A carrier’s yard; in the ledges, afloat
Felonious Tower rises. Then, clear -
The tinkling of the horseshoes, the mournful and cold
Hoarse chimes of Westminster emerge from the air.
The tight streets; the walls that store up their stale
Damp smell like the hop sprouts that dwell on the porches.
Like soot they are sullen and revel like ale,
Like London they are chilled, like a pace they are tortuous
The snow had sluggishly fallen and bent.
The doors were locked up when it, sleepy and flabby,
Like a slipped-down band from an abdomen, went
To fall down heavily to fill up an abbey.
The window is framed by the leaden thin rims
With the grains of blue mica -”It depends on the weather.
However...However let’s nap, being free.
However - cash down! Bring water, hairdresser!”
And shaving, he roars with laughter, - fists
He placed on his hips - to the wag, to the swearer,
Who speaks through the sticky chibouk mouth-piece
The rubbish that kills. Meanwhile, Shakespeare
Lost craving for teasing. And written with the light,
At night, but without corrections the sonnet,
Behind a distant table where an apple still fights
With the claw of the lobster, and a loaf which is sodden.
The sonnet is telling him:
“Yes, I admit
Thy talent, but, Genius, Expert and Master,
It seems as to thee as to him on the lid,
With the soap-rubbed mug, that bloody poor bastard,
By flesh and by flush I am lightning and it
Means that by my caste I am higher and faster
Than humans - in short, I pour, I emit
The light upon you, like the stench - thy pipe’s knaster
Does. Father, I’m sorry for my son’s skepticism.
But sir, but my lord, we are both with the trouble.
This tavern and me in your company? Is
This fledgling of yours worth the clapping blunt rabble,
Why not to recite to that old and poor groom?
But you’re in the poolroom. I’m really concerned -
What’ s wrong in achieving the success in a poolroom?”
To him? Are you mad? - And he calls for a maid,
And playing with a grape twig, almost in frenzy,
He counts - French ragout, half a pint - should be paid,
And - flinging the napkins at the phantom - he exits.
I fizzled and flared. I trembled, didn’t I?
I just have proposed. Toо late and so difficult -
Guess I got cold feet – and it was denied.
I pity her tears! Like a saint I’m beatifical!
I went outside. As one who’s reborn,
I could be considered. Despising my presence,
Each substance diminutive lively went on,
Ascending in its valedictory essence.
Flagstones grew red hot on the brow of the street,
And looking airwards they gloomily frowned.
The wind, like a boatman, rowed through the lime-trees.
And all of those were just phantoms around.
Whatever they were I tried to evade
Their glances, neglecting their doubtful greetings.
And I did not wish their profoundness. Away,
Off, out from them! Not to burst into weeping.
My native instinct, that bootlicker - old man,
Being nearly unbearable prowled aside hence.
And thought ” What a calf-love. I’m sure, I can’t
To keep my eyes off from the guy, he needs guidance.”
The instinct insisted: “Make a step, than repeat…”
He led me so sagely, like an old scholastic
Trough wildwood of virgin, impassable reed,
Of candescent trees, of lilac, of lust - and:
“ Learn how to pace, and then you may rush… ”:
He harped on; the new sun has watched from the zenith
The native of that new world learning afresh
To walk to his lot. If there are any…
Some people were blinded by all that; perhaps -
For others - it seemed as the darkness approaches.
The chickens dug up in the dahlia’ shrubs,
The crickets, the dragonflies ticked like watches.
The roof-tiles melted, the noon – from above -
Observed them not blinking. In Marburgh somewhere,
Light-heartedly, someone was crafting a bow
While others were up to the Whitsuntide Fair.
The clouds were devoured by the yellowing sand
The thickets’ eyebrows made a thunderstorm evident,
The sky curdled at once as it managed to land
On arnica pieces – a blood stopping remedy.
That day, all of you, to the brush on your head,
Like an actor in a province with a Shakespearean drama,
I carried along and knew all off pat,
I fiddled about rehearsing your glamour.
And when – before you - I docilely kneeled
And grasped all that ice, all that surface erected,
(What a beauty you are!) – That smothery whirl…
Where was I? Wake up! It’s over. Rejected.
Martin Luther lived here. As well brothers Grimm.
The roofs with the claws. The trees. The tombstones.
All that still remembers them, sees in a dream.
All that is alive. And all they are phantoms.
O, the yarns of love. Can one catch up, get in?
You are so immense - that apish selection,
When there, above, at the gates of being
As equal, you read your own description!
Once under that knight’s nest the noxious plague
Spread out. But a nowadays scarecrow –
Is a flight of the trains, a cloudy clang
From steaming, beehive-like-buzzing hollow.
I will not be seen at her place as a guest.
Refusal’s more utter then parting. We’re even.
I hardly would leave you -gaslights and cash desks,
The ancient tombstones, send me an omen!
The fog will spread out the blankets and, look, -
The moon’s in the windows, just for a grouch.
And longing, like a passenger, will choose a book
And like she, to read it, will sit down on a couch.
If it happens – they’ll save me. As our grammar
I knew my insomnia. Why am I so tense?
My mind? Тhe moon for sleepwalkers, and friendly we are
But I’m not the vessel for its contents.
For in the moonlight my neighbors-nights drop in
To play with me chess on the floor in the hall.
The scent of acacia and windows are open
And passion, like a witness, grows gray by the wall.
And a poplar is king. I play with insomnia.
A queen is a nightingale. Should I move with a pawn?
All pieces sidestep. The night has won here.
I now recognize the white face of the dawn.