Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

(1891 - 1938 / Warsaw)

Twilight Of Freedom - Poem by Osip Emilevich Mandelstam


Let us glorify, brothers, the twilight of freedom --
The great twilight year.
A weighty forest of nets is lowered
Into the bubbling waters of night.
You are rising into desolate years,
O sun, judge, people.


Let us glorify the fateful burden,
Which the nation's chief takes up in tears.
Let us glorify the twilight burden of power,
Its unbearable weight.
Whoever has the heart should hear, time,
How your ship is sinking.


We tied the swallows into battle legions
And so, the sun's obscured; all of nature
Warbles, whirls, lives;
The dense twilight through the nets
The sun's obscured, and the land sets sail.


But still, let us try: an enormous, awkward,
Screeching turn of the wheel.
The land is sailing. Take courage, men!
Dividing the ocean, like a plow,
We will recall even in Lethe's frost,
That our land cost ten heavens.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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