From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask

From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask  (1841) 
by Mikhail Lermontov, translated by Dmitri Smirnov

Written in 1840 or 1841, first published in 1843.

* * *

From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask
Your voice sounded to me as flattering as a dream,
Your charming eyes were shining at me,
And your cunning mouth was smiling.

Through the wispy haze I noticed unconsciously
The paleness of your virgin cheeks and neck,
Lucky creature! I saw a wilful curl
Leaving the wave of its native locks!..

And I created then by these light signs
A lovely beauty in my imagination;
And from that time I carry in my soul,
Caress and love this ethereal apparition.

And all seems thus to me: this lively conversation
I have already heard in the former years,
And someone whispers to me: after this encounter
We will meet again as good old friends.

<1840 or 1841>

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This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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