From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask

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From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask  (1841) 
by Mikhail Lermontov, translated by Dmitri Smirnov
Written in 1840 or 1841, first published in 1843.

* * *

From beneath a mysterious and ice-cold half-mask
Your voice sounded to me as flattering as a dream,
Your charming eyes were shining at me,
And your cunning mouth was smiling.

Through the wispy haze I noticed unconsciously
The paleness of your virgin cheeks and neck,
Lucky creature! I saw a wilful curl
Leaving the wave of its native locks!..

And I created then by these light signs
A lovely beauty in my imagination;
And from that time I carry in my soul,
Caress and love this ethereal apparition.

And all seems thus to me: this lively conversation
I have already heard in the former years,
And someone whispers to me: after this encounter
We will meet again as good old friends.

<1840 or 1841>

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
This work is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.