Some gaze into tender faces,
Others drink until morning light,
But all night I hold conversations
With my conscience who is always right.
I say to her: ‘You know how tired I am,
Bearing your heavy burden, many years.’
But for her, there is no such thing as time,
And for her, space also disappears.
And again, a black Shrove Tuesday,
The sinister park, the unhurried ring
Of hooves, and, flying down the heavenly
Slopes, full of happiness and joy, the wind.
And above me, double-horned and calm
Is the witness… O I shall go there,
Along the ancient well-worn track,
To the deathly waters, where the swans are.
by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1936)
translation by D. M. Thomas