Reading ‘Hamlet’ – Anna Akhmatova

Reading ‘Hamlet’ – Anna Akhmatova

1

The lot by the graves was a dusty hot land;
The river behind — blue and cool.
You told me, ‘Well, go to a convent,
Or go marry a fool…’
Princes always say that, being placid or fierce,
But I cherish this speech, short and poor —
Let it flow and shine through a thousand years,
Like from shoulders do mantles of fur.

2

And, as if in wrong occasion,
I said, ‘Thou,’ else…
And an easy smile of pleasure
Lit up dear face.

From such lapses, told or mental,
Every cheek would blaze.
I love you as forty gentle
Sisters love and bless.

Anna Akhmatova

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