by Anna Andreyevna Akhmatova (1889 - 1966)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Когда я ночью жду её прихода,
Жизнь, кажется, висит на волоске.
Что почести, что юность, что свобода
Пред милой гостьей с дудочкой в руке.
И вот вошла. Откинув покрывало,
Внимательно взглянула на меня.
Ей говорю: "Ты ль Данту диктовала
Страницы Ада?" Отвечает: " Я!".

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Note on Transliterations


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Muse", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , title 1: "The muse", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2015-01-12
Line count: 8
Word count: 44

The muse
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
When I, all night long, await her arrival,
Life seems to hang from a thread.
What is honor, who is youth, what is freedom
For a dear guest with pipe in hand?
And here - she arrives. Veil flung off,
Inquisitively [she] looks at me.
To her I speak: “You dictated to Dante
[The] script of Hades?” She answers: “I [did]!”


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2016-06-07
Line count: 8
Word count: 61