Speaking In Tongues
Guided by Voices

Osip Mandelstam

Translated by Konstantin Rusanov

* * *

I was given a body -- what am I to do
With the gift so singular and mine too?

For the quiet joy to breathe and live,
Tell me, whom should my thanks I give?

Both the gardener and the flower I am,
In the world's dungeon not lonely I am.

Upon eternity's crystalline breadth
Have already fallen my warmth and breath.

Upon it a pattern will imprint itself,
Such that will correspond to a single self.

The dross shall settle and the moment be clear --
One cannot cross out a pattern so dear.