Russiantranslated toCanadian English  The Unknown One

This is my translation of «Незнакомка» by Александр Блок [Alexander Blok].


Inspired by Rebecca Burrows

In evening dusk, upon the restaurants,
The heated air is wild and mute,
And rules there over drunken cries and shouts
A vernal, noxious spirit brute.

There, far above the dusty alleyways,
The listless dachas in the sticks,
The bakeshop pretzel's slightly golden blaze
With children's cries is intermixed.

Each night behind the barriers convoke
With stylish tilts of bowler hats,
'Midst ditches promenade with ladyfolk,
Fops, dandies, proven wits, and cads.

There, just above the lake, the oarlocks groan,
Reverberates a woman's squeal,
And in the sky, all-knowing and alone,
Without aim smirks a disc surreal.

And, every night, my only friend at heart
Within my glass appears, unsmoothed,
Where he, with moisture mystical and tart
Much like myself is humbled, moved.

And next to nearby tables in the den
The sleepy lackeys loll and dream,
While ruby rabbit-eyes of drunken men
"In vino veritas!" there scream.

Each night, upon the chosen hour's beat,
(Or is this but a dreamer's gift?)
Ensnared in silks, a maiden's figure fleet
Within the foggy window drifts.

And slowly walking, passing twixt the sots,
E'er unaccompanied, alone,
She breathes in mists and perfumes of the haunt
And by the window then enthrones.

And emanate with legends' buried tombs
Her silks, as pliable as grand,
And headpiece overwrought with mourning plumes,
And rings upon her narrow hand.

And then, as if enchained by closeness queer,
I look behind the darkened veil
And spy a shore, enchanted and austere,
And an enchanted distance pale.

Dead secrets are entrusted to my hold,
Somebody's sun placed in my hands,
And all the convolutions of my soul
This tart wine pierces through and rends.

And all those ostrich feathers, arched and bowed,
Within my brain they lean and loom,
And sapphire eyes—no bottom and no bound—
Upon a distant shore they bloom.

Within my soul there lies a treasured feast;
Entrusted key is only mine!
You are correct; I grant, you drunken beast!
I know: Veracity's in wine.