Speaking In Tongues
Guided by Voices


Translated by Andrey Kneller

To * * *

I still remember that amazing moment
When you appeared before my sight
As though a brief and fleeting omen,
Pure phantom in enchanting light.

Locked in the depression's hopeless captive,
In haste of clamorous processions,
I heard your voice -- soft and attractive.
And dreamt of your beloved expressions.

Time passed. In gusts, rebellious and active,
A tempest scattered my affections
And I forgot your voice attractive,
Your sacred and divine expressions.

Detained in darkness, isolation,
My days would slowly drag in strife.
With lack of faith and inspiration,
With lack of tears, and love and life.

My soul attained its waking moment:
You re-appeared before my sight,
As though a brief and fleeting omen,
Pure phantom in enchanting light.

And now, my heart, in fascination
Beats rapidly and finds alive:
Devout faith and inspiration,
And gentle tears and love and life.

To * * *

Don't ask me why alone in dismal thought
In times of mirth, I'm often filled with strife,
And why my weary stare is so distraught,
And why I don't enjoy the dream of life;

Don't ask me why my soul has slowly perished
And ceased to love the love that pleased me then
No longer can I call someone «my cherished» --
Who once has loved will never love again;

Who once felt bliss will never feel its essence,
A moment's happiness is all that we receive:
From youth, prosperity and joyful pleasance
All that is left is apathy and grief...


My days still linger, slow and rough
Each moment multiplies the sadness
Within the heart of hapless love
Disturbing all the hopes of madness
I'm silent; not a word I breathe.
I weep, my tears -- my consolation
My soul, held captive by the grief
Still finds delight in this sensation.
No longer do I care if life goes by,
O, hollow phantom into darkness flee;
The sorrow of my love is dear to me --
If I die loving, then I pray let die!

* * *

I've lived to see desire vanish,
With hope I've slowly grown to part,
And I am left with only anguish,
The fruit of emptiness at heart.

Under the storms of merciless fate
My thriving garland whithered lies --
In sadness, lonesome, I await:
How far away is my demise?

Thus, conquered by a tardy frost,
Through gale's whistling and shimmer,
Late, on a naked limb exposed
A lonesome leaf is left to quiver...

* * *

Oh what a night! The frost is creaking,
Across the sky no clouds are creeping;
The bluish dome, -- a knitted shade,
Is dazzled with the frequent stars.
All homes are dark. And every gate
Is safely locked with bolts and bars.
In folks tranquility's conveyed.
The noisy market now is calm,
The guarding dog just barks alone,
And with the loud chains it rumbles.

While all of Moscow sleeps in slumber,
The restlessness of fear forgetting.
The square, in murkiness of night,
Stands filled with yesterday's beheading.
The torture's imprints still abide:
Where yesterday a man was struck,
Where there are pitchforks, where there are
The cooled off cauldrons filled with tar;
Where there's a tumbled over block;
The metal teeth are sticking out,
And bones with ashes are consumed,
Upon the stakes, above the ground,
Dead bodies darken from the fume...
Not long ago, the blood was sliding
Pigmenting snow along the way
And languid moans were rising, rising,
But death embraced them, tranquilizing,
And overtook her easy prey.
Who's there? Whose horse is it that's speeding
Across the risky square in flight?
Whose blaring whistle, loud speaking
Is heard in twilight of the night?
Who's he? -- A slayer full of greed.
He gallops, hurries to his date,
By his desire made irate
He pleads: «My valiant, intrepid steed,
Fly like an arrow at full speed!
Oh faster, faster!..» The ardent horse
Just swung its mane, abruptly paused
And stopped. Between the posts
Upon the long and wooden crossbeam,
A corpse was swaying. And the horseman
Was ready to advance and cross,
But for some reason under lashes
The steed just sniffs and snorts and rushes
Back. «Where to?! Ahead, ahead!
What is with you! What is to dread?
Just yesterday, right here we'd ride,
Wasn't it us who stomped with pride,
Inflamed with vengance from afar,
The evil traitors of the czar?
It was their blood that we would use
To wash and clean your steely hoofs!
Have you forgotted all in spite?
My daring steed, this is your course
Now gallop, fly...» The tired horse
Under the corpse would slowly ride.

