From the Silver Age: Osip Mandelstam

1
At a dreadful height, a wandering fire–
But does a star really ficker like that?
Transparent star, wandering fire,
Your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

2
At a dreadful height, earthly dreams are burning,
A green star is twinkling.
O if you, star, are the brother of water and sky,
Your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

3
A monstrous ship flies at a dreadful height,
Spreading its wings–
Green star, in beautiful poverty
Your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

4
Above the black Neva, transparent Spring
Is smashed, the wax of immortality is melting.
O if you, star, are Petropolis, your city,
your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

Osip Emilievich Mandelstam (1891-1938), tr. by Bruce McClelland.

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