Speaking In Tongues
Guided by Voices

Alexander Pushkin

YEVGENY ONEGIN

Translated by Dennis Litoshick

Copyright English translation Dennis Litoshick





CHAPTER I



I



My uncle was a man of virtue,
When he became quite old and sick,
He sought respect and tried to teach me,
His only heir, vert and weak.
He had the fun, I had the sore,
But gracious goodness! what a bore!
To sit by bed place day and night,
Not doing even step aside,
And what a cheep and cunning thing
To entertain the sad,
To serve around, make his bed,
To fetch the pills, to mourn and grim,
To sigh out loud, think along:
'God damn old man, why aren't you gone?'




II



So thought a playboy, young and funny,
While riding through the dust of road,
The only heir to the money,
That got his folks with help of Lord.
My reader! if introduce I may
Without comments, right away,
Onegin, my old friend
Was born , you know, in the Neva land.
And you may have been born in there,
The place of style, the vanity fair,
Where I had spent a lot of time,
But moved - the climate wasn't fine.




III



With record excellent and clear,
His father lived in debt,
He gave three balls in every year
And went bankrupt. How sad.
But Fate took care of Evgeniy,
She sent Madame (the French for mammy),
And later on she sent Monsieur
To care of l'enfant hero.
Monsieur l'Abbe was French and poor,
Was easy on the kid,
Taught everything a little bit,
Was not that hard on him for sure,
Sometimes did bother him with stuff,
Though wasn't tiresome or rough.




IV



As into teens, the age of riot,
The age of tender sorrow,
Evgeniy gradually followed,
Monsieur l'Abbe was quickly fired.
And here Evgeniy's liberated,
His haircut is up-to-dated,
Dressed like a dandy, bright and bold,
He's being introduced to world.
He spoke Francais like Parisien
And danced mazurka like a feather,
He bowed at ease and posed like Caesar-
The world decided he was fine.




V



We all have studied bit by bit
All different stuff in different ways,
Thus education's not a hit
And for this fact the Lord we praise.
Onegin was, as many thought,
(these many judged the youth a lot)
A fine smart man, a little stiff,
A one who had a lucky gift
To walk along with th'world small talk
And argue with "done-that"s' fog,
To cause the ladies' smiles
With a burst of funny rhymes.




VI



The Latin's not in fashion now,
And if I should be writing truth,
He knew enough to put things down,
To craft some poems worth of use,
To chat a bit of Juvenale,
To sign a letter with a 'vale',
Could cite (though with a pause)
From Aeneid a little dose.
He didn't like historic dust,
From the Creation and so forth,
How long ago looked like the Earth,
But anecdotes - his real lust,
The scores of them till our days
Evgeniy's memory thus saves.




VII



Nor being gifted with the passion,
That's strong enough to burn in rhymes,
We couldn't teach him how to differ
The music of poetic size.
He scolded Homer, Pheocrith,
But praised the work of Adam Smith.
He was a good economist,
E.g. he had a clue amidst
The ways a state becometh richer
And why it doesn't have to feature
Wealth in gold in treasury
But should in terms of goods measure it.
His father didn't get all these
And lands were gone to pawn and lease.




VIII



All skills that had my friend Evgeniy
I won't enclose for they are many
But where ingenious he was,
The science he knew as well as gods,
What was to him from early days,
A labor, pleasure, mystic maze,
What took his time from dawn till dawn,
What entertained him all along -
That was the science of tender passion,
So praised by Nazonus the Poet,
Exiled away, away for it,
Away to Moldova's wild step
Away from Italy's home lap.




IX



........................................



X



How early learnt the art to mimic,
The art to desperate and hope,
To be all faithful and cynic,
To seem sometimes he lacks a rope,
To be once proud, then all humble,
To touch your heart, then have it crumble,
How wordy was he being silent,
In speech he sparkled like a diamond,
In passion notes how was he tender,
While living one, while loving one,
Forgets himself for darling dame.
And in his eyes reflects her splendor,
And how he's bold and shy and dear,
Concluding looks with servile tears.




XI



How good he was in staying fresh,
Amazing modesty is easy,
To frighten with a desperate dash,
With flattery make feel you dizzy,
To catch the moment of excitement,
To try to strip the moral garment,
To win with passion and cold mind
With innocent upbringing fight,
Demanding, praying for a 'yes',
To listen how the heart is beating,
And get agreement for a meeting
(All after shadowing and chase),
And after that with hungry valence
To give her lessons in the silence!




XII



How young he was when learnt to hush
The hearts of women, young and not,
And easy was for him to crush
The other men with acid mots,
If dared they to cross with him!
His traps are poisonous, firm!
But you, naive and simple men,
Still kept Evgeniy as a friend,
He was a guest of honor for
A cheated husband,
Cheating husband,
The one who weekly pays a whore,
And fat old folks who're always glad
With having wife and being fed.




XIII. XIV

..........................................




XV



He used to lay still in the bed,
Receiving cards and reading letters,
Three invitations daily had
Three households write that he matters,
One to a party, one to ball...
So where should Evgeniy go?
It doesn't matter where go first,
He'll pay a visit t'every host,
But now so far he's dressed for walking,
In a stylish hat on rendezvous,
Evgeniy's out to Avenue,
Enjoying air and no talking.
He stays out there till the watch
Rings time for lunch and shot of scotch.




