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Confession (to Alina Osipova 1826)

 I love you - though it makes me beat,
Though vain it seems, and melancholy -
Yet to this shameless, hapless folly
I'll be confessing at your feet.
It ill becomes me: that I'm older, Time I should be more sensible.
And yet the frivolous disorder Fills every jitter of my soul.
Say you'll be gone - I'm jaded, yawning; You're back - I'm sad, I suffer through - Yet how can I be clear, from owning, My angel, all my care for you! When off the stairs your weightless footfall, Your dress's rustle, reaches me, Your voice, as maidenly, as youthful - I lose my senses instantly.
You smile at me - I'm glad, immensely; Ignore me - and I'm sad, again; Your pallid hand will recompense me For the whole day of utter pain.
When you're embroidering, or setting Your eye on something fair, or letting Your hair amuse you - I'm beguiled; In silence, reddening, all forgetting I watch you like a spellbound child.
But then how wretched my existence, How desolate my jealous pain, When you set out into the distance To wander in the cold and rain; And then your solitary grievings, Or, in the corner, twosome talks, Or twosome piano in the evenings, Or twosome trips, or twosome walks.
Alina! just a little mercy - I dare not even mention love: For sins I have been guilty of, My angel, of your care unworthy.
But feign it! All can be achieved By that absorbing gaze, believe me.
Oh, it takes little to deceive me - I cannot wait to be deceived! (tr.
by Genia Gurarie, 10.
95 - 4.
99) Copyright retained by Genia Gurarie.
email: egurarie@princeton.
edu http://www.
edu/~egurarie/ For permission to reproduce, write personally to the translator.

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