A new year gift from Anna Akhmatova

The Muse fled down the road,

The narrow, steep, autumnal road,

And her dusky feet

Were sprinkled with drops of dew.

For a long time I pleaded with her

To wait for the winter with me,

But she said: “It’s like a tomb here,

How can you still manage to breathe?”

I wanted to give her a dove,

The whitest of all doves,

But the bird itself flew

After my slender guest.

Following her with my eyes, I fell silent,

I loved her alone,

And sunrise stood in the sky

Like a gateway to her land.

Anna Akhmatova 15 December 1915

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