XVI



It's dark by now; in sleigh he climbs,
'Go, go!' - the driver yells at horses,
Evgeniy's fur coat's silverazed
With diamond dust of Russian frosties.
Now he's headed to Talon's, where
His pale Kaverin waits out there.
He enters. The bottle cork hits th'ceiling,
Knocked out by its seething filling.
In front of him a stake with blood,
And truffles - (dainties for him)-
The best of th'best of French cuisine,
And Strasburg pie - the treat of gods-
And Limbourg cheese with touch of molding,
And a pineapple, cut and golden.




XVII



And more of goblets the thirst's demanding,
To cool the heat in belly,
But here's a clock a message sending:
It's time to go to th'Ballet.
As an evil demon of the stage,
In actresses' chasing being a mage,
A dark warlord behind the scenes,
Who's ready get it with all means,
Evgeniy's on the way th'Ballet,
The place where liberties and fairies
Rule, and chock in claps just any dance
Is quite O.K., and hence
A viewer's a participant
(And feels a lot more important)




XVIII



....................................




XIX



My goddesses where are you now?
Please be my humble prayers facing.
Are you the same or other fairies somehow
Took votre place, but not replacing.
And will I ever be seduced
While watching dancing Russian muse,
Your souls' inspired flight,
Or bored eye shall not then find
Familiar faces in the show,
And, gazing at the others' f(t
Through a fatigue lorgnette,
I, being in my spirits low,
I will be yawning all along,
Recalling days that now are gone.




XX



The house's full. The boxes packed with diamonds and fashions
The pit is boiling, crowded and loud,
The stalls are clapping with impatience,
And here it is -- the curtain is on rise with sound.
Amazing, airy and radiant
To move of magic bow obedient
Istomina, surrounded by nymphs,
Is flying on some wings, not limbs,
While touching stage with one of feet,
She jumps and in the air flits,
And dances like a dawn or feather,
Or is it body's song? Or either?




XXI



Burst of applause. Onegin enters,
And makes his way on someone's feet.
And through th'lorgnette he glances
To study ladies in the pit.
He looked all the circles through,
He is upset -- there're beauties not a few.
Then he exchanged bows with the men around,
And no vogue dresses found.
And after that he took,
While yawning
For the show was boring,
At the stage a vacant look:
"I'm sick with ballets" -- so he said-
"And down with music and all that"




XXII



While cupids, devils, serpents
Still do the noise in the show,
While tired footmen sleep by th'entrance
On fur-coats, hiding from the snow,
And while spectators haven't yet
On their places calmly sat,
And while the streetlights still are on
To be alive from dusk till dawn
And horses hoof and neigh
For they are harnessed to the sleigh
And coachmen move around the fire
And gossip of those who them hired,
Look! Onegin's walking out all alone-
To get dressed up he's headed home.




XXIII



May I describe in a truthful manner
The study, closed for everyone
Where chaperoned by vogue Evgeniy
Plays lead in dressing ritual,
Where all sophisticated items laid-
That picky London has to trade
For our wood and lard and fat-
The ones we through the Baltic get,
And what's invented a Paris
For fun and pleasure there you see
At an eighteen-year-old
Philosopher's treshold.




XXIV



Constantinople pipes with amber
And china, bronze out there exhumed
And the delight of coddled temper --
A crystal bottle of perfume,
And combs, and scissors, files for nails -
Accessories a dandy hails,
And thirty kinds of different brushes --
A real person never rushes.
Rousseau (I say it by the way)
Had never got how formal Grim
Could clean his nails in front of him.
Though eloquent, but there he may
Be wrong about the case
Despite the wisdom of his face




XXV



One can be nice and thinking person
And care of the shape of nails.
What for shall one confront the era?
Against the customs person fails.
Evgeniy's a second Chaahdaev, sought
Afraid be viewed as someone odd,
Perfection, pedantry in clothes
And as a dandy always goes.
At least he spent three hours daily
In front of looking-glass
Exterminating mess and fuss
Until he looks like Venus airy
When she put on a virile suit
And off to masquerade as a dude.




XXVI



I might be having your attention
Describing fine Evgeniy's looks:
The suit made up to the latest fashion
(of course you know it not from books)
I'm not to teach, I am to draw --
Description's what I here for.
But frac, gilet and pantalons
This words in Russian make me frown
And as I see ( and I am sorry)
That rhymes I use are full
Of borrowed words and broken rules.
I beg forgiveness for these follies
Though I used to have a look
Into the thick linguistic book.




XXVII



But let us drop linguistic edits
We'd rather hurry to the ball
To which Evgeniy's carriage's headed
Along the houses in snow,
Along St.Petersburg's ice streets
On which the East with Europe meets,
And carriage's lanterns bring the light
Into the gloomy winter night
And paint rainbows on the rime:
A mansion lighted all around
With diamonds of lanterns crowned
And one can see from time to time
Profiles of fashionable heads
Of ladies and eccentric lads.




XXVIII



Have had approached the entrance hall,
He passed the porter like an arrow,
Flew over stair steps to the ball,
While with his hands he did the hair.
At last he's there, and there's a crowd,
The music's tired but still loud,
The folks are busy with the dances,
It's stuffed, and noisy, and glances
Are easily responded to,
The ladies whirl in tact to beat,
And sights of officers them hit,
But still they take it as their due.
And violins' uproar suppresses
Those wives who gossip bout the dances




XXIX



In days bygone of mirth and wishes
I used to be into the balls
For they're the best without suspicions
To pass the secret passion notes.
To you, my dear wives and men,
To you my service's offered then.
Please, pay attention to my words -
I want to warn you of what hurts.
And you, oh mothers, also take
A closer look at your own girls -
The world reserves some painful falls,
Avoid them for goodness sake!
I write these things for I have not
Been sinning for l(ng, dear Lord.




