And there is nothing at all--neither fear
And there is nothing at all--neither fear,
nor a stiffening before the executioner.
I lay my head upon the hollowed block,
as on a casual lover's shoulder.
Roll, curly head, over the planed boards,
mind you don't get a splinter in your parted lips
the boards bruise your temples, the trumpets
sound solemnly in your ears;
the polished copper dazzles you,
the horses' manes toss
O, what a day to die on!
Another day dawns sunless,
and in the semidarkeither
through sleepiness, some ancient madness,
or new apocryphamy lover's shoulder
still smells to me of pine shavings.
Russian; trans. David Weissbort
Natalya Gorbanyevskaya, Russian, trans. David Weissbort,
Post-War Russian Poetry, Penguin Books Ltd., 1974.