Life being short, poverty and wealth
are final verdicts, in that
poverty and life are of equal duration
and wealth and cold indifference
are perennial and hereditary, like diseases.
(from May, Eternal, 1988, tr. by Anselm Hollo)
The old part (1754-1762) is known as
The Winter Palace.
Floor, ceiling, walls
Is covered with these exalted beings:
Venus, Jupiter, many ladies
Of a full-bodied vintage.
You can still see how many a man
Lost head and hat
By the Berezhina River,
You can see that Borodino
Was a victory;
I'm talking, here,
Under the roof
Thatched by my hair.
(from The Winter Palace, 1959, tr. by Anselm Hollo)