XXX



Alas, on worldly entertainment
I've spent a lot of my lifetime,
And if there weren't degradation
I'd keep on loving balls as fine.
I love their youthfulness and glitter,
And joy, and every crowded meter,
And ladies' thought-through dress,
And love their legs, but shall confess -
One hardly can in Russia find
Some slender legs (it's fact, not fable)
But I for a long time was unable
To forget one pair that looks pleasing sight.
And sad, already cool and chilled, my heart
In dreams gets pierced with their dart.




XXXI



And when, in what unlucky hour
One can forget you? I don't believe it much.
Oh legs, oh feet, I wish to be the flower
You've stepped onto and left your touch.
You were cherished in oriental bliss,
But in the snowy northern mist
You've left no trace:
The carpet's lavish, tender face
And their softness were your domain.
I did neglect because of you
Not long ago ambitions, due,
The land of fathers, wishes, fame.
The youthful happiness dissolved as if it was a glimpse
Like on the meadows disappeared your footprints.




XXXII



Diana's breast, and Flora's cheeks,
My friends, they're truly good,
But spot where is my sight's fix
Is Terpsichore's foot.
While it prophesies me a sort
Of valuable reward,
It does attract a hive of wishes
With its beauty - solemn, precious.
I love them, dear friend Elvina,
Deep-hidden under tablecloth,
In springtime next to grass and moss,
By fireplace, seducing poor sinner,
Reflected in the glass of floor,
And on the rocks along seashore.




XXXIII



I recollect the sea before the storm,
I envied waves that lilac day,
The waves that rush, they're crowned with the foam,
To knee in front of her and stay.
I wish I were a wave to touch
In kiss her feet, I wish so much!
No, never in the burning days
Of boiling youth I had this craze
To wish with such a self-contempt
To kiss the fairies, face to face,
Or roses of their cheeks that blaze,
Or breasts that so seduce and tempt,-
No, never juggernaught of passion
Struck me with such a wild aggression.




XXXIV



I recollect some other days!
In very cherished dreams of mine,
I kiss her, drowned in happiness,
I feel her legs in hands, and sigh.
Again imagination's seething:
Her softest touch and slightest breathing,
Have pushed the blood in fainted heart.
Again the bore, ones more love's start.
Enough of gabbling on my lyre
To celebrate the haughty ones
For they're not worthy of the fire
And songs for which inspire us.
The words and sights of enchantress
Are as delusive as her legs.




XXXV



But where's Evgeniy? Half-asleep,
To bed place from the ball he's going.
The city's eyelids never meet,
And drums awaken all by rolling.
Wakes up a merchant, peddlers do,
The cabmen pass by down the rue,
Milk vendors hurry with the jugs. In dawn
The crispy snow is heard when is stepped on.
The morning's noise bids farewell to night,
The shatters are open; the chimney's smoke
Is rising up like a thick pale blue rope.
The German baker, dressed tidy and all-right,
Sits in a cotton cap, indifferent to fuss,
And greets the folks through open vasisdas.




XXXVI



Worn out by the noise at the ball,
Onegin turned the dawn into the midst of night,
Now calmly sleeps, where shade has blissful fall,
Was born to luxury, not freight.
He will wake up long after sunny noon.
The preset, same agenda is his doom
The life is steady, with only few surprises:
What's gone will come tomorrow when the Sun rises.
With freedom, living his best days,
Amidst the victories that paved his pace,
Amidst the fun and leisure
Was there happiness to measure?
Was there a thing that caused unrest
In Onegin's life's ongoing fest?




XXXVII



No. His senses were blunted early,
The world's small talk has wearied him,
The beauties are no longer storming
His mind and cause his heart to steam.
The infidelity and cheating... Bore.
His friends are dull, and friendship sore
For he wasn't able all the time
To pour champagne on Strasbourg pie
And joke with sharp and acid words
When headache so much hurts.
Though he's a playboy, he came to disguise
His old days habits - swords and whist.




XXXVIII



The cause of this decease's unseen
The diagnosis - always solid:
The English word for that is spleen,
Khandrah is what the Russians call it.
And step by step the spleen took over,
But, praise the Lord, his mind was sober
Not to let him shoot himself at head
But he lost interest in life, as Byron said
Did Child-Harold so languid and morose,
Evgeniy came to salons, balls
And neither ladies' passion calls
Nor gossips, card games, poetry or prose
Was touching him enough --
He didn't care 'bout the stuff.




XXXIX. XL. XLII



................................................




XLII



Oh those chic ladies of the world!
He could not take you any more
And hid from noones chained in gold --
Sophisticated chitchat's such a bore!
Though there could be some dame
Interpreting Say and Bent(m,
But as a rule what they discuss
Is aggravating, but innocent nonsense, alas!
Besides, they are so chaste and pure,
Majestic, full of intellect,
So pious, so politically correct,
So thoughtful that no man can lure
Them. When I look at them I grim -
Seeing those causes severe spleen.




XLIII



And you, so beautiful young women
Who disappear late in night
On Petersburg's streets gleaming
In a midnight carriage ride -
Evgeniy left you just as well.
And lonely decided he to dwell
Without pleasures in a hermit den.
Once, yawning, he took up a pen,
Up to tryouts did some writing,
But working hard has made him sick -
The born was shallow, very weak,
And thus he didn't join the mighty
And roaring guild of those whom I shall judge no way
For I belong to it, and there I should stay.




