summer day :: boris pasternak

With us in springtime, until dawn,
In orchards blazing bonfires flame
—As pagan altars may have shone
When fertile rites received acclaim.

The virgin soil is dried and baked,
And steaming vapors from it swarm,
And all the earth is fire-caked
As are in winter stove-beds warm.

When toiling and in earth engrossed,
My shirt I strip and throw away,
With scorching sun my back is glossed
And baked like some big lump of clay.

And standing where the heat’s most hot,
And with my eyes half in a daze,
From head to foot, upon this spot,
I’m covered with a coat of glaze.

But when the night invades my room,
And I peep through the windows dimmed,
As jugs are filled, so with the bloom
Of lilac, moisture, I am brimmed.

It washes off the outer shell
Of walls’ cooled evening face,
And offers it to any girl,
Born here and native of this place.