You are always new and mysterious,
I am obedient to you each day.
But your love, my severe one,
Is a trial by steel and flame.
I'm forbidden to sing or smile,
Forbidden long ago to pray.
But nothing matters now to me
Except not to part from you!
So, exiled from heaven and earth,
I no longer sing, yet am still alive,
As if you barred my errant soul,
From both hell and paradise.
Return to the Anna Akhmatova library , or . . . Read the next poem; 'Don't taunt your heart with earthly joys,'