XLIV



Again, devoted to the bore,
Was restless with emptiness of soul,
He started with a laudable goal
Assuming other's wisdom as his own.
A bunch of books he seated on the shelf,
And read them avidly outloud, to himself,
And thought - this one is dull, the other is deceiving,
That one is delusion with no meaning.
It seemed the authors were feeding
The old ideas as out-dated,
And new ones as very much belated.
As well as women, he gave up on reading,
And covered then the shelf with cloth,
Thus hid the books to feed the moth.




XLV



Have rioted against the social demands,
And like Onegin tired with the crowd,
I met Evgeniy, we made friends,
I liked him much without a doubt.
I liked his undeliberate allegiance to his dreams,
And that original eccentrity of his,
His cold and acid-sharpened mind.
My heart was angry, his also had no trace of light.
The game of vanities we both knew well,
And life itself was wearing us out,
No song was sang in our hearts out loud,
We both expected later on to smell
The spite of Fortune, for she's blind,
And the spite of the mankind.




XLVI



Who lived and thought, he cannot help
Despising men at heart in chest,
The one who pain and love had felt
Is haunted by the ghost of past.
He has no more of great illusions,
The memory brings him confusions,
And the remorse him tantalizes --
These features add to dialog with him some spices.
At first, Onegin's manner to behave
Embarrassed me, but later I got used
To caustic his remarks; I got amused
With how he joked with bile, and how he gave
Birth to many mordant epigrams
That caused some laughter and some damns.




XLVII



How often in the summertime
The Neva night skies are so transparent and cyan,
The broken water glass does not reflect that fine
The Moon - the sole domain of Diane.
And we slipped into days that now are gone,
Recalling gone affairs with a mourn,
Recalling love, that struck the heart with joy and grief
And we became again more sensible and youthfully naive,
We saturated in the silence, being deaf and mute,
The viscous breath of night,
As if a prisoner who flies into the wood
When he's about to take to Morpheus a ride.
And so did we. We fled to the beginning of the youth
Led by the dream by which we were seduced.




XLVIII



And with his heart full of regrets,
Onegin leaned onto the bank's granite
'Through meditation guts he gets'-
As a poet once had rhymed.
It was so quiet. It was only heard
As the night guards were on the full alert,
And coaches' soft and distant rumble
From Millionannaya occasionally mumbled.
And down the sleepy river a boat slid,
Flapping with her wooden oars,
She charmed us with a distant chorus
Of a clarion and song that meet...
But I prefer above those catchy rhythms
The song and euphony of Torquato's hymns.




XLIX



The Adriatic sea, the Brenta,
Again I see you turquoise blaze.
My soul gets filled with inspiration
When their voice reaches my face.
The voice's sacred for Apollo's descendants,
I am familiar with it due to Byron's lyre crescendos,
I know it well as if we are related.
When daytime light in Italy has faded,
I will enjoy Italian nights' bliss
And a Venetian beautiful young miss,
Who's talkative, then calm and taciturn
When we sail in a gondola. My lips then start to burn
With the language of Petrarch, tongue of love,
No one knows it but the lovers and the dove.




L



Will there be the day when I am free?
It is the time! - I call for it, I cry,
I wait for wind, I walk along the sea,
Allure the sails of vessels passing by.
When will I start my run, that's free and wild,
Arguing with billows during my glide
On the face of the restless sea? -
Away from the boring shore I need to flee
(And my dislike of it's on rise)
And be amidst African hot sands
In my forbears' native lands,
And there recall the murky Russian skies
Under which I suffered and I loved
And where I bured my broken heart.




LI



Onegin said that he was ready
With me to travel other lands,
But we by chance got separated
For long time though we had been friends.
His father died and left a desert:
In front of Evgeniy got gathered
A hungry regiment of lenders,
Who were there own's defenders.
Onegin, in disguise of suits and courts,
Gave them the legacy, preferring peace to swords,
Still kept on being happy with the state of things
Not seeing a big loss in it as winds
Had gossiped (and he overheard)
That his beloved uncle soon would see the Lord.




LII



Indeed, he got one day
From the manager a note:
The uncle soon will pass away,
His nephew's farewell then he sought.
At once, as soon as finished reading,
Evgeniy parted for the meeting,
He rushed headlong with the post-chaise,
And yawned, foreseeing boring days,
And for the money got prepared
To sigh, deceive and worry
(With these I have begun the story)
But when arrived - no longer cared:
The uncle was already dead
And on the table he was laid.




LIII



He found the courtyard full of people
From all the places nearby,
Both friends and rivals were coming
To mourn a little and to dine,
Then left for home with dignity and grace
As have fulfilled their duty with all As.
Onegin now in countryside resides.
And woods, and rivers, factories and land
Belong to him, though he had been forehand
With any order in non-ending fights.
He welcomes changes in the way he lived:
At least there is a slightest drift.




LIV



For two successive days secluded fields
Seemed new and fresh to him
As well as shady oak trees,
And murmur of a quiet spring.
But on the third, the field, the grove, the hill
Caused his heart not a thing to feel.
They made him sleepy later on,
He realized that he was wrong;
The countryside is boring just as well.
Though there - no palaces, no streets,
No balls, no poems with their wits.
The bore is guarding by his cell,
Or follows him as shadow does
Or a wife that too much loves.




LV



Well, I was born for peaceful life,
For soft bucolic soundlessness,
Where my voice sounds stronger
And dreams are full of vividness.
And being fully into leisure,
I wander by the lake for pleasure,
And far niente as a law I'm taking.
And every morning I'm awaken
For feeling great, and free, and strong.
I read a little, sleep a lot,
I seek no fame I could have got.
And have I spent the years gone
In doing nothing, in the shade,
The days of mine, that were great?




