Verse > Anthologies > Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps. > Modern Russian Poetry
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Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps.  Modern Russian Poetry.  1921.
 
The Cup of Life
By Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841)
 
WE drink life’s cup with thirsty lips,
Our eyes shut fast to fears;
About the golden rim there drips
Our staining blood, our tears.
 
But when the last swift hour comes on,        5
The light long hid is lit,
From startled eyes the band is gone,
We suffer and submit.
 
It is not our part to possess
The cup that golden gleamed.        10
We see its shallow emptiness:
We did not drink—we dreamed.
 
 
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