by Boris Pasternak
With shirt wide open at the collar,
Maned as Beethoven's bust, it stands;
Our conscience, dreams, the night and love,
Are as chessmen covered by its hands.
And one black king upon the board:
In sadness and in rage, forthright
It brings the day of doom.-Against
The pawn it brings the mounted knight.
In gardens where from icy spheres
The stars lean tender, linger near,
Tristan still sings, like a nightingale
On Isolde's vine, with trembling fear.
The gardens, ponds, and fences, made pure
By burning tears, and the whole great span,
Creation-are only burst of passion
Hoarded in the hearts of men.
Last updated January 14, 2019