LVI



Oh flowers, love, oh fields and leisure-
My heart is yours or even more so.
I'd like to note: the gap quite wide to measure
Exists between Onegin and the author.
For if it happens that a mocking avid reader,
Or a publisher of witty-crafted litter,
Compares then my features to Onegin's,
And will conclude and spread the word
That it's my portrait what I wrote
Like Byron did, as if we cannot ever since
Write poems 'bout all other things
Except for our precious ego
With which we have vertigo.




LVII



All poets, by the way I note,
Are friends with love, that never is disturbed.
I dreamt 'bout nice things quite a lot,
And their secret images my soul has preserved.
The muse refreshed the images in me,
And I (so careless) sang praise and plea
Both to the girl of mounts, who doesn't ever fear,
And to the beauties imprisoned on the banks of the Salgir.
And nowadays I hear from you, friends,
A question asked quite often:
Who caused your lyre to sigh and heart to soften?
Who is the one you want to kiss in dance?
Who is the one among that jealous crowd,
Who has inspired you to play your lyre so loud?




LVIII



Whose sights have caused your inspiration?
Who has awarded you with touch
For how you sang so thoughtfully with passion,
To whom your poetry's been worshiping so much?
She is no one, there isn't any one.
Love's madness, and distortion and the fun
I have experienced in vain.
Be blessed the one who managed to contain
Both loving and the fever of the rhyme:
He doubles the poetry's sacred delusion
And is a Petrarch's follower with no confusion,
Thus he reduces pain in heart. This very time
He begets the fame. But I am not that kind of dude-
When I'm in love - I'm dumb and mute.




LIX



When love was gone, the muse stood up in front,
The murky mind became more clear,
I'm free again and searching for concord
Of senses, thoughts, and sounds of magic that are dear.
The heart's not sad when I write,
The pen, half-conscious, by the side
Of poems draws no more seducing eyes,
Or women legs, or their profiles.
Extinguished ashes will light up no more,
I am still sad, though tears aren't seen,
And very soon the storm will dim
Inside my soul - it shall not sore.
And there in writing I will strive
To craft some verses - maybe twenty five.




LX



I've thought about the story's plot
And what will name the hero,
And now you see what I have wrote:
The chapter number one is here.
I looked it through, I was severe:
The contradiction are, but, well, I fear
I won't correct them - they amuse,
Thus paying sensors their dues.
And will give up my own creation
To journalists for humiliation.
Now go, go to the Neva banks
And earn me fame, and earn me thanks,
And the rest of the homage of glory:
Noise, gossips and eternal worry.




CHAPTER II





I

The country where Eugeniy lived in bore
Was place of lavish, tranquil nature
Its sky would bless the one who has a secret lore
Of simple joy of its majestic stature.
The master's mansion lonely, by river stood,
Where not a wind it reach there could
In front of it as far as one's eye sees,
Spread meadows, framed with trees,
And fields of many shades of gold,
And villages; and here and there
The cattle rambled everywhere,
And orchard, though unkempt and old
Grew by the mansion. Taciturn dryads
Found in the orchard shelter for their heads.



II

The estate's mansion had been built
The way such buildings are to be erected:
Was mighty firm, with calmness filled,
And by the good ol' fashion was effected.
In every room high ceilings were,
Wall papers from Damascus were there,
And Royal portraits hang on walls,
And motley tiles were decorating stoves.
But everything has fallen now into decay,
I don't know why that happened so.
My friend didn't care 'bout the house though
I should take notice by the way
For old-style fashioned rooms bored him
As bad as modern ones he'd seen.



III

He took the room in which for 4 decades
The country-side old-timer wrangled
With housekeeper, mistress to all keys and spades,
Looked at the window, flies he strangled.
The furnishing was simple: on the oak floor
Stood a bookcase, cupboard, sofa and bureau
On them had not been smallest ink-spot left.
Onegin opened bookcase not bereft:
He found expenses-book recorded up-to-date,
And in the cupboard - fruit moonshine,
And row of jugs of apple wine,
Expired calendar for year 18 and 08
As was too busy the old man now gone
To be to other kinds of reading prone.



IV

Amidst his vast domains alone,
To pass his spear time,
Eugeniy sought establishing new law,
New order of some kind.
A sage of place at back of the beyond,
He substituted the corvee's old bond
With quit-rent easy to be paid;
The serf then started thanking fate.
But in his home at once got pauted
Perceiving awful harm in what Onegin did
A thrifty neighbor. Another one just hid
An archly smile observing what Eugeniy started.
But out loud decision t'which they all agreed:
Onegin's an eccentric, dang'rous kid.



V

At first all neighbours came to visit.
But once hoofs clattered down the road
Onegin had Don stallion exquisite
Sent up to back porch and was gone.
The neighbours soon got hurt, insulted
Amicability was halted
And word-to-mouth passed a notion
(and many shared this emotion):
Onegin's full of extravagance,
He's ignoramus, un mason,
With red wine has strong liason,
And never kisses ladies' hands
And never uses 'nay' or 'yes'
As only 'nope' and 'yeah' he says.



