Boris Pasternak

Feasts

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I drink the gall of skies in autumn, tuberoses'
Sweet bitterness in your betrayals burning stream;
I drink the gall of nights, of crowded parties' noises,
Of sobbing virgin verse, and of a throbbing dream.

We fiends of studious fight a battle everlasting
Against our daily bread - can't stand the sober mood.
The troubled wind of nights is merely a toastmaster
Whose toasts, as like as not, will do no one much good.

Heredity and death are our guests at table.
A quiet dawn will paint bright-red the tops of trees.
An anapaest, like mice, will on the bread-plate scrabble,
And Cinderella will rush in to change her dress.

The floors have all been swept, and everything is dainty,
And like a child's sweet kiss, breathes quietly my verse,
And Cinderella flees-by cab on days of plenty,
And on shanks' pony when the last small coin is lost.

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Boris Pasternak