* * *

Alas! How come she's glimmering
With temporary, charming vibe?
It's evident that she is withering
While youth is blossoming with life...
Soon she will fade! Life of delight
Not very long she has to treasure;
And not for long will she provide
Her happy family with pleasure.
Her mellow wit will not abide
To energize our conversations
And with her soul, she won't subside
The sufferer's lamentations.
I hurry, still distraught in thought,
Concealing all of my dejection,
To catch her every cheerful word
And to delight in her perfection.
I watch her move, with admiration,
Perceive each sound from her soul
From every moment's separation
My tender heart becomes appalled.

* * *

I will be silenced soon!... If on the tragic day
The strings would answer me with pensive play;
If only youth, would mutely grasp me first,
They'd marvel at my love's affliction;
If you, aroused by a mere conviction,
In silence, mumbled melancholy verse
And loved my speaking heart in hover...
If I am loved... allow me, my dear friend,
My spirit to the parting lyre send --
The sacred name of my beloved lover!...
When with eternal sleep I will be stoned,
Above my grave then say in inflammation:
«He's loved by me and to me he was loaned
In songs and love's conclusive inspiration.»

* * *

If by life you were deceived,
Don't be dismal, don't be wild!
In the day of grief, be mild
Merry days will come, believe.

Heart is living in tomorrow;
Present is dejected here;
In a moment, passes sorrow;
That which passes will be dear.

* * *

My friend, forgotten are the fleeting era's prints
Forgotten is my youth's uprising flow
Don't question me on what I'm lacking since,
On what I felt in the times of joy and woe,
On what I loved, on how I was forlorn
I've yet to taste true joy, -- that is inborn;
But you are innocent! conceived for only bliss
Believe in it and seize each moment's portion
Your soul was made for friendship and devotion,
A passionate and loving kiss.
Your soul is pure and unexposed to sadness
Your conscience is as bright as any day
Why then perceive the lunacy and madness
Of the uninteresting hearsay?
It will replace your peace with aggravation
You'll tremble with your heart and cry in bed
Your soul will lose its trust in agitation
And you, perhaps... my love may grow to dread
Who knows? perhaps forever... No, my dear
I fear to cast the only joy away
Don't ask for dangerous confessions here
Today I love, I'm happy for today.

* * *

Don't covet goods of other beings --
My Goodness, You've commanded so;
The limits of my will You know --
Am I to manage tender feelings?!
I wish not to offend my friend, --
His village I do not desire,
And for his steer I don't aspire,
I'm gazing at it with content:
His men, his house and his cattle,
I'm tempted not, though all is great.
But let's imagine that his maid
Is beautiful... I've lost the battle!
And if by chance his lady's pretty
And gifted with an angel's skin
Then God forgive me for my sin
Of being envious and greedy!
Who can command a heart like this?
Who is a slave to worthless trial?
Not love a dear one in denial?--
Who can resist the heaven's bliss?
I sigh from sadness and perceive,
But I must honor my conviction,
Scared to fulfil my heart's ambition,
I'm silent... and alone I grieve.

* * *

Why premature exasperation
Feed with the dismal, doomed belief,
And thus, the certain separation
Await with modesty and grief?
It's not that long until dejection!
In calmness of the barren fields,
You will bring forth the recollection
Of days you've lost throughout the years.
Misfortunate! then, you'll be ready,
With price of death to pay the debts,
To buy a word from cherished lady, --
The light resounding of her steps.

* * *

Oh blazing, Muse of pure satire!
Come forth on my inviting call!
I do not need the blatant lyre,
Give me the scourge of Juvenal!
And neither lifeless imitators.
Nor hungry, gluttonous translators,
Nor rhymesters who don't relate,
With epigrams shall I abate!
Peace to the poets, poor creators,
Peace to the journal's adulators,
Peace to the fools who have been tamed!
But rascals, you I'll put to shame, --
Come forth you villains, don't resist!
And I will punish every man.
But if by chance one I shall miss,
Please do remind me, gentlemen!
How many faces -- shameless-pale,
How many forehands -- dull and stale,
From me are ready to acquire
The timeless imprint of my lyre!

