There, where a million lampade-stars
Burn in the face of ancient time,
Where evening ringing's sweet to heart,
Where towers are in love with sky;
There, where in shade of airy folds
Transparent-white wander the dreams,
I fathomed meaning of old riddles,
A moon-believer I became.
In madness, with a fitful breathing,
To know all to the root sought I:
To what mysterious suffering
The queen is given in the sky
And why to homes from ancient years
She tenderly leans, all alone...
What on the earth they call betrayal -
All has been stated by the moon.
Amid the blankets with silk sowed
By windows of grim palaces,
The tired queens I did behold,
A quiet call within their eyes.
I saw how in the ancient stories
The swords, the crown, the coat of arms,
The light from ancient sickle pouring
In someone's childish, childish eyes.
Oh how many eyes had stared
From these windows after him with angst,
And how many did he lure
There, where is peace and happiness!
I saw the nuns that were in pallor,
Children that had rejected earth,
And in the holy, holy prayers
The fire of passion I have caught.
“I want to live! Wherefore is God?” -
I asked in wandering of eyes;
And in the mourning clothes' folds
A bound for moon long, heavy sigh.
Tell me, O moon, why they had woe
The prison of their rooms within?
For whose sake perished without glory
The slave girls with the souls of queens,
That from their deaf sleeping chambers
Would tear into the fields of green?
And sorrowful was the moon's answer
Beside the wall of sad Kremlin.
By Marina Tsvetayeva
Translated from Russian by Ilya Shambat