In A Restaurant by Alexander Blok

Will I ever forget it, that mythical night:

in the blaze of the setting sun

an abyss divided the sky in two

and the street lamps came on one by one.


I sat in a crowd by the window while somewhere

an orchestra sang about love;

I sent you a rose in a glass of champagne

as gold as the heavens above.


Returning your arrogant look with a mixture

of pride and confusion, I bowed;

with studied disdain you turned to your escort:

‘That one, too, is in love with me now.’


All at once the ecstatic strings thundered out

in response… But still I could see

from your show of contempt, from the tremor that shook

your hand, that your thoughts were with me.


You jumped up from your place with the speed of a bird

that’s been startled; your languid perfume,

the swirl of your dress as you passed, died away

like a vision that’s over too soon.


But out of its depths a mirror reflected

your glance as you cried: ‘Now’s your chance!’

And a gypsy, jangled her beads, sang of love

to the dawn and started to dance.


by Александр Александрович Блок (Alexander Alexandrovich Blok)


translated by Stephen Capus