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“Front of statue of Madonna …” by Nikolai Gumilev (1886 – 1921)
Translated by Kristina Kamaeva
Front of statue of Madonna
In a dark and simple place
He swore be faithful to the Donna
Who was glorious and chaste.
Then, forgetting secret knot,
He was pleasing many women.
Once while fighting he was slaughtered.
Came to holy gates of Eden.
Spoke virtuous Madonna:
“Did you swear to my face
To be faithful to the Donna.
Who is glorious and chaste?
Go now! Not these crops
King of Heaven gathers here.
One who has forsaken oath—
He is dying unforgiven.”
Knelt front feet of sweet Madonna,
Sad and stubborn asked for grace:
“Nowhere met I Donna,
Who is glorious and chaste.”