Starved, mangy dogs with mournful, pleading eyes,
Descendants of the ones that in a bygone
Age from the steppeland came, and, stung by flies,
Dragged in the wake of dusty, creaking wagons.
The conqueror was rich and powerful,
And with his hordes, proud city, he invaded
Your palaces, and named you Istanbul,
And then sought rest, a lion gorged and sated.
But faster move the days than birds in flight!
Black loom the trees in Scutari; unnumbered
The tombs they shade, their marble shapes as white
As bones bleached by the rays of many summers.
Upon the dust of shrines and temples falls
The dust of ages, and the plaintive howling
Of dogs the gloom of desert sands recalls
Beneath Byzantium's walls and arches crumbling.
Bare the Serail, its glory spent and past,
Its trees, now dry, bent low in desolation…
O Istanbul! Dead nomad camp, the last
Great relic of a last and great migration!
Ivan Bunin's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Istanbul by Ivan Bunin )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Edgar Albert Guest
(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959)
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