The Cup of Life

( by Mikhail Lermontov, 1831
Translated by Anatoly Liberman )

( photo by Constantine Pankin )

When we are born, a cup appears:
It is the cup of being.
We wet its golden edge with tears
And drink from it unseeing.

But when the great delusion fails
And Father Death is calling,
When from our eyes – at last – the scales
Once and for all are falling;

We note that someone else’s cup
Distracted us and tempted;
All was a dream, the game is up –
The cup of life is empty.

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