A poet is authentic, if he has a tragic end,
And if in proper time, then in full measure:
At 26, one stepped to face a pistolís business end,
Anotherís neck got noosed in "Angleterre".
Now, Christ was 33; he was a poet, and he said:
You shall not kill! Do in, Iíll show you what-for.
But nails were thrashed into his wrists lest any mess be made,
Lest he write much and reason anymore.
I, when it comes to 37, get sober right away,
Now, too, it feels as if had breathed of death cold:
His duel Pushkin had arranged exactly for this date,
Aní Mayakovsky rested temple against a gunpoint.
Letís stop at number 37! Lordís will blows hot and cold -
He put it straight: one chance before it counts!
This point had not been overcome by Byron and Rimbaud;
The extant, though, have somehow got around.
A duelís been frustrated or else may have been delayed,
Were crucified at 33 but feebly,
At 37 - no blood; indeed, let blood alone, gray hair,
Has not begrimed the whiskers very amply.
"Weak-kneed to shoot?!" they scoff, "Heart sank?! Like gonna chicken out?!"
Have patience, psychos and hysteric ladies!
Upon knife-edges poets tread with their soles unshod,
And carve their naked souls till they get bleeding.
Word "long-necked" has a hyphen in between, therefore is joint, -
"Reduce a poet!" the verdict is unsubtle.
And steel at him! But glad is he to hang on a daggerís point,
Knife-victim ícause of being double-trouble!
I pity you, the followers of fatal dates and ages.
Do pine away like concubines in a harem!
The span of life has grown some more, so probably the ends
Of poets are postponed a bit, awhile.
Yes, it is true that for a noose a long neck is a bait,
For bolts, a breastís a bulls-eye, yet donít hurry:
The gone gain immortality in no way ícause of dates,
Therefore, donít hasten those who are alive!