Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chapter One, Stanza One: Vladimir Nabokov (1964, rev. 1975)

"My uncle has most honest principles:
when taken ill in earnest,
he has made one respect him
and nothing better could invent.
To others his example is a lesson;
but, good God, what a bore
to sti by a sick man both day and night,
without moving a step away!
What base perfidiousness
the half-alive one to amuse,
adjust for him the pillows,
sadly present the medicine,
sigh -- and think inwardly
when will the devil take you?"