Translated by Vladimir Nabokov


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 birdlpss, is revealed,
but still remote is the first whirl of snow;
and stainless skies in mellow blueness flow
upon the hushed reposing field.


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:
alone a westerly radiance is roaming.
O tarry, O tarry, declining day,
keep me enchanted in the gloaming.
The blood runs thinner, yet the heart
its tenderness has not expended.
O last belated love, thou art
endless bliss and hopelessness blended.


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.
Try living in yourself alone:
within your soul a world has grown,
the magic of veiled thoughts that might
be blinded by the outer light,
drowned in the noise of day, unheard . . .
take in their song and speak no word.