VI

That very time to near-by estate
Arrived its new land-lord.
The neighbours rated him the same
And put him on the spot.
Vladimir Lensky was the name of man,
His soul coined in that German Gettingen,
Was handsome in the age of bloom
Kant's devotee, a poet of the gloom,
He brought from Germany a lot
Fruits of enlighted education:
Dreams vague about liberalization,
L'esprit of passion, l'esprit odd,
And burlesque manner of the speech
And curly darkish hair that his shoulders reach



VII

He hasn't been yet burned and faded
With world's hypocrisy and lies
As soul was warmed and well protected
By friends and young shy ladies' smiles;
At heart he cutely knew a thing,
As rose of hope there grew within,
Yet captured was his avid mind
By shine of world, its glitter side.
With most enlighted visions, sweetest dreams
He pacified all doubts of his soul;
He searched for porpose of the life, its goal,
And tried to hack enigma of the realms.
In doing that he racked his brains,
Suspecting miracles and saints.



VIII

With all his heart Vladimir then believed
There's a mate soul with which he is to join.
Until that day the soul had to live
Without joy and crawing for the moment.
His friends, he thought, would go to prison
If thus defend his honor they had reason
And they would fight against insulting rumour
That him defames the way does cancer tumor.
He knew there were chosen guides,
Some chosen friends of the mankind.
One day, immortal, they, with brightest light
That passes far to all the sides,
Would gift the world salvation with its ray.
He knew - there had to be such day.



IX

From early days his blood was steaming
With fury, passion and regret,
He loved the good to which was leaning
As was to glory, sweet and sad.
He traveled world, rolled like a dice,
Beneath the Schiller-Goethe skies,
And with their poetic fire
His soul flamed as did his lyre.
He was no shame, -of lucky him! -
To airy muses of creative
In songs of his was pride of native
Pure snow-white virgin dream,
And songs to village versus city
And that cute simpli-city.



X

Its humble slave, he sang to love
His song - celestially clear
Like thoughts of virgin 'bout a dove
Like dreams of infant, sweet and dear,
Like sailing goddess of the gloom,
Of mysteries and sighs - the Moon.
He sang of missed ones, storm del mar,
Of something, of the murky far
And of the roses of romance;
He sang of lands of far away,
Where had in silence cried by day,
Where tears fallen; hence,
Of faded colours of the world,
Not being 18 years old.



XI

In desert where Onegin only
Could value Lensky's gifts,
The latter couldn't stand the phony
Their neighbours' feasts and eats.
As in discussion covered topics
Were not the jewels of rhetorics,
But decent chat of harvest, kin,
Wine, dogs and dreams had seen.
Although it didn't provide the flame,
The passion of poetic strength,
It wasn't sharp or smart or tense,
But mostly mundane and the same
What their good wives chit-chatted 'bout
Was much more worse and much more loud.



XII

As rich and handsome, Lensky was received
In every house as perspective groom;
Such was tradition in the countryside perceived
And every neighbour's daughter in the bloom
Intended was for fellow semi-Russian;
If he comes over then at once discussion
By little, like the slightest tingle,
Turns to drawbacks of being single;
And then he's called to samovar
And Dunya serves the drink,
They wisper 'Girl, observe!' and wink
Then bring to her guitar,
And good my Lord! she starts to squeek:
To golden palace come for me to seek!



XIII

But Lensky didn't want, of course,
To ties of marriage to be bound,
But sought becoming bit more close
With E.Onegin, which was found.
Made friends. But stone and waves,
The coldest ice and hottest flames
Have more in common, differ less;
At first, it bored them to death
Then came to liking one another,
And every day they side by side
Joined for a horseback-ride
Until became unseparatable rather.
So people (I'm first t'confess to you)
Make friends because of nothing else to do.



XIV

Friendship like this exists no more.
As with the prejudice we're done,
We view the rest as round zero
Regarding ourselves as 'one'.
We aim at Napoleon to be;
Bipedal creatures millions we see
As simple tools fulfilling our plans.
We view as alien and funny feelings, sense.
Evgeniy was bearable compared to the rest;
Though he knew well the human kind
And as a rule held it in contempt and out of sight
But (as exemption t'every rule or test)
He did distinguish rare, rare men,
And even he respected some of them.



XV

He listened t'Lensky with a smile,
To poet's fervent, ardent speech,
Observed his mind in search for "why",
Inspired sight and cheeks of peach.
Onegin found these were new for him;
While he did try to cool his steam
With words reserved prepared in advance
But thought: "I'd be so stupid taking chance
To meddle in his temporary bliss; Oh, Lord!
Without me that time will come;
Let him be odd, be dreamy and be rum,
Believing in the perfect world;
Let us forgive youth's fever and illusion
As well as youth' excitement and delusion.



XVI

Just everything could lead to verbal fights,
To meditation, revelation and upheaval:
Some treaties of some vanished tribes,
The fruits of science, the good and evil,
And superstitions ages old,
Enigmae of sepulchre deathly cold,
The fate and life in their turn
Their car'ful judgement undergone.
The poet in the ardour of discourse
En reverie read out-loud verses -
Of northern poets cited clauses.
Onegin, he, despite was used to prose,
Did heed him diligently though did not
Get words and issues he then heard



XVII

And often passions, hot and cool,
Preoccupied my hermits' minds.
Once freed of their restless rule,
Onegin spoke of them sometimes
With sigh of pity and regret.
Is blessed the one who passions had
But left them after all; a lot
More blessed the one who had them not,
Who cooled his love with distant journey,
His rivals cooled with irony and puns,
Who was not jealous even once
While with his friends and wife was yawning
Who did not trust the legacy he got
To cunning cards and fickle lot.



