I am an end and a beginning.
So little spun from all my spinning!
I’ve been a firm link nonetheless;
with that good fortune I’ve been blessed.
New Russia enters on her greatness;
they’ll carve my head two-faced, like Janus,
at crossroads, looking down both ways,
where wind and sand, and many days…
by Владислав Фелицианович Ходасевич (Vladislav Felitsianovich Khodasevich)
translated by Michael Frayn
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e’en the dearest–that I loved the best–
Are strange–nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below–above the vaulted sky.
by John Clare (1793 – 1864)