"When on the squares and in solitary silence"

by Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam

When on the squares and in solitary silence
We slowly go out of our minds,
Brutal winter will offer us
Cold and clear Rhine wine.
The frost offers us in a silver pail
The white wine of Valhalla,
And for us it recalls
A clear image of a northern man.
But northern skalds are rude,
Don't know the joy of the game,
And to northern troops are dear
Amber, feasts and flames.
They only dream of the southern air,
The magic of a foreign sky.
-- Nevertheless the stubborn friend
Still refuses to try.

Last updated January 14, 2019