XVIII

When all of us become allied
Around banner of judicious quiet
When flames of passion in the heart subside
We laugh at passion's willful riot,
Its gust and its belated comments
And passion's little acid torments. -
When we surrender having no concession,
Sometimes to others' tongue of passion
We love to listen, love to hear.-
It touches softly our heart.
Likewise forgotten in his hut
Old crippled man so gladly gives his ear
To stories brought him in rush
By some young men avec moustache



XIX

Likewise cannot conceal a thing
That flashy and flamboyant youth.
They'll bring out their joy and grim
And love without a permission or excuse.
Considering himself a kind of love-impared,
Onegin listen'd thoughtfully as if he cared
To deepest secrets poet told -
He loved t'confess and have his heart unfold;
His candid conscience
He bared in a way naive.
Onegin easily archived
Access to poet story, wild like oceans,
About his love so turbulent and rich -
For us familiar for long. To it now let us switch.



XX

Oh, how he loved! He loved in such a way
Nobody does in our time.
To such a love is sentenced by to-day
Few poets fervent soul for an unmentioned crime:
Always and everywhere - dreaming, fever, fire,
And that familiar desire
And that familiar sad look.
And neither distant trip he took,
Nor years and years of separation,
Nor hours dedicated to the muse,
Nor to the fun (he tried himself t'amuse),
Nor foreign lands, nor to the studies dedication
Could him disperse, could alter poet's soul
Warmed by pure virgin fire on the whole



XXI

When hardly into teens, by Olga captured,
Not knowing yet how heart may hurt,
He was a witness humble, yet enraptured,
Of games she played, of toys she got.
And in the shade of oak-wood
Together play the games they would.
And neighbours, parents, after all
Foretold them t'join under wedding toll.
Deep in the country under humble seal
Filled with innocence she grew,
And was in dear parents' view
A blooming secret lily, fair daffodil,
Concealed in high and wild field weed
Unknown to butterflies and bees it hid.



XXII

She was the first to gift the poet
With dream of passionate delight,
The thought she caused was first t'be followed
By moan of the poet's pipe.
Farewell, oh games of days of gold!
He fell in love with groves that old,
With solitude, with silence, gloom,
And night, and stars, and Moon.
The Moon - the heaven's icon-lamp
To which we used to dedicate
Walks in the dusk and in the shade
And tears - consolation of the ramp
But now we see in it a mere substitute
For lanterns wan: too big, but cute.



XXIII

She's always modest, always is agreeing,
And cheerful like the morning sun,
Like poet's life is open, not a thing concealing,
Nice like a kiss of love that's just begun.
Her eyes are blue like springtime skies;
The smile, and flaxen locks, again - the eyes
And movements, voice, slender waist-
These all you'll find in Olga But don't waste
Your time, just open any of heart-braking books,
There must be her por-trait, I bet,
Once real love for such I had,
But now am tired of these standard looks;
Now let me, dear miss or mister,
Proceed with you to Olga's elder sister.



XXIV

The sister was baptized Tatyana
We must be first a name like that
To put on tender pages of the piano
Novel, and there's nothing to be smiling at.
What's wrong with it? It's nice, it has the sound,
But, yes, I know this name's a sort of bound
To times long gone, to things now out of fashion,
To servant rooms! We all must make confession:
There isn't much of taste been left
In ourselves, in our names (and might
Be in the poetry we write):
For us enlightenment is time-theft,
All what we learn is questionable art
Of being finical and not too smart.



XXV

But, anyway, Tatyana was her name.
She had nom beauty of her sister,
Nor rosy freshness equally same,
T'attract of glances twister.
Wild, sad, and taciturn, not vivid,
Like forest dear timid,
She seemed a stranger in her home,
Among her family - alone.
She didn't know how to caress
Her father and her mother,
As kid she'd stand alone than with the other
Kids play in noise and in mess.
And often lonely all the day
By window silently she could there stay.



XXVI

And pensiveness, her dear friend
From cradle days she was a baby
Filled up her spare-time content
With dreams as if a fairy, maybe.
Her softest fingers never touched a needle,
On tambour plate appeared no silk riddle,
Nor pattern did as neither did design,
However vivid was or fine.
A sign of future wish to rule,
With servile dolls a kid prepares
Through games to make no stupid errors
Along the traps of which the world is full.
And to the doll retells a daughter (or a son)
The lesson's just been taught by Mom.



XXVII

But even as a kid Tatyana never
Played with a doll or happened to discuss
With her new fashions what-so-ever
Or city news, its gossips or its fuss.
She didn't like t'engage in follies
Or other games with other kids; but horror stories
Were what did capture young girl's mind
In winter long and scary night.
When nanny gathered on wide lawn
For Olga little girls she had befriended,
To play with them Tatyana not intended
Preferring t'stay somewhere, be alone
For bored she was with pals' loud laughter
And noisy games that followed after.



XXVIII

To greet Aurora coming out,
She loved to stand on balcony before sunrise,
In time when stars seem just to be about
To fade away on getting pale high skies,
When edge of earth lights up so low
And wind, dawn's partner, starts to blow,
When day his power starts t'embark.
In winter, when the lightless dark
Possesses hemisphere longer,
And longer dreams the lazy East
In silence calm with Moon in mist
When cold grows faster stronger,
She woke in neither morning nor in night
And had the bedside candle light.



