Bella akhmadulina — she’s come and stands – in her full eighteen years
She’s come and stands – in her full eighteen years.
“How old are you?” She answer’d, “I am eighteen…”
The polygon of hands, cheek-bones, and knees.
A proud in angularity quite melted.
All is a wonder in this girl at once:
The brave of thinness, and eyes’ knightly brightness,
And swarthy brow – I knew it in the past:
A lamp and note – through all nightly darkness.
“I’m”, she repeated, “eighteen years old.
And I’m alone all my dears middle.
And let me be… My poem is my lot!”
And cries – her face isn’t in her white palms hidden.
I like she looks so fierce and so dark,
And is so kind, and craves for her pain’s growth.
I smile. I know my past too was marked
By all the same. And think: “How long ago?”
She says good-by. She’s in the great alarm:
Letting no waste of any instant happen,
To be quite timid, knowing not her charm,
And to be sad, not knowing that she’s happy…
Translated by Yevgeny Bonver