I Wrung My Hands
I wrung my hands under my dark veil. . .
"Why are you pale, what makes you reckless?"
-- Because I have made my loved one drunk
with an astringent sadness.
I'll never forget. He went out, reeling;
his mouth was twisted, desolate. . .
I ran downstairs, not touching the banisters,
and followed him as far as the gate.
And shouted, choking: "I meant it all
in fun. Don't leave me, or I'll die of pain."
He smiled at me -- oh so calmly, terribly --
and said: "Why don't you get out of the rain?"
Anna Akhmatova (1899-1966)