XXIX

Since days of childhood she was into books,
They substituted her the life itself.
She fell in love with stories of two crooks,
Rousseau and Richardson, in novels on her shelf.
Her father was good man, a decent one,
Left in the century just passed, its son,
No harm in books he ever could perceive
As never touched a single printed leaf.
He thought them be a trifle, kind of toy,
He never slightest care took
What was his daughter secret book
Laid under pillow, calm and coy.
His wife was woman kind of such
That loved old Richardson so much



XXX

She loved the books by Richardson
But not because them read, alas,
Nor due to fact that Grandison
She would prefer to old Lovlas.
But long ago princess Aline,
Her moscow cousin very fine,
Did talk a lot about them.
Was fiance her man back then,
But she longed for another person,
Who looked more handsome and refined,
Attracted her with more profound mind,
Who seemed to her a way more awesome:
This Grandison, who was that fine and smart,
Was quite a gambler and a sergeant in the guard.



XXXI

Like his outfits, her dresses were
Well-made and followed couture haut;
But there was none of her opinion to care
And to the altar girl was brought.
To make her sorrow gradually fade,
The clever husband too her to estate
That was quite far from city in the countryside
Where she amongst some strangers had t'reside.
At first she cried, smashed china - was enraged,
And even tried to seek divorce,
But things went smoothly not bit worse,
In household routine she got engaged -
Got used. The habit is God's gift, it's His tribute:
To happiness it's equal substitute.



XXXII

The habit sweetened sorrow's pain
She'd thought she couldn't bear;
But soon she found out way
Placated her forever:
She by the way found out means
To rule husband unsuspecting this,
To govern him like autocrat -
And things went better after that.
She ran estate with iron hand,
Ran budget and conserved mush-rooms,
Shaved heads of servants, serves and grooms,
On Saturdays to banya went,
And beat her maids up when mad -
T'her husband not reporting that.



XXXIII

In albums of her friends and kin
She wrote with blood as ink in pen
And called Praskovia 'Pauline'
And spoke as if she sang,
She wore a corset though too tight,
And Russian 'N' t'pronounce liked
The nasal way French people do;
But soon got tired of these too;
And she forgot princess Aline
And corset, albums, poems she collected -
The touchy ones t'which girls so well reacted,
And called Akulka maid she used to call Seline,
And had remodeled a bonnet
And quilted housecoat she hidden had.



XXXIV

Her husband's love was very tender -
He cared not of what she did,
He trusted her, in business did not enter,
In dressing gown came dawn to eat;
His life flowed smoothly at a stable pace;
By evenings visited his place
Of neighbours friendly flock,
Friends with whom easy was to joke,
And gossip, and sometimes complain -
Thus time was spent;
And by the way was Olga sent
T'prepare tea for those who came,
Tea followed supper, then time approached to sleep,
And at this point guests would start to leave.



XXXV

In their life they didn't trait and didn't amend
The customs of the gracious past,
Had pancakes rich on winter's last weekend,
And twice a year they had fast,
They loved round dancing, round swing,
Folk songs at dinner table to sing,
On day of Trinity when people at the church
Would gather service there to watch,
To listen t'it concealing yawn,
When moved the two would sure drop
Three tears, then they'd stop;
Like air needed kvas alone,
At their table it was strictly quite observed
T'have their guests according to the rank be served.



XXXVI

In such a life they both were growing old.
And finally sepulchre's doors were opened
To let the husband in the darkness and in cold =
He left the family be orphan.
Before the dinner-time he gone,
A neighbour came, he came to mourn,
And mourned man's kids, his wife as well -
A way more faithful and sincere, I should tell.
He was a simple, good landlord,
And where his ashes now are laying
The tombstone there is saying:
'Dimitry Larin, slave of Lord,
A humble sinner and a brigadier,
He rests in peace beneath right here.'



XXXVII

When back to home Penates he came,
Vladimir visited the tombstone
That beared neighbour's humble name,
Sighed over ashes laid alone.
For many hours Lensky's heart remained sad
'Oh, Poor Yorick!- solemnly he said,-
He used to hold me in his arms,
As kid I played more times than ones
With medal for Ochakovo he'd got.
He wanted Olga marry me,
He wondered if he was that day to see'
And moved with gloom he never sought
Vladimir quickly after that inscribed
A tombstone madrigal of epitaphic type.



XXXVIII

And there as well, in tears, with a sad inscription
He honored ashes of beloved kin:
His father's memory, his mother's in addition
Alas! How much it's sad and grim,
As momentary harvest on the furrows of the life,
A generation cometh, growth t'meet sciecle's knife,
It follows the divine intent unknown,
And then it's followed by another to be grown
And so behaves the flippant tribe of us -
It grows, it moves, and boils, even dares
To push to grave its own forbears.
But soon enough the time will come, alas,
Grandchildren our will one lucky day
Push us all off world, push us away!



XXXIX

Enjoy this fragile life, my dear friends,
Enjoy it now while you are allowed!
I realize how far its insignificance extends,
I'm not attached to it - I state it out-loud!
I closed my eyes to phantams and illusion,
But vaguest hopes sometimes do bring confusion
In my old heart that beats in chest:
Without trace I'd be upset to rest
In peace, when I'm most fair Judge await.
I live and write not for a praise;
But seems to me, I should seek ways
To have some fame in my most humble fate,
To have at least a sound to remind
About Pushkin to the mankind



XL

Maybe one day it will be touching someone's heart;
And stanza I had written,
Preserved by fate, would not depart
To Hades, sink in Lethe or be smitten.
Or (that's a hope too flattering to me)
An ignoramus-then-to-be
Would point at my then renowned picture
And say without mock or stricture
'That was a poet, man, I'm tellin'. '
Accept my thanks, disciple of the muses,
The one whose memory then chooses
T'preserve my fleeting verse, maybe its spelling,
Whose gracious hand would pet
The laurels on the oldman's head!