There is a game I play
with a mirror, approaching
it when I am not there,
as though to take by surprise.
the self that is my familiar. It
is in vain. Like one eternally
in ambush, fast or slow
as I may raise my head, it raises
its own, catching me in the act,
disarming me by acquaintance,
looking full into my face as often
as I try looking at it askance.
by R. S. Thomas
from Experimenting with an Amen (1986)
At daybreak there spread through the heavens
Pale clouds like a turreted town:
The cupolas golden, fantastic,
White roofs and white walls shining down.
This citadel is my white city,
My city familiar and dear,
Above the dark earth as it slumbers,
Upon the pink sky builded clear.
And all that aerial city
Sails northward, sails softly, sails high;
And there on the height, some one beckons,—
But proffers no pinions to fly.
by Афанасий Афанасьевич Фет (Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet)
a.k.a. Шеншин (Shenshin)
translated by ???
Fun fact: A more straight forward English translation of the poem compared to the Scottish version posted previously Воздушный город (The Aerial City) by Afanasy Fet