I was free to set aflutter
But one poor captive from his cage!
"Forth went the sower to sow his seeds..."
As freedom's sower in the wasteland
Before the morning star I went;
From hand immaculate and chastened
Into the grooves of prisonment
Flinging the vital seed I wandered--
But it was time and toiling squandered,
Benevolent designs misspent...
Graze on, graze on, submissive nation!
You will not wake to honor's call.
Why offer herds their liberation?
For them are shears or slaughter-stall,
Their heritage each generation
The yoke with jingles, and the gall.
On Count Voronstov
One half Milord, one half in trade,
One half a sage, one half a dunce,
One half a crook, but here for once
There's every hope he'll make the grade.