Like the Night (Как ночь), Konstantin Balmont

A work of high symbolism. I haven’t been able to discover when it was written – as far as I can see, it was first published in 1988 in Чудное Мгновенье. Любовная лирика русских поэтов (“Marvellous Moment: Love poems of the Russian Poets”).

She came towards me, silent like the moonlit night,
With violet-hooded eyes, like inky night was gazing,
Where soft the gentle dewdrops grass-tipped quivered blazing,
She came towards me – perfectly arrayed, just right,
And soft, she breathed, as the insinuating night.

The secret deepness she had probed with glance’s fleeting,
Where wordless mirror showed my other ego’s trace
And she was like my shadow, I was like her face,
And silent was our desert place’s furtive meeting,
Where burned the boundless constellations’ secret fleeting.


Она пришла ко мне, молчащая, как ночь,
Глядящая, как ночь, фиалками-очами,
Где росы кроткие звездилися лучами,
Она пришла ко мне – такая же точь-в-точь,
Как тиховейная, как вкрадчивая ночь.

Ее единый взгляд проник до глуби тайной,
Где в зеркале немом – мое другое я,
И я – как лик ея, она – как тень моя,
Мы молча смотримся в затон необычайный,
Горящий звездностью, бездонностью и тайной.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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