Speaking In Tongues
Scribbling In Voices

Mikhail Lermontov

Translated by Boris Leyvi

A Sail
By Godly Fate We Meet Again...
A Jewish Melody

A Sail

A sail glooms, a pallid shroud,
A loner in the blue of seas.
What is he wondering about?
Is nothing left at home to miss?

And waves are playing, wind is shrilling,
The mast is bending with a creak.
He doesn't run from joyous feelings
And those feelings doesn't seek.

The bluest stream is down under,
The sun is raying golden glees.
And he, o rebel, begs for thunder,
As if in thunder there is peace!

* * *

By godly fate we meet again,
But what a bitter alteration:
The years, in a forlorn chain,
Are leaving us in desolation
I look for fire in your eyes
I yearn your soul's outburst
Aye! Just like me you have demised
In the lifetime's aweary thirst...



I love my homeland, but in the strangest way;
My intellect could never conquer it.
The fame, earned with my blood and pain,
The peace, full of the proud fit,
The dark old age and its devoted tales
Won't stir in me the blithe inspiring gales.
But I do love, what for I do not know,
Its cold terrains' perpetuating quiet,
Its endless woodlands’ oscillation tired
The sea-like rivers' wild overflows.
Along the rural paths I favor taking rides,
And with a slow glance impaling morbid darks,
The trembling village lights discover on the side,
While thinking where this time for board I will park.
I like the smoke from garnered fields,
The sledges sleeping in the steppe,
The birches growing on the hill
That occupies the grassland gap.
With joy, that people fathom not,
I feel the rush of threshing scenes,
The covered with foliage huts,
The ornamented window screens.
And on the evening of the fete
I like to watch till the midnight
The dance with tapping and a chat
Of drunken fellows on the side.

A Jewish Melody

Once I've seen, from afar, a nocturnal bright star
Reflect in a mirroring bay:
Trembles in water rays, and a silvering haze
Flees the light and exhales away.
Still, to capture don't try, all your wishes deny:
Sly are the rays and the tide;
And thy bodily shade will the fugitive fade,
Once you're gone — 'twill shine ever as bright.
Restless ghost of delight's tempting into the night,
Under the darkening skies.
Catch? — In jest, he will run; thou art fooled: he is gone.
Yet again: he's in front of thy eyes.