Boris Pasternak

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So aloof, so meek in your ways,
Now you're fire, you're pure combustion.
Only let me lock up your beauty
Deep, deep down in a poem's dungeon.

See how wholly transformed they are
By the fire in the glowing lampshade;
Edge of wall, edge of window-pane,
Our own figures and our own shadows.

There you sit on cushions, apart,
Legs tucked under you, Turkish fashion.
In the light or in the shadow,
Childlike, always, the way you reason.

Dreaming, now you thread on a string
Beads that lie on your lap in profusion.
Far too sad is your mien, too artless
Is the drift of your conversation.

Yes, love's truly a vulgar word.
I'll invent something else to supplant it,
Just for you, the whole world, all words
I will gladly rename, if you want it.

Can your sorrowful mien convey
All your hidden orebearing richness,
All that radiant seam of your heart?
Why d'you fill your eyes with such sadness?

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Boris Pasternak