After midnight, clean out of your hands,
the heart seizes a sliver of silence.
It lives on the quiet, it’s longing to play;
like it or not, there’s nothing quite like it.
Like it or not, it can never be grasped;
so why shiver, like a child off the street,
if after midnight the heart holds a feast,
silently savouring a silvery mouse?
by Осип Эмильевич Мандельштам (Osip Emilyevich Mandelshtam. His surname is commonly latinised as Mandelstam)
translated by Robert Chandler