I dream of demons, elephants, and rats. I chase them off with curses and complaints. Then comes a butler with a bottle. ďThatís Your one way out,Ē he says, ďof all your pains: More wine! And all that frenzy quickly wanes, The visions vanish, and your heart and veins Release you, and the armor finally melts.Ē Iím me again, and hereís the trade Iíd make, For immortality - these three keepsakes: A friend, a horse, a highway on the plains. I bow my head, as humbly as it gets; Not for the sake of me, but for Godís sake: Have mercy and do not cry in my wake.
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I honor Faust, also - Dorian Gray. But sell my soul to Satan? What? No way! Why did the Gypsies read my fortune? They Have specified for me my dying day. But I implore you: do not save that date! Donít mark it in the calendar, my friend! So for the circling ravens I wonít wait The bleating lambs I will not tolerate, And all those cackling people in the shade. Protect me from them all, my Lord, defend Me from the seeds of doubt and fear they plant Into my soul - before it is too late!            
© Vadim Astrakhan. Translation, 2022