On those bright, empty nights when bridges
Look down into the silent river,
They met almost like strangers, showing
No sign of fondness for each other.
Each of them glowed with youth and beauty
But, moved by all the emptiness,
She hid a coldness, strange, uncanny,
Behind the untanned loveliness.
And ever careful of his feelings,
He could not, would not love at all.
She only loved to rouse the beast
In him, then hold that beast in thrall.
Alien, he pressed her alien hand.
The North, anxious to help allay
The pain of such sweet, tender boredom,
Hastened to turn night into day.
So, in that bright nocturnal wasteland,
Not hastening into night’s embraces,
Their doomed and yearning soul gazed upwards
Into the sky’s pale azure spaces.
– by Alexander Blok
10 October 1907