Boris Pasternak, The Nobel Prize. 1959
Like a beast in a pen, I’m cut off
From my friends, freedom, the sun,
But the hunters are gaining ground.
I’ve nowhere else to run.
Dark wood and the bank of a pond,
Trunk of a fallen tree.
There’s no way forward, no way back.
It’s all up with me.
Am I a gangster or murderer?
Of what crime do I stand
Condemned? I made the whole world weep
At the beauty of my land.
Even so, one step from my grave,
I believe that cruelty, spite,
The powers of darkness will in time
Be crushed by the spirit of light.
The beaters in a ring close in
With the wrong prey in view,
I’ve nobody at my right hand,
Nobody faithful and true.
And with such a noose on my throat
I should like for one second
My tears to be wiped away
By someone at my right hand.