Don’t Touch (Не трогать), Boris Pasternak

Portrait of Boris Pasternak, A A Murashko, 1917
Portrait of Boris Pasternak, A A Murashko, 1917

It said: “Don’t touch! Take care! Wet paint!”
But soul was careless and
On calves and cheeks is memory’s taint,
On eyes and lips and hand.

Success and mischief were not why
I fell in love with you,
Or why the yellowed white did I
See take on whiter hue.

My darkness, friend, I swear to you,
Will somehow alter now –
More white than madness, lampshade too,
And bandage on a brow.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

“Не трогать, свежевыкрашен”,-
Душа не береглась,
И память – в пятнах икр и щек,
И рук, и губ, и глаз.

Я больше всех удач и бед
За то тебя любил,
Что пожелтелый белый свет
С тобой – белей белил.

И мгла моя, мой друг, божусь,
Он станет как-нибудь
Белей, чем бред, чем абажур,
Чем белый бинт на лбу!

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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