To my friend and brother Mikhail Shemyakin.
I can read “Dorian Gray” or “Faustus”. However,
To sell my soul, there can’t be any way.
Why listened I to the Gypsies? Won’t repeat it ever!
They prophesied my death up to a day...
Don’t count it, O Lord, put it away,
Don’t mark it in Thy calendar. On no account!
Or, when it comes to that, just change the day,
Lest I should wait for it, lest crows should fly about,
Lest people should sneer and lest lambs should bleat,
From all of them, please keep me safe, I bid—
Make haste, O Lord, don’t Thou stay a bit,
Because they can fill up my soul with fear and doubt!