Towards our end, as life runs out,
love is more troubled and more tender.
Fade not, fade not, departing light
of our last love, our farewell splendour.
Shadow overshadows half the sky;
far to the west the last rays wander.
Shine on, shine on, last light of day;
allow us still to watch and wonder.
What if our blood runs thinner, cooler?
This does not make the heart less tender.
Last love, last love, what can I call you?
Joy and despair, mortal surrender.
by Фёдор Иванович Тютчев (Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev)
translated by Robert Chandler
A reading of the poem in Russian:
Fun facts: Counted amongst the admirers of Tyutchev’s works were Dostoevsky and Tolstoy along with Nekrasov and Fet. Then later Osip Mandelstam who, in a passage approved of by Shalamov, believed that a Russian poet should not have copy of Tyutchev in his personal library – he should know all of Tyutchev off by heart.