* * *

I loved you and my love by chance,
Within my soul has never fully vanished;
No longer shall it ever make you tense;
I wouldn't want to sadden you with anguish.
I loved you speechlessly and wildly,
By modesty and jealousy was stressed;
I loved you so sincerely and so mildly,
As, God permit, may love you someone else.

* * *

The final flowers are more dear
Than charming maidens in the field
And the dejected aspirations
They reawake in us with life
Thus sometimes separation's strife
Is livelier than love's occasions

* * *

The empty «you» for «thee» -- so mild,
By chance, she swapped in dialogue
And all the dreams that I've compiled
Within my loving soul evoked.
I stand before her very humbly,
To look aside -- I do not dare;
I say to her: «you» are so fair!
And gravely think: How much I love «thee!»

* * *

I can't sleep, the light is out;
Chasing senseless dreams in gloom.
Clocks at once, inside my room,
Somewhere next to me, resound.
Parcae's soft and mild chatter,
Sleeping twilight's noisy flutter,
Life's commotion -- so insane..
Why am I to feel this pain?
What's your meaning, boring mumble?
Disapproving, do you grumble
Of the day I spent in vain?
What has made you so compelling?
Are you calling or foretelling?
I just want to understand,
Thus I'm seeking your intent...

* * *

What's in my name? It's soulless,
It shall expire, like the dismal roar
Of waves that hit the distant shore, --
Like nighttime noises in the forest!

Upon the memo sheet, in grief,
Its imprint in the stillborn gloom,
Much like the writing on the tomb,
In foreign language it will leave.

What's in it? All the lost and trite
In new and wild insurrection,
Within your soul it won't excite
The pure and kind recollections.

But silently, in time of anguish
Pronounce it softly while grieving
Say that my memory won't vanish
That there's a heart in which I'm living...

* * *

Cold frost and sunshine: day of wonder!
But you, my friend, are still in slumber --
Wake up, my beauty, time belies:
You dormant eyes, I beg you, broaden
Toward the northerly Aurora,
As though a northern star arise!

Recall last night, the snow was whirling,
Across the sky, the haze was twirling,
The moon, as though a pale dye,
Emerged with yellow through faint clouds.
And there you sat, immersed in doubts,
And now, -- just take a look outside:

The snow below the bluish skies,
Like a majestic carpet lies,
And in the light of day it shimmers.
The woods are dusky. Through the frost
The greenish fir-trees are exposed;
And under ice, a river glitters.

The room is lit with amber light.
And bursting, popping in delight
Hot stove still rattles in a fray.
While it is nice to hear its clatter,
Perhaps, we should command to saddle
A fervent mare into the sleight?

And sliding on the morning snow
Dear friend, we'll let our worries go,
And with the zealous mare we'll flee.
We'll visit empty ranges, thence,
The woods, which used to be so dense
And then the shore, so dear to me.

A Fairytale About A Dead Princess

The czar bid farewell to his wife,
Packing for the road of strife,
And czarina by the door
Sat to wait for him alone.
There she waits from dawn till nighttime,
Sees the fields, and thus from sighting
Her bright eyes are filled with blight
From the sunrise till the night;
Her dear friend cannot be seen!
Only blizzards whirl and spin,
On the fields the snow is falling,
And the pale earth is glowing.
Thus she sits there nine long months
Never leaves her post, not once.
Then from God on Christmas Eve,
She a daughter would receive.
Early morn, the cherished guest,
Long awaited in unrest, --
Finally, from lands afar
Came back home the father-czar.
She would gaze at him one time,
Uttering a heavy sigh,
All this joy she could not bare
And she died right then and there.

