Bring visions when you ring my bell
or all the loveliness of hell,
of God, if you belong to that band.
But little acts of meaning well –
just leave them outside on the hat stand.
On this small pea in endless space
be shining angel or be demon.
But not mere man, though, for to be one
is to pass by and leave no trace.
by Владислав Фелицианович Ходасевич (Vladislav Felitsianovich Khodasevich)
translated by Michael Frayn