The Last Flower
Rich the first flower's graces be,
But dearer far the last to me;
My spirit feels renewal sweet,
Of all my dreams hope or desire--
The hours of parting oft inspire
More than the moments when we meet!
A flower - shrivelled, bare of fragrance,
Forgotten on a page - I see,
And instantly my soul awakens,
Filled with an aimless reverie:
When did it bloom? the last spring? earlier?
How long? Where was it plucked? By whom?
By foreign hands? or by familiar?
And why put here, as in a tomb?
To mark a tender meeting by it?
A parting with a precious one?
Or just a walk, alone and quiet,
In forests' shade? in meadows' sun?
Is she alive? Is he still with her?
Where is their haven at this hour?
Or did they both already wither,
Like this unfathomable flower?
Translated by: Genia Gurarie, summer of 1995