The hope a mooncalf follows
is sacrifice for slaughter,
and yet the wings of swallows
still skip across the water. 

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Night, street, lamp, and pharmacy,
A meaningless and misty light.
Live on a quarter century—
The same. There is no hope of flight.
You will die, rise from where you fell,
All be repeated, cold and damp:
The night, the wavering canal,
The pharmacy, the street, the lamp.  
after the Russian of Alexander Blok (1888-1921)
translated by Leo Yankevich
first appeared in The New Formalist
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© by Leo Yankevich