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Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps.  Modern Russian Poetry.  1921.
 
Saint Sebastian
By Valery Brusov (b. 1873)
(Trans. Avrahm Yarmolinsky)
 
ON slow and smoky fire thou burn’st and art consuméd,
          Oh, thou, my soul.
On slow and smoky fire thou burn’st and art consuméd,
          With hidden dole.
 
Thou droopest like Sebastian, pierced with pointed arrows,        5
          Harassed and spent,
Thou droopest like Sebastian, pierced with pointed arrows,
          Thy flesh all rent.
 
Thy foes encircle thee and watch with gleeful laughter
          And bended bow,        10
Thy foes encircle thee and watch with gleeful laughter
          Thy torments slow.
 
The embers burn, and gentle is the arrow’s stinging,
          ’Neath the evening sky,
The embers burn, and gentle is the arrow’s stinging,        15
          When the end draws nigh.
 
Why hastens not thy dream unto thy lips, now pallid
          With deadly drouth?
Why hastens not thy dream unto thy lips, now pallid
          To kiss thy mouth?        20
 
 
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