“Yet to die. Unalone still.”

Translated by John High

Yet to die. Unalone still.
For now your pauper-friend is with you.
Together you delight in the grandeur of the plains,
And the dark, the cold, the storms of snow.

Live quiet and consoled
In gaudy poverty, in powerful destitution. 
Blessed are those days and nights.  
The work of this sweet voice is without sin.   

Misery is he whom, like a shadow,   
A dog’s barking frightens, the wind cuts down.   
Poor is he who, half-alive himself   
Begs his shade for pittance.

January 15-16, 1937
More Poems by Osip Mandelstam