“I was told that you had breathed your last” (“Мне сказали, что ты умерла”), Nikolai Klyuev


Klyuev wrote this in 1913. He was shot in 1937.

I was told that you had breathed your last
At the moment golden leaves were training,
Now in radiant brightness you are cast
High above in unknown city reigning.

You were always from another world,
I was but prepared for fascination,
As the autumn leaves, be-crimsoned, curled,
Never did you share my admiration.

They are saying you have passed away,
Are, however, streams of love extinguished?
Isn’t your caress the break of day,
Aren’t your kisses radiance undiminished?


Мне сказали, что ты умерла
Заодно с золотым листопадом
И теперь, лучезарно светла,
Правишь горным, неведомым градом.

Я нездешним забыться готов,
Ты всегда баснословной казалась
И багрянцем осенних листов
Не однажды со мной любовалась.

Говорят, что не стало тебя,
Но любви иссякаемы ль струи:
Разве зори – не ласка твоя,
И лучи – не твои поцелуи?

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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