Every night the sun goes down
And the moon comes up
You get one more chance to be good.
There’s no romance in repetition.
Every morning the moon goes down
And the sun comes up
It’s an honest tradition.
 
Joy, this like love and sleep, site evades its pursuers
But it lets itself be found.

The poem fails when it’s too far from the song
Song fails when it’s too far from a dance.
There’s no repetition in romance.

I won’t start drinking wine with you
You’re a naughty boy
I know, generic it’s a custom where you come from
To kiss anyone under the sun.

But we have peace and quiet,
Thanks be to God.
But we have no shining eyes
That rise on command.

Joy, like love and sleep, evades its pursuers
But it lets itself be found.

 

These lyrics contain an untitled Anna Akhmatova poem found on p. 156 of Judith Hemschemeyer’s translation “The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova” on Zephyr Press, paperback, 1997; and paraphrase lines by Sarah Ruhl and Edward Mendelson.