I won’t beg for you love: it’s laid
Safely to rest, let the earth settle…
Don’t expect my jealous letters
Pouring in to plague your bride.
But let me, nevertheless, advise you:
Give her my poems to read in bed,
Give her my portraits to keep – it’s wise to
Be kind like that when newly-wed.
For it’s more needful to such geese
To know that they have won completely
Than to have converse light and sweet or
Honeymoons of remembered bliss…
When you have spent your kopeck’s worth
Of happiness with your new friend,
And like a taste that sates the mouth
Your soul has recognized the end –
Don’t come crawling like a whelp
Into my bed of lonliness.
I don’t know you. Nor could I help.
I’m not yet cured of happiness.
– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1914)
– from Четки (Rosary, 1914), translation by D. M. Thomas