For a Grave at Komarovo
Yei govoryu: “Ty I’ Dantu diktovala
Stranitsy Ada?” Otvechayet: “Ya”.
When you emerged at last on this dark shore
And at long last the stars shone overhead
And their peace filtered down and promised rest,
Was she not there to meet you as before
When life, it seemed, hung on a single thread,
Your steadfast visitant, your midnight guest?
Did she not hold you with her tranquil gaze,
Take back the ring she gave and break the spell,
Touching with her light flute your lips and brow?
“Was it you, then, with Dante trod the maze
Of the interminable gyres of Hell
Which, each alive, it was your fate to know?”
And did the Muse not smile at your reply:
“Sister, I went alone — but it was I.”