Boris Pasternak

The Road

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Down into the ravine, then forward
Up the embankment to the top,
The ribbon of the road runs snaking
Through wood and field without a stop.

By all the precepts of perspective
Well-surfaced highway windings rush
Among the fields, among the meadows,
Not raising dust, nor stuck in slush.

The peaceful pond nearby ignoring
(On which a duck with ducklings swam)
The road once more is forward soaring
On having crossed and left the dam.

Now-down a slope again it hastens,
Now-on and upwards, in a climb,
As only life, maybe, is meant to
Strain up and onward all the time.

Through thousands of unheard-of fancies,
Through times and countries, climb and fall,
Through helps and hindrances it races
Relentless, too, towards a goal;

And this is to have lived your fullest,
Experienced all-at home, abroad-
Just as the landscape now is livened
By twists and turnings of the road.

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Boris Pasternak