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Perhaps you need me not this minute

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Ilya Shambat

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Dec 6, 2023, 4:10:03 PM12/6/23
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Perhaps you not need me not this minute,
Night; from sea foams of the world -
A shell without a pearl within it -
Upon your shores I have been hurled.

With mists the ocean you embellish
And, stuttering, you sing as well;
But you will love, and you will cherish
The pretense of a useless shell.

On ocean sands you lie next to her
You dress her in a misty haze
And with tight roping you tie to her
A bell, gigantic, made of bronze,

And then the seashell, fragile, empty -
A lonely heart that beats in vain -
You fill with sea foam's whispers plenty,
With fog with wind and with light rain.

By Osip Mandelshtam
Translated from Russian by Ilya Shambat
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