Requiem - Dedication



The mountains bow before this anguish,

The great river does not flow.

In mortal sadness the convicts languish;

The bolts stay frozen. There’s someone who

Still feels the sunset’s glow,

Someone who can still distinguish

Day from night, for whom the fresh

Wind blows. But we don’t know it, we’re obsessive,

We only hear the tramp of boots, abrasive

Keys scraping against our flesh.

Rising as though for early mass,

Through the capital of beasts we’d thread.

Met, more breathless than the dead,

Mistier Neva, lower sun. Ahead,

Hope was still singing, endlessly evasive.

The sentence! and now at last tears flood.

She’d though the months before were loneliness!

She’s thrown down like a rock.

The heart gives up its blood.

Yet goes ... swaying ... she can still walk.

My friends of those two years I stood

In hell – oh – all my chance friends lost

Beyond the circle of the moon, I cry

Into the blizzards of the permafrost.

Goodbye. Goodbye.

Anna Akhmatova