I came here in idleness.
It’s all the same where to be bored!
A small mill on a low hilltop.
The years can be silent here.
Softly the bee swims
Over dry convolvulus.
At the pond I call the mermaid
But the mermaid is dead.
The wide pond has grown shallow
And clogged with a rusty slime.
Over the trembling aspen
A light moon shines.
I notice everything freshly.
The poplars smell of wetness.
I am silent. Without words
I am ready to become you again, earth.
– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1911, Tsarskoye Selo)
– from Вечер (Evening, 1912), translation by D. M. Thomas