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     © Copyright translation to english by Mikhail Kneller
     Email: m.kneller@worldnet.att.net
     Date: 13 Jun 2000
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A wish

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!

To ***

I still remember that amazing moment You have appeared before my sight As though a brief and fleeting omen, Pure phantom in enchanting light. Locked in 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 revived: Devout faith and inspiration, And tender tears and love and life. I loved you and this love by chance, Inside 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.

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...

The Tenth Commandment

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 feeble effort? Not love a person who is revered?-- Who can resist the heaven's bliss? I sigh from sadness and perceive, But I must honor my conviction, Afraid to flatter heart's ambition, I'm silent... and alone I grieve. 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 people peacefulness' conveyed. The noisy market now is calm, The guarding dog just barks alone, And with the loud chains it rumbles. While all of Moscow's dead 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 vengeance 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 forgotten all in spite? My daring steed, this is your course Now gallop, fly..." The tired horse Under the corpse would slowly ride. 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. *** 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 withered 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... 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. 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 everyone I'll punished then 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! Verses, composed during a night of insomnia... 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... Winter morning 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. 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, New 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. 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!" 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...

To***

Why premature exasperation Feed with the dismal, doomed belief, And thus, the certain separation Await alone with timid 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. A Fairytale About A Dead Princess, By: Aleksander Pushkin (1833)
1 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 feel distress, But he is sinful like the rest, The dire year 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 fianc 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 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! It is known why she's so white; 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 older chambermaid, "Take the princess to the forest Tie her up and leave her soulless Leave her there under the pine So the wolves may come to dine!" A raging dame who can 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 now grieves away. Future husband, Ellisay, Prayed to God for all the best, And now sets out on a quest For her rescue. He is ready To bring back his cherished lady. While young princess all alone, Wandered in the woods till dawn, Rambled, rambled all around And a wooden tower found. Towards 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'd dearly 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 now 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 was now 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 'round 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 lady 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 Caught 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 is running and with woe Stares at her and wails hard, As though aches his loving heart, As if he wants to say sincerely: Drop it! -- she just pets him dearly With a hand so soft and kind; "Sokolko, what's on your mind?" Then, 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 then she 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 The 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. Under 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. Then, they'd start the somber rite, A crystal casket locked inside The beloved, stillborn body Of the princess. Everybody Up the mount, carried her In the midnight's darkened 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 fianc." - "My light, -- Fervent 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, He 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 fianc." -- 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 went Somehow pass me." "That's too bad!"-- Spoke the prince in a 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 fianc."-- "Just wait, -- Gusting wind would thus respond There, beyond a placid pond Stands a mountain so 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 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.

: 3, Last-modified: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 13:52:07 GMT