Page:Modern Russian Poetry.djvu/102

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Konstantin Balmont




Oh, fire who purgeth us

In fate-kindled strife,
Thy beauty ruleth us,
Shining with life!


Still and meek in the glow of a taper in church,

But in riot—tumultuous-tongued,
Unmoved by wild prayers, multi-faced,
Shot with color in walls overthrown,
Mad with passion, and nimble and gay,—
So triumphantly beautiful
That my eyes are alight with thy joy
Though thou feed on my own,—
O fair Fire, all my dreams are devoted to thee!


Eternally changeful,

Thou art Protean-faced.
Thou art smokily crimson
In the bonfires' roar.
Thou art as a flower of terror with petals of flame,
A bright mane of radiant hair.
In the tremulous flame of a taper thou burn'st
First in blue, then in shuddering gold.
In the silence of midsummer lightnings thou wak'st,
Burning coldly in storm-burdened clouds,
Eerily livid and dark.