Rachel - Poem by Anna Akhmatova
When Jacob and Rachel met for the first time,
He bowed to her like a humble wayfarer.
The herds were raising hot dust to the skies,
The little well's mouth was covered by a boulder.
He rolled the old boulder away from the well
And watered the flock with clean water himself.
Yet sweet little sadness crept into his heart
With each passing day growing stronger.
To wed her he bargained to toil seven years
As shepherd for her artful father.
Oh, Rachel! To the captive of love in his eyes
The seven years seemed as a few dazzling days.
Yet Laban was thirsty for silver, and wise,
And mercy he didn’t espouse,
Assuming forgiveness for all kind of lies…
As long as they serve his own house.
He took homely Leah with his sure hand
And led her to Jacob in his wedding tent.
A sultry night reigns over high desert sky
And spreads misty dews in the morning,
While pulling her braids in despair all that night
The younger of sisters is moaning,
Sends curses to Leah and God for her doom
Imploring the angel of death to come soon.
As Jacob is dreaming the sweetest of dreams:
The clear well spring in the valley
And Rachel's eyes happily looking at him
Her beautiful voice singing softly:
O, weren't you kissing me, Jacob, with love
And calling me always your black turtledove?
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