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Georgy Chulkov


Purple Autumn unloosened her tresses and flung them
On the heavens and over the dew-heavy fields.
She came as a guest to the old, silent house,
Singeing the grasses with red;
Through the garden she moved,—
Up the balcony; scarcely she touched
The fragile old rails.
She pushed the door-panel softly,
Softly she entered the room,
Sprinkling the rugs with her sun-yellow dust,
Dropped a red leaf upon the piano . . .
Ever after that hour, we heard her unceasing, her tireless
Rustle and stir and soft whisper.
And our hands suddenly met
With no new words, new and forever false.
As though we had hung a wreath of red roses
On a black, wrought-iron door
Leading into a vault
Where lay the rotting body
Of a beloved dream.
Autumnal days were upon us,
Days of inscrutable longing;
We were treading the stairs
Of autumnal passion.
In my heart a wound,
Like the lamp of an ikon,
Burned and would not be quenched.