Speaking In Tongues
Scribbling In Voices

Boris Chichibabin

Translated by Alex Sitnitsky



* * *

Take off the tiredness from me, oh, Mother Death.
And I donít ask the honor for my labor.
Just grant the drowsiness, the coolness, do this favor
To a body which is mine and lengthy like a lath.
Iím so fatigued. And I refuse to fight.
Donít care anymore. No more then for three hours
The slumber comes to me. It is vexatious, onerous.
A wish of death dwells in my dreams tonight.
The Book of Evil is unbearable to read.
The Book of Good already was turned over.
Oh, Mother Death, relieve your tired rover,
Cover my nakedness with a burlap. I quit.
A mortal ice put on my brow and chest.
Will let me rest with no awaking, freely.
Iím so fatigued. Iím not like others, really.
It was so hard for me to try to do my best.
And I believed in Spirit. Stubborn, mad,
I called for God ó instead I saw inferno.
My nose bleeds when, through this vision ó torment,
I squirm, convulsing, every night in bed.
Only the verses will not dim. Though, lest
A few of them are to avoid oblivion.
Iím tired like a slave; by single will Iím driven ó
Take off the tiredness from me, oh, Mother Death..