‘As a silver, delicate strand’

by Anna Akhmatova

As a silver, delicate strand
Is woven in my dark tresses –
Only you, silent nightingale,
Can understand this torment.

Your sensitive ear hears distance,
In the willow’s thin branches,
Ruffled, you gaze – without breathing –
If a strange song sounds.

But a moment ago, a moment,
The poplars suddenly stilled,
And your ineffable joy,
Rang out, your poisonous song.