A simple man,
He liked the crease on the water
His cast made, but had no pity
For the broken backbone
Of water or fish.
One of his pleasures, thirsty,
Was to ask a drink
At the hot farms;
Leaving with a casual thank you,
As though they owed it him.
I could have told of the living water
That springs pure.
He would have smiled then,
Dancing his speckled fly in the shallows,
by R. S. Thomas
from Not That He Brought Flowers (1968)
Bane of the gorgeous summer, meddlesome fly, why must you
torture me, ducking and weaving, clinging to face and to fingers?
Who was it gave you that sting that has power to cut short at will
thought on its albatross wings or the burning kisses of love?
You make of the peaceable thinker, bred on the pleasures of Europe,
a barbarous Scythian warrior, thirsting for enemy blood.
by Евгений Абрамович Баратынский (Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky)
translated by Peter France