The czar for long would be distressed,
But he is mortal like the rest,
The year of woe had passed and hence
He had married someone else.
His younger wife, I have to say,
Was a czarina all the way:
Tall and slender, pale white,
Smart, 'most everything was right,
Only she was proud, zealous,
Willful, obstinate and jealous.
As a present, to her passed
There's a mirror that she has
But this mirror is unique
It has slowly learned to speak.
Only with it would she be
Tender, thoughtful and free
With it, friendly she would joke
Self-admiring, she spoke:
"Oh my light! My mirror, say
And don't hide the truth away:
Am I the prettiest on earth?
Purest, fairest, with most verve?"
And the mirror would resound:
"Yes you are, without a doubt,
You're the prettiest on earth,
Purest, fairest, with most verve."
And czarina would then giggle
With her shoulders she would jiggle
With her eyes she'd wink, so happy
That her fingers started tapping
And she started dancing, leaping
At the mirror always peeping.

But the princess, -- pretty child,
Was still blooming, all the while
Growing, growing and she grew,
She would slowly blossom through,
Darkened brows and skin so tender,
She appeared to be short-tempered.
She had met her fiancé
Son of king, prince Ellisay.
Czar gave word and king was seated
And the gift was now completed:
Seven business trading towns
And one hundred forty towers.

Getting ready for the party
Dressing up, czarina darling,
By her mirror comes to sit
And begins to question it:
"Am I the prettiest on earth?
Purest, fairest, with most verve?"
How does the mirror then resound?
"You are pretty, there's no doubt,
But the princess, on this earth
Is the purest with most verve"
Scared czarina jumped away,
Raised her hand up in a fray
Hit the mirror best she could
Stomping fiercely with her foot.
"O, you lying piece of glass!
O, how dare you curse me thus?
She will never match my grace
I will put her in her place!
How she grew before my sight!
We all know why she's so white;
He pregnant mother, while mourning
Sat the snowy fields observing.
Mirror, tell me: how can she
Be more beautiful than me?
Now confess that I'm more pretty:
In the boundaries of our city,
No one's prettier than I
Is it so?" The glass replied:
"But the princess' still more charming
Still more beautiful, more darling."
Nothing left to do. And she,
Overfilled with jealousy,
Threw the glass under the bench
Called her maid, an older wretch,
And czarina, now irate
Told her elder chambermaid,
"Take the princess to the forest
Tie her up and leave her soulless
Leave her there, right by the pine
So the wolves may come to dine!"

A frenzied lady to persuade?--
It's useless. Thus the chambermaid
Took the princess to the woods
Deep and with so many loops
That the princess guessed the purpose,
And became afraid and nervous,
And implored half-shocked, half-stunned:
"Tell me, what is it I've done?
I beseech you, spare me, friend,
Do not leave me here to stand,
I'll repay you then for all!"
And the maid, who in her soul,
Liked the princess, did not fled
Let her go and simply said:
"God be with you." And alone,
She would slowly travel home.
There, czarina was all ready:
"Where's the dear and charming lady?
--"In the woods, alone she stands"
She replied, "tied are her legs
I have lashed her as I clutched her
If by chance a beast shall catch her,
Not for long will she sustain
She will die with much less pain."

And the rumors were disclosed
Daughter of the czar is lost!
And the czar just grieves all day.
Future husband, Ellisay,
Prayed to God for all the best,
Now, sets out on a quest
For her rescue. He is ready
To bring back his cherished lady.

While, the princess, all alone,
Wandered in the woods till dawn,
Rambled, rambled all around
And a wooden tower found.
Toward her, a dog ran up,
Barked with playfulness and stopped.
To the door she'd slowly start--
All was quiet in the yard.
And the dog she kindly pet,
Then, the princess walked ahead
By the door, she came to stop
In her hand she held the knob
Heavy door was opened wide
And the princess went inside
In the chamber, all around
Benches stood with carpets covered,
And a table made of wood,
And a tile stove there stood,
And the princess then could tell:
Here, good people had to dwell;
She will not regret here stopping!
All the while, no one's coming.
For the owners she would gaze
Then she cleaned the dirty place
Lit a candle for the Lord,
Lit the fire in the stove,
On the planking, she would climb,
And there, peacefully reclined.

