Trans. Constance Garnett
Reprinted by Met in celebration of National Poetry Month 2013. This poem is in the public domain.
Us two in the room; my dog and me.... Outside a fearful storm is howling.
The dog sits in front of me, and looks me straight in the face.
And I, too, look into his face.
He wants, it seems, to tell me something. He is dumb, he is without words, he does not understand himself - but I understand him.
I understand that at this instant there is living in him and in me the same feeling, that there is no difference between us. We are the same; in each of us there burns and shines the same trembling spark.
Death sweeps down, with a wave of its chill broad wing....
And the end!
Who then can discern what was the spark that glowed in each of us?
No! We are not beast and man that glance at one another....
They are the eyes of equals, those eyes riveted on one another.
And in each of these, in the beast and in the man, the same life huddles up in fear close to the other.