‘The Churchyard’s Quiet…’ by Anna Akhmatova

The churchyard’s quiet on a Sunday,

Under an oak board I shall rest.

Come to me, my dearest, running,

Come to your mama, like a guest.

Over the stream and hillside run,

So the slow grown-ups disappear;

From far, the keen eyes of my son

Will recognize my cross. My dear,

I know I can’t expect you to

Remember me, who neither kissed

And dandled you, nor scolded you,

Nor took you to the eucharist.

 

– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1915)

– from Белая стая (White Flock, 1917) translation by D. M. Thomas

The Ring Of Life by Edmund Gosse

We trod the bleak ridge, to and fro,

Grave forty, gay fourteen;

The yellow larks in heaven’s blue glow

Like twinkling stars were seen,

And pink-flower’d larches, fring’d below,

Were fabulously green.

 

And, as I watched my restless son

Leap over gorse and briar,

And felt his golden nature run

With April sap and fire,

Methought another madpate spun

Beside another sire.

 

Sudden, the thirty years wing by,

Shot, like a curtain’s rings;

My father treads the ridge, and I

The boy that leaps and flings;

While eyes that in the churchyard lie,

Seem smiling tenderest things.

 

by Edmund Gosse

Published in The Yellow Book (1894 – 1897)