Lunchtime hour now drew close,
Footsteps in the yard arose.
Seven stalwarts entered then
Seven strong and handsome men.
Eldest uttered: "What a dream!
All is beautiful and clean.
Someone cleaned inside our home
And awaited us alone.
Who are you? Just let us see,
And a friend to us you'll be.
If you are an elder man
You shall be our uncle then.
If you are a youthful male
As a brother you'll be hailed.
If you're just an elder lady
Be our mother, we are ready,
If you are a pretty dame
Then our sister you'll become."

And the frightened princess would
Come out forth with a salute.
Bowing gracefully in meekness,
She then asked them for forgiveness,
For she entered uninvited
Seeking rest since she was tired.
And they instantly affirmed,
That they all accepted her.
In the corner, she was seated,
With a pie was nicely greeted,
A full glass for her to drink,
On a tray to her they'd bring.
But the fresh and hearty wine
With a smile she'd decline.
And a little of the pie
Just to sample she would try,
Then, the languor to relieve
She was kindly granted leave.
And to rest her, they had led
Wearied princess to the bed
And allowed her to repose
And in slumber she would doze.

Day by day is flashing by
And the princess by-and-by
In the woods, now lives content
With the seven stalwart men.
And a little before dawning
Brothers are together going
To just wander and relax,
On the hunt for wild ducks,
To please the tired arm, with force,
To throw the robber off the horse,
Or to cut off the heavy head
The evil Tatar to behead
From the forest, to deface
The circassian feeble race.
As a housekeeper, she
Inside alone all day would be,
Cooking, cleaning in the den
Never contradicting them
And they're never disagreeing
Thus the days are quickly fleeing.

All the brothers loved her, so
Into her room, one day they go,
Walking in before first light
In her room they all abide.
Eldest uttered: "Listen, dear,
You are like a sister here,
There are seven, all of us
Love you passionately, thus
Each would love to take your hand,
To marry all of us you can't,
Help us, dear, to end this strife;
Pick just one and be his wife,
For the rest, a sister stay; --
With your head you're saying nay?
Are we all for you too stale?
Is the product not for sale?"

"O, my friends, you all are great,
You're my brothers, all innate,--
The sweet princess tells them that: --
If I'm lying, then dear God
Strike me now by pain enraged!
How can I? For I'm engaged.
And to me, you're all alike
All are mighty, all are bright,
I sincerely love you all
But forever my pure soul
With another man shall stay,
Son of king, prince Ellisay."

Silent grew the seven men,
Each was scratching on his head.
"Do forgive us, we were coarse,
Uttered eldest with remorse:--
I will speak no more of it."
"I'm not angry at your deed,
She responded with affection:--
Do not mind my rejection."
Bowing down with delight,
Brothers disappeared from sight,
And contented once again,
Happily they lived since then.

Mad czarina all the while,
Still remembering the child,
Simply couldn't just forgive her.
She was angry at her mirror
With most wrathful aggravation,
But to end the separation,
She would look for it at last.
Held it up and anger passed.
Self-admiring, she stared,
Then she uttered with a flare:
"Nice to see you! mirror say,
And don't hide the truth away:
Am I the prettiest on earth?
Purest, fairest, with most verve?"
And the mirror would resound:
"You are pretty, there's no doubt,
But without fame there lives,
In the forest of green leaves,
With the seven stalwart men,
She, whose grace you can't outstand!"
And czarina angered truly
At her maid would scream in fury:
"Dare you lie to me?" Aghast,
She plead guilty: "all was thus..."
And czarina, now irate,
With a stick would scare the maid:
"Let her live and you shall die,
Slay the princess and survive."

