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464. THE JOURNEY{*}

Soft sand comes up to our horses' shanks
   as we ride in the darkening day
and the shadows of pines have closed their ranks:
   all is shadow along our way.
In denser masses the black trees rise.
   what a comfortless neighborhood!
Grim night like a beast with a hundred eyes
   peers out of the underwood.
<Осень 1944>

465. SILENTIUM!{*}

Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal
the way you dream, the things you feel.
Deep in your spirit let them rise
akin to stars in crystal skies
that set before the night is blurred:
delight in them and speak no word.
How can a heart expression find?
How should another know your mind?
Will he discern what quickens you?
A thought once uttered is untrue.
Dimmed is the fountainhead when stirred:
drink at the source and speak no word.
Live in your inner self alone
within your soul a world has grown,
the magic of veiled thoughts that might
be blended by the outer light,
drowned in the noise of day, unheard…
take in their song and speak no word.
<Январь 1944>

466. LAST LOVE{*}

Love at the closing of our days
is apprehensive and very tender.
Glow brighter, brighter, farewell rays
of one last love in its evening splendor.
Blue shade takes half the world away:
through western clouds alone some light is slanted.
О tarry, О tarry, declining day,
enchantment, let me stay enchanted.
The blood runs thinner, yet the heart
remains as ever deep and tender.
О last belated love, thou art
a blend of joy and of hopeless surrender.
<Январь 1944>

467. DUSK{*}

Now the ashen shadows mingle,
tints are faded, sounds remote.
Life has dwindled to a single
vague reverberating note.
In the dusk I hear the humming
of a moth I cannot see.
Whence is this oppression coming?
I'm in all, and all's in me.
Gloom so dreamy, gloom so lulling,
flow into my deepest deep,
flow, ambrosial and dulling,
steeping everything in sleep.
With oblivion's obscuration
fill my senses to the brim,
make me taste obliteration,
in this dimness let me dim.
<Осень 1944>

468. THE ABYSS{*}

When sacred Night sweeps heavenward, she takes
the glad, the winsome day, and folding it,
rolls up its golden carpet that had been
spread over an abyssmal pit.
Gone vision-like is the external world,
and man, a homeless orphan, has to face
in utter helplessness, naked, alone,
the blackness of immeasurable space.
Upon himself he has to lean; with mind
abolished, thought unfathered, in the dim
depths of his soul he sinks, for nothing comes
from outside to support or limit him.
All life and brightness seem an ancient dream —
while in the very substance of the night,
unravelled, alien, he now perceives
a fateful something that is his by right.
<1944>

469. AUTUMN{*}

When Autumn has just come, there is
most brief a lull: brief but divine.
All day 'tis like some precious prism,
and limpidly the evenings shine.
Where lusty sickles swung and corn-ears bent
the plain is empty now: wider it seems.
Alone a silky filament
across the idle furrow gleams.
The airy void, now birdless, is revealed,
but still remote is the first whirl of snow;
and stainless skies in mellow blueness flow
upon the hushed reposing field.
<Январь 1944>

470. APPEASEMENT{*}

The storm withdrew, but Thor had found his oak,
and there it lay magnificently slain,
and from its limbs a remnant of blue smoke
spread to bright trees repainted by the rain —
— while thrush and oriole made haste to mend
their broken melodies throughout the grove,
upon the crests of which was propped the end
of a virescent rainbow edged with mauve.
<Осень 1944>

471. TEARS{*}

Human tears. О the tears! you that flow
when life is begun — or half-gone,
tears unseen, tears unknown, you that none
can number or drain, you that run
like the streamlets of rain from the low
clouds of Autumn, long before dawn…
<1944>
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