Tightly coiled, like a snake it sits
In my very heart, weaving spells
Or murmurs for days on end
Like a dove on my white windowsill.
In the sparkle of hoarfrost a gleam,
In the carnation's slumber a hint,
And secretly, surely it leads
From all joy and peace of mind.
It can sob so seductively, sigh
In the violin's yearning prayer,
And it happens, a stranger's smile
Fills me with a sudden fear.
by Anna Akhmatova
November 24, 1911
Translated by Daniel Weissbort