The people howl, the beasts speak

The people howl, the beasts speak,
And the splendid official, who on a lark

Hopped a daytime train without his papers,
Now pickaxes ice with a quiet tribe of lepers.

Taste it, that last glass of Black Sea wine he sipped like
In the dreamreeking tavern on the road to Erzurum.

— Osip Mandelstam
(November 1930)

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