Page:Modern Russian Poetry.djvu/155

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129
Alexander Blok

THE LADY UNKNOWN

 
Of evenings hangs above the restaurant
A humid, wild and heavy air.
The Springtide spirit, brooding, pestilent,
Commands the drunken outcries there.

Far off, above the alley's mustiness,
Where bored gray summerhouses lie,
The baker's sign swings gold through dustiness,
And loud and shrill the children cry.

Beyond the city stroll the exquisites,
At every dusk and all the same:
Their derbies tilted back, the pretty wits
Are playing at the ancient game.

Upon the lake but feebly furious
Soft screams and creaking oar-locks sound.
And in the sky, blasé, incurious,
The moon beholds the earthly round.

And every evening, dazed and serious,
I watch the same procession pass;
In liquor, raw and yet mysterious,
One friend is mirrored in my glass.

Beside the scattered tables, somnolent
And dreary waiters stick around.
"In vino veritas!" shout violent
And red-eyed fools in liquor drowned.