You're ringed by fire. Its flashes
delight me too. I am not frightened,
beneath your tender eye-lashes,
of summer lightning.
But I am frightened of high places
where I cannot keep my footing.
How can I hold close what your soul
imparts to me of its beauty?
I fear a look without kindness
may fall on my dulled image -
and I shall be left standing
extinguished and singed.
by Афанасий Афанасьевич Фет (Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet)
a.k.a. Шеншин (Shenshin)
translated by Robert Chandler
The fifth act of the drama
Blows in the wind of autumn,
Each flower-bed in the park seems
A fresh grave, we have finished
The funeral-feast, and there’s nothing
To do. Why then do I linger
As if I am expecting
A miracle? It’s the way a feeble
Hand can hold fast to a heavy
Boat for a long time by the pier
As one is saying goodbye
To the person who’s left standing.
by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1921?)
translation by D. M. Thomas
Fun fact: Though the poem is dated as being written in the 1940s it is more likely it was written just after, her husband Nikolay Stepanovich Gumilyov‘s execution in 1921.