The dull air is moist and resounding

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The dull air is moist and resounding…  (1911) 
by Osip Mandelstam, translated by Dmitri Smirnov

 * * *

The dull air is moist and resounding;
In the forest it is good and no danger.
Once again I will bear obediently
My light cross of solitary walks.

And once again a reproach to my heartless fatherland
Will fly up like a wild duck,
It is a gloomy life I take part in
Where every single one is alone!

A shot has rung out. Now over the drowsy lake
The ducks' wings are heavy.
And the pine trunks are stupefied
By their double, reflected existence.

The sky, dull with a strange shine…
A worldwide, misty pain…
Oh, let me also be misty in this way,
And let me not to love you.


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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1938, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


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