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Poem By Andrey Bely : YOU SIT ON THE BED THERE



(Opening poem of the “Funeral Mass” cycle)

“You sit on the bed there
In the sunset’s full crimson,
Pillows crumpled,
Looking distracted, —what
Troubles you?”

“Oh, swept by
Gold cataracts,
The fir-tree tops
Loom athwart the sky’s blue.”

“Orphaned, alone, I shall
Through summery
Twilights and Winter nights.
There are new flights, but
Try them I dare not.
Oh, do not die!”

“Oh, above the pines
I float off into æther seas.
Who, there, what, there,
Swathes the sky with whitenesses,
As with vestments of silver?”

In the mountains
The mountains wear wedding wreaths.
I am ecstatic, young.
In my mountains I feel
A cleansing chill.

A gray-haired hunchback climbs
Up to me on my cliff,
Bringing a gift of pineapples
From nurseries underground.

He dances in bright scarlet,
Singing praises to azure,
Kicking up with his beard
A whirlwind of snow-silver storms.

He sings out
In a deep bass:
Flings a pineapple
To the heavens.

And describing an arc,
Lighting up the landscape,
The pineapple descends, shining,
Into obscurity,

Casting off golden dew
In gilded columns,
And below, people say:
‘It’s the disc of the flameblazing sun…’

Golden fountains of fire
Rush down, ringing,
Washing over the cliffs
Like crimson drops
Of crystal.

I decanted wine into goblets:
And, creeping up alongside him,
I poured it over the hunchback
In a foamshining stream.

Andrey Bely


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