The Grey-Eyed King (Trans. Of Anna Akhmatova)
Poem by Pete Crowther
Glory be to endless woe!
Yesterday died the grey-eyed king.
Red was that autumn evening and hot,
My husband calmly brought the news:
“Back from the hunt they brought his body,
By an old oak it had been laid.
Pity the queen. So young is she! …
Overnight she has turned grey”.
He picked up his pipe from the chimney breast
And went off to his evening’s work.
In haste I went and woke my daughter
To look at her grey eyes.
The poplars whisper through the glass:
“Not in the land of your king …”
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