Once, the princess on the setting
Her dear brothers was expecting
By the window, spun the yarn,
When, with rancor in the yard,
Barked the dog, and there the lady
Saw a poor old beggar waiting,
Swinging with her crutch, afraid
Of the raging dog. "Please wait,
Granny, wait right there a bit, --
Yelled the princess from her seat: --
Let me calm him, he's not scary,
And there's something I will carry."
Beggar answered with a smile:
"Oh you're such a helpful child!
Damn dog, I've lost my breath,
Almost ate me here to death.
Oh, just look how he is winding
Toward me." - The princess' trying
To come out, took the bread,
But the dog who was ahead,
Halted her with loud barking
From the elder beggar guarding.
As the beggar tried to near,
Like a beast at her he'd steer.
"What is wrong, my dog, my love?
He just didn't sleep enough, --
To the beggar then she said:
Catch it!" -- and she threw some bread.
The old beggar caught it high
"Thank you dearly!" she replied:
God will bless you for this deed!
Here's something you can eat!"
For the princess thus to sample,
Fresh and golden, ripened apple
Flies to her. And this perceiving,
The dog whimpers, highly leaping
But the princess with both hands
Clutched the apple. "When you're tense,
Eat it, angel, it's so good,
And thank Goodness for your food..."
The old woman said that proud
And then vanished, bowing down...
With the princess to the door,
The dog was running and with woe
Stared at her and wailed hard,
As though ached his loving heart,
As though to plead to her sincerely:
Drop it! - princess pets him dearly
With a hand so soft and kind;
"Sokolko, what's on your mind?"
And inside she slowly crossed
Quietly, the door she closed,
By the window, to the yarn,
Sits there, gazing at the yard,
And the charming apple. It
With the mellowed juice is filled,
Oh so fresh, and oh so bloated,
With the golden color coated,
As though honey flows inside,
Seeds are seen from either side...
Until lunch, she tried to wait
But her yearning was too great
And the apple she picked up
To the blushing lips brought up
Bit a piece and slowly swallowed
And the juicy piece devoured...
And then suddenly, my grace,
Breathless, slowly swayed in place,
Let her pale arms hang down,
Dropped the fruit onto the ground
Rolled her eyes up in the air,
And below the icons, there
On the bench she dropped her head,
Still became, just like the dead...

Brothers then were coming back
To their house in a pack
From the dauntless, gallant fighting.
Wailing, to them, like lightening
Runs the dog and leads ahead
To the yard. "Something is bad! --
Brothers uttered while in flight:
Sorrow's certain." Went inside,
And were stunned. Inside the shack,
The raging dog would there attack
A golden apple. He seemed mad,
Swallowed it and fell there dead.
And they understood what happened:
Poisoned was the charming apple.
And above the princess, all
Stood with woe inside their souls.
And the brothers hung their heads
Then, a sacred prayer said,
From the bench, they'd lift her up,
Tried to bury her, but stopped.
She was lively, thus it seemed.
By the wing of hapless dream,
Calm and tranquil, she would rest,
With no breath inside her chest.
For three days, the men would wait,
From her sleep she wouldn't wake.
They began the somber rite,
A crystal casket locked inside
The beloved, stillborn body
Of the princess. Everybody
Up the mount, carried her
Through the midnight's tinted blur.
To six post her casket bringing
With the iron chains then linking
Carefully secured it, thence
They'd surround it with a fence.
For their sister, to the ground
Each would gracefully bow down
Eldest uttered: "Rest there, jaded,
As a victim of cruel hatred,
You have made the earth seem dull
Heavens will receive your soul.
We were all by you affected,
For a loved one we protected, --
No one got to share your presence
Just the coffin took your essence."

Mad czarina, that same day,
Waiting for the news felt gay,
Brought the mirror into sight
And inquired with delight:
"Am I the prettiest on earth?
Purest, fairest, with most verve?"
And she heard the glass resound:
"Yes you are, without a doubt,
You're the prettiest on earth
Purest, fairest, with most verve."

All the while, on his way
Son of king, prince Ellisay
Gallops on, his lady seeking.
She is lost! He's sadly weeping
And the people that he questions
Answer with confused reactions;
Some just laugh right in his face
Some -- another way will gaze,
To the blazing sun at last,
He would turn and gravely asked:
"In the sky, you're always fleeting
All year round, you are meeting
Spring and winter full of snow,
You can see us there below.
Will my question your decline?
Have you caught somewhere, sometime,
My beloved in your sight?
I'm her fiancé." - "My light, --
The sultry sun would answer so:
I did not perceive her. Know
That the princess might be dead
But perhaps the moon, my friend,
Saw her somewhere on the road
Marked her footprints in the dirt."

