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LERMONTOV, Mikhail


No, Not with You...

No, not with you I fell in love so fast,

And not for me your beauty is succeeding;

I love in you my suffering preceding,

And youth of mine, that perished in the past.

And when sometimes my look is long and hard,

And penetrates your eyes of high perfection;

I'm busy with a secret conversation,

But not to you I send my words of heart.

To my youth's girl, my word of soul flies,

In features yours, I seek for other dears,

In lips alive -- the lips, so mute for years,

In eyes -- the flame of the extinguished eyes.


To the Countess Rostopchin

Under the same star, I am sure,

We both crossed the worldly rims;

We stepped along same road poor,

And were deceived by same false dreams.

Well, from my noble goal early

Deprived by passions, wild and strong,

I had forgot, while fighting vainly,

My youthful years’ sacred songs.

And seeing early separation,

I dread to let my heart be free,

And to the sound of deception,

To give the dream that’s vain for me…

Thus two gay waves together pounce,

That met by chance’ became a pair,

In desert of an ocean, fair;

They’re pushed by wild winds of the South:

But a reef’s hard and merciless breast,

Will separate them in one place…

And, full of cold, that’s used to both,

They’ll bear to the different coasts,

Without love and rues for past

Their sweet and pining hums and moans,

Their loud noise and brightness, loaned

And their ever gentle romance.

Translation: Yevgeny Bonver


The Angel

Across the dark sky came the angel in flight
Who sang a soft song through the night.
And stars and the moon and the clouds in their throng
Gave ear to that glorious song.
He sang of immaculate spirits that rove
In bliss in the Heavenly Grove,
He sang of the Lord of All Things, every phrase
Unfeigned in that purest of praise.
He bore in his arms a young soul toward its birth,
To sorrow and tears on this earth.
And in that young soul the great sound of his song
Remained without words now, but strong.
And long did it languish on earth in its time
Replete with a yearning sublime,
A soul that knew sounds of the heavenly race
No dull song of earth could replace.

Translation A.Z. FOREMAN


I go out on the road alone

Alone I set out on the road;
The flinty path is sparkling in the mist;
The night is still. The desert harks to God,
And star with star converses.

The vault is overwhelmed with solemn wonder
The earth in cobalt aura sleeps. . .
Why do I feel so pained and troubled?
What do I harbor: hope, regrets?

I see no hope in years to come,
Have no regrets for things gone by.
All that I seek is peace and freedom!
To lose myself and sleep!

But not the frozen slumber of the grave...
I'd like eternal sleep to leave
My life force dozing in my breast
Gently with my breath to rise and fall;

By night and day, my hearing would be soothed
By voices sweet, singing to me of love.
And over me, forever green,
A dark oak tree would bend and rustle.


To My Country

With love of my own race I cling unto my country,
Whatever dubious reason may protesting cry;
The shame alone of all her blood bought glory,
Her haughty self-assurance, conscious pride,

And the ancestral faith's traditions dark,
With woe have penetrated all my heart.

And yet I love it! Why, I cannot say;
The endless snowy Steppes so silent brooding,
In the pine forests Autumn winds pursuing--
The flood's high water on all sides in May.
By peasant cart I fain would haste in nightly darkness,
Through the lone wilderness and village desolate,
How hospitable shines the sole beam sparkling
To me from each poor hut! Filled with content so great,
The smell of stubble burnt, delights. Piled high
The wagons silent standing take their nightly rest,
On distant hills the silver birches I descry,
Framed gold by fertile fields the sacred picture blest.
Then with a joy unshared save by the vagrant,
I see the threshing floor well filled and fragrant,
The sloping straw-thatched cottage roofs again,
The window panels carved, of varied stain.

Nightly could I, till morning grey arrested,
Gaze on the dancing, stamping, whistling crowd,
Watching the villager,--young, happy, festive--
And hearing drunken peasants glad carouse!


The Demon
…..
Cold and regretless shalt thou view this sphere,
Where crime’s inseparable from fate,
Where beauty only blossoms to grow sear,
Where all is miserable, where, without fear
No one can either love or hate.
Know’st thou, Tamára, what is mortal love?
A febrile movement of the blood!
Years roll away—the pulse can scarcely move,
Love’s wither’d branches cease to bud.
Who can resist new beauty’s luring bait?
Who, parting, never shed a tear?
Who can withstand the tedium of fate,
The weariness of all things here?
No, my beloved, believe, ’tis not thy lot
To perish in a living grave,
In silence, languish on this narrow spot,
Of brutal jealousy the slave
…..


The Dream

In noon's heat, in a dale of Dagestan
With lead inside my breast, stirless I lay;
The deep wound still smoked on; my blood
Kept trickling drop by drop away.

On the dale's sand alone I lay. The cliffs
Crowded around in ledges steep,
And the sun scorched their tawny tops
And scorched me - but I slept death's sleep.

And in a dream I saw an evening feast
That in my native land with bright lights shone;
Among young women crowned with flowers,
A merry talk concerning me went on.

But in the merry talk not joining,
One of them sat there lost in thought,
And in a melancholy dream
Her young soul was immersed - God knows by what.

And of a dale in Dagestan she dreamt;
In that dale lay the corpse of one she knew;
Within his breast a smoking wound showed black,
And blood ran in a stream that colder grew.