Through the closed nursery doors, the sugar angel
stares through the chink to see
the children playing at the Christmas party,
the brightly candled tree.
Nana is making up the crackling fire,
a blaze for Christmas Day.
Only the sugar angel – he is German –
wastes, warm and sweet, away.
First comes the softening of his little feathers,
the melting of his feet,
the tiny head falls back, he makes a puddle,
minute and warm and sweet.
And then the puddle dries away. The mistress
looks everywhere in vain,
while old deaf Nana, who remembers nothing,
grumbles and looks again.
You fragile creatures of our dearest daydreams!
Break, melt and vanish away
in the bright-burning blaze of hourly happenings,
the clatter of everyday.
Only a little mischevious girl, recalling
the breath of days departed,
will weep for you in secret for a moment.
A child is tender-hearted.
by Александр Александрович Блок (Alexander Alexandrovich Blok)
translated by Frances Cornford and Esther Polianowsky Salaman