For the night to fill the air,
The prince would wait in deep despair.
When the moon had first appeared,
He would beg of it sincere:
"Oh dear moon, my cherished friend,
Like a golden horn you stand!
In the darkness of the night,
You arise, your eyes are bright,
Loving your occurrence dearly
Stars admire you sincerely,
Will my question you decline?
Have you caught somewhere, sometime
In your sight my dear beloved
I'm her fiancé." -- My brother,
The bright moon replied to him: --
Your sweet lady I've not seen.
On my post I stand just then
When it is my turn to stand.
It is likely that she passed
Right before my eyes." "Alas!"--
Uttered prince his sad reply,
While the moon upon the sky,
Kept right on: "Perhaps the wind
Your beloved might have seen
Go on, find him, he will help
Do not worry and farewell."

And the prince, not losing hope
To the wind ran up and spoke:
"Wind! You're powerful and strong
You command the clouds along
You provoke the raging seas,
Blowing everywhere you please,
Never fearing someone greater
Other than our God-Creator.
Will my question you decline?
Have you seen at any time
My dear lady as of late?
I'm her fiancé."-- "Just wait, --
Gusting wind would thus respond:
There, beyond a placid pond
Stands a mount, steep and tall,
In this mountain, there's a hole;
And inside this gloomy space
There, a crystal coffin sways
To the poles with chains it's tied.
And no footprints there abide
Fruitless soil there is bare,
Your beloved's buried there."

Gusting wind would further sweep
And the prince began to weep,
Down to the vacant place
He would go to simply gaze
Just once more to see her eyes
While he's walking there would rise
Right before him a steep mount
There was nothing else around;
To the passageway below
The dismal prince would quickly go.
There inside-- a gloomy space,
There, a crystal coffin sways,
In the coffin, dark and somber
Princess rests in endless slumber.
And the prince in rage then would
Strike the coffin best he could.
Crystals fell onto the ground,
Princess rose. She looked around
With bewildered eyes dismaying.
On the metal chains while swaying
Sighing, she would slowly speak:
"For how long was I asleep!"
From the casket, she would rise,
Both shed tears out of their eyes.
He would lift her up and then
Carried her out of the den,
Talking pleasantly alone,
They began to travel home.
Rumors quickly spread around:
Daughter of the czar is found!

All the while, bored, at home
Mad czarina stayed alone
By her mirror she would sit
And began to question it:
"Am I the pretties on earth
Purest, fairest, with most verve?"
And she hears the glass resound:
"You are pretty, there's no doubt,

But the princess' still more darling
Still more beautiful, more charming."
Mad czarina got up sore,
Crashed the mirror on the floor,
To the doors would quickly run,
By the princess, there, was stunned.
All this grief she could not bare
And she died right then and there.
And as soon as she was buried
The beloved quickly married,
And his lovely bride that day
Kissed with passion Ellisay.
Since the time the world exists,
No one witnessed such a feast.
I was there, drank beer and mead
Barely got my mustache wet.


From the elation of the years that faded,
As though from drinking, I feel wearied, jaded.
But still, the sorrow of lost years -- like wine,
Grows only stronger in my soul with time.
My road is gloomy. Only work and sorrow
Are promised by the raging seas of morrow.

But, o my friends, I do not want to leave!
I want to be alive, to think and grieve;
And I predict, that I will find some pleasure
Amidst anxiety, amidst the stress and pressure.
One day, again, of harmony I'll tire,
Immersed in tears, I will reflect the dire
And maybe then, my tragic, sad exile
Love will illumine with a farewell smile.


The hills of Georgia greet the gloomy night
And the Aragva (1) roars beneath me,
And I feel sad and free,-- my sorrow's bright
It's overfilled with you... believe me,
With you, and only you... My melancholy
Cannot be irritated or rebuffed
My heart now burns anew and loves in folly,
And all because it cannot help but love.


