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Page:Modern Russian Poetry.djvu/36

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10
Alexander Pushkin

VERSES WRITTEN DURING A SLEEPLESS NIGHT

Sleep I cannot find, nor light:
Everywhere is dark and slumber,
Only weary tickings number
The slow hours of the night.
Parca, jabbering, woman-fashion,
Sleeping night, without compassion,
Life, who stirs like rustling mice,
Why encage me in thy vise?
Why the whispering insistence,—
Art thou but the pale persistence
Of a day departed twice?
What black failures dost thou reckon?
Dost thou prophesy or beckon?
I would know whence thou art sprung,
I would study thy dark tongue . . .