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“Don Juan” by Nikolai Gumilev (1886 – 1921)
Translated by Don Mager
My fantasy is proud and plain:
To grasp the crop, leap the stirrup,
Outrace sluggish time,
And always kiss fresh lips;
And in old age before Christ’s grace,
With ash on head and eyes cast down
Breast burdened by an iron cross,
At last to take salvation’s burden.
For only then, released from orgy,
Like sleepwalkers, night done,
Scared white by a silent stalker,
Might wake, so I recall this paltry atom
Had neither child from any woman
Nor help from any human brother.