Until the poet's summoned thus
By great Apollo to be martyred,
Within the world of bustling fuss
He stays immersed and faint-hearted;
His lyre's silent, hushed and cold,
His soul lies deep in wintry slumber,
Among the humble of the world
For now, he is, perhaps, most humble.

But let the Word divinely drop
And on his harking ears fall lightly,
The poet's soul will rouse timely,
As though an eagle, woken up.
He's bored amid the world's diversion,
He longs for simple speech instead,
And to the feet of idols worshiped
He never bows his proud head.
Instead he runs, untamed and grave,
Confused and overfilled with wroth,
Onto the shores of lonely waves,
Into the noisy undergrowth...


The lies of love, of hopes, and glory,
Not long have nursed us; passed this phase,
Our youthful dallies died in flurry,
As though a dream, in morning haze.
And yet, inside us, burns desire,
And with impatience in our soul,
Beneath the yoke of strength and fire,
We hark our country's pleading call.
In expectation's yearning pother,
The freedom's moment we await, --
Thus waits a youthful, eager lover
The minute of the promised date.
And whilst with liberty we burn,
And whilst our hearts adore ovation,
My friend, let's to our country turn
And dedicate the soul's elation.
Comrade, believe me! with a thunder,
The star of bliss will rise again.
Our Russia will arise from slumber
On remnants of oppressive reign
They will inscribe our names with ardor!


-- What's new? «I tell you... nothing whatsoever.»
-- Don't fool with me, you're hiding it, I know.
Oh, don't you feel ashamed? you think you're clever
To hide the news from me, like from a foe?
Oh, tell me, brother, why? Oh, tell me, I insist!
Don't be so stubborn, give me just a clue...
«Oh, let me be, the only thing I know is this, --
That you're a fool, but that is nothing new.»

* * *

I left from the garrulity on purpose, feeling tensed,
These meeting filled with speech hold nothing new;
For soul's content, believe me, my dear friends,
There's either not enough of us, or one will do.


Before you, silently I sway.
In vain, I feel this agitation,
In vain, I cast a glance your way:
I'm sure that I will never say,
What freely says imagination.


A bearded sage once said that there's no motion.
His silent colleague simply strolled before him, --
How could he answer better?! -- all adored him!
And praised his wise reply with great devotion.
But men, this is enchanting! -- let me interject,
For me, another grand occurrence comes to play:
The sun rotates around us every single day,
And yet, the headstrong Galileo was correct.


Trapped behind bars, in dampness I dwell.
A young-hearted eagle brought up in a cell,
My dejected companion, under the frame,
Continues to pounce upon bloody game,

He pounces, flings it and then, looks outside,
As if we have reached a consensus by sight.
He summons me then with a look and a cry, --
He wants to pronounce: «Away, let us fly!

We're born to be free, 'tis time, friend, 'tis time!
To where through the clouds, the mountains shine,
To where bluish seas rush to merge with the sky,
Where only the wind tends to wander....and I!...»


Summer's blush grows pale... pale;
Days of brightness soar away;
Misty haze spreads on the vale
As the sleeping night turns gray;
Wicked fields have all grown barren;
Lively stream has now turned sterile;
Curly woods turned gray and stark
And the heavens have grown dark.

Where are you, my light -- Natasha?
No one's seen you, -- I lament.
Don't you want to share the passion
Of the moment with a friend?
Neither, by the pond so stagnant,
Nor under the lindens -- fragrant,
Through the seasons, early-late,
We have not yet had a date.

Shortly, shortly, winter's blight
Will attend the fields, so bitter.
In the smoggy shack, a light,
Before long, will shine and glitter.
I won't see my dear, -- I'll rage
Like a finch, inside a cage,
I will sit, depressed and dazed,
And recall Natasha's grace.

1. Aragva -- the name of a river in Georgia.
2. Peter Chaadaev (1793-1856) -- Western-oriented Russian philosopher, a close friend of Pushkin.