Flowers of Night

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 150th birthday.

Zinaïda Gippius
1869 – 1945


Oh, do not trust the nighttime hour!
It is filled with evil beauty.
In the nighttime people are close to death,
And flowers alone are strangely alive.

Dark and warm are the quiet walls,
And the hearth is long without fire…
And from the flowers I await betrayals,
For the flowers hate me.

Among them I feel uneasy and hot;
Their aroma is stifling and bold,
But to run away from them is not
Possible—no escape from their arrows.

The evening casts its rays of light
Upon their petals through the blood-stained satin…
The tender body comes to life—
The evil flowers have awoken.

From the toxic arum measured
Droplets fall upon the carpet…
Everything is mysterious and uncertain…
And seems to me a quiet argument.

They rustle; they stir and respire;
Like enemies, they keep their eye on me.
Everything I think—they know, they hear,
And they want to poison me.

Oh, do not trust the nighttime hour!
Beware of evil beauty.
In the nighttime we are all closer to death,
The flowers alone are alive.

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