‘Behind The Lake…’ by Anna Akhmatova

Behind the lake the moon’s not stirred

And seems to be a window through

Into a silent, well-lit house,

Where something unpleasant has occurred.


Has the master been brought home dead,

The mistress run off with a lover,

Or has a little girl gone missing,

And her shoes found by the creek-bed…


We can’t see. But feel some awful thing,

And  we don’t want to talk.

Doleful, the cry of eagle-owls, and hot

In the garden the wind is blustering.


– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1922)

– from Anno Domini MCMXXI translation by D. M. Thomas