By Anna Akhmatova
All that I am hangs by a thread tonight
as I wait for her whom no one can command.
Whatever I cherish most–youth, freedom, glory–
fades before her who bears the flute in her hand.
And look! She comes…she tosses back her veil,
staring me down, serene and pitiless.
“Are you the one,” I ask, “whom Dante heard dictate
the lines of his Inferno?” She answers: “Yes.”