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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 fiancée 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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!
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
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)
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!