Verse > Anthologies > Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps. > Modern Russian Poetry
Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps.  Modern Russian Poetry.  1921.
By Ivan Bunin (b. 1870)
SHE sits on tumulus Savoor, and stares,
Old woman Death, upon the crowded road.
Like a blue flame the small flax-flower flares
Thick through the meadows sowed.
And says old woman Death: “Hey, traveler!        5
Does any one want linen, linen fit
For funeral wear? A shroud, madam or sir,
I’ll take cheap coin for it!”
And says serene Savoor: “Don’t crow so loud!
Even the winding-sheet is dust, and cracks        10
And crumbles into earth, that from the shroud
May spring the sky-blue flax.”

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