Verse > Anthologies > Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps. > Modern Russian Poetry
Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps.  Modern Russian Poetry.  1921.
From Alexandrian Songs
By Mikhail Kuzmin (b. 1877)
DYING is sweet
On the battle-field
In the hissing of arrows and spears,
When the trumpet sounds
And the sun of noon        5
Is shining,
Dying for country’s glory
And hearing around you:
“Hero, farewell!”
Dying is sweet        10
For an old, venerable man
In the house
On the bed
Where your forebears were born,—where they died,
Surrounded by children        15
Grown men,
And hearing around you:
“Father, farewell!”
But sweeter,
Wiser,        20
Having spent the last penny,
Having sold the last mill
For a woman
Who the next day is forgotten,
Having come        25
From a gay promenade
To the sold, dismantled mansion
To sup,
And to read the tale of Apuleius:
The hundred and first reading,—        30
In the warm, fragrant bath,
Hearing no farewell,
To open your veins;
And through the long skylight
Must come the scent of stock-gilliflower;        35
Dawn must be glowing,
And flutes be heard from afar.

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