What Time Is It?

Now, no doubt, the hour must be late . . .
Despair has settled for the night in my heart,
Tortured once more by bitter regret—
What time is it? What time is it?
Beyond the window where I stand, implacable night.
Only autumn has dawned for me.
Maybe it's three o'clock, could it really be three?
What time is it? What time is it?
Maybe somehow one-third of this . . .
But a glance outside shows black.
From the station the bell screams thirteen--
What time is it? What time is it?
This dark corridor shrouded in thought
Cannot resist the night coachman . . .
The telephone rings, rings again, nervously—
What time is it? What time is it?
God, this sudden early-morning rain
Attacks like an endless torrent of pitch.
Does this hateful night know any bounds?!
What time is it? What time is it?
But listen to Charles Baudelaire: "Bitter and precious hour,
Time for ecstasy, it's wine o'clock!"
That's how he'd answer the question—
What time is it?


1914


Translation copyright 2007 by Adam J. Sorkin and Nana Bukhradze. All rights reserved.


Read Terenti Graneli's "Galaktioni and I"