Page:Modern Russian Poetry.djvu/169

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Victor Hofman


Still was the evening of the ball,
The summer ball, with dancers wending
Where ancient linden shadows fall
Upon the river steeply bending;

Where in the trees the breezes breathe
And willows droop like drowsy dreamers;
Where it seemed beautiful to wreathe
The lanterns and the colored streamers.

A languorous waltz of slow retreatings,
A waltz that singing hardly sounded;
And many faces, many meetings,
Soft clouds like women's shoulders rounded.

The river looked a sculptured stream,
Serenely the whole heaven holding,—
A fluent and enchanted dream
Of joyous miracles unfolding.

A crimson mantle, golden-bright,
Upon the clouds the sun was flinging;
The dream-swept waltz was drowned in light,
And calling through the dusk and singing.

A languorous waltz beside the river,
And many meetings, many faces,
And near cheeks' warmth, and lovely quiver
Where eyelash with curved eyelash laces.