Sergei Yesenin

The Beggar At The Church Door

His eyes are like faded burdock. He clasps the coins in his hands. He was a glorious shepherd, Now he sings of times past. And in the corner, an old woman Sheds tears in front of an icon. She used to be his beloved, His drunk nectar in a green meadow. Dry dust coats the scrolls of years. No bygones to sandbank dawn. Only a gnawed-up crutch, As always, clatters in his hands. Now she's a stranger to him. She's forgotten his piercing flute. And when she rushes out the door, She'll drop a kopeck in his palm. He will not look in her eyes. Eyes meeting would be too painful. But, crossing himself in the icon corner, He'll pray for God's servant by name.

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