You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think: she wanted storms. The rim
Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
That day in Moscow, it will all come true,
When, for the last time, I take my leave,
And hasten to the heights that I have longed for,
Leaving my shadow still to be with you.
by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova)
(1961 - 1963)
from Седьмая книга (The Seventh Book)
translation by D. M. Thomas
Below is the original Russian version in cyrillic.
Услышишь гром и вспомнишь обо мне,
Подумаешь: она грозы желала...
Полоска неба будет твердо-алой,
А сердце будет как тогда - в огне.
Случится это в тот московский день,
Когда я город навсегда покину
И устремлюсь к желанному притину,
Свою меж вас еще оставив тень.
I like the Lutheran service, calm and grave,
I like its ritual, solemn and severe;
the message of these bare and empty walls
I bow to, I revere.
But don’t you see? Why surely you must know
that for the last time Faith is with us there.
She has not crossed the threshold yet to go,
but all is swept and bare.
She has not crossed the threshold on her way,
she has not gone for good, and closed the door.
But yet the hour has struck. Kneel down and pray,
for you will pray no more.
by Фёдор Иванович Тютчев (Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev)
translated by Frances Cornford and Esther Polianowsky Salaman
Fun fact: 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.