Bacchanal Song

Why, revelry's voice, are you still?
Ring out, songs of Bacchus, our patron!
Long life to you, maiden and matron,
Ye fair ones who gave of your love with a will!
Drink, friend, drink with gusto and relish!
As I do in mine,
In your glass of wine
Fling lightly the ring that you cherish!
Come, let's clink our glasses and high let us raise them!
Hail, muses! Hail, reason! In song let us praise them!
Thou, bright sun of genius, shine on!
Like this ancient lamp that grows dimmer
And fades with the coming of dawn,
So false wisdom pales at the first flash and glimmer
Of true wisdom's ne'er-fading light...
Live, radiant day! Perish, darkness and night!
Alexander Pushkin
Read in English and Russian
0

Wandering the noisy streets

Wandering the noisy streets,
Entering the crowded church,
Sitting among wild young men,
I am lost in my thoughts.
I say to myself: the years will fly,
And however many are here, we shall all
Go down under the eternal vaults.
Someone's hour is already at hand.
Gazing at a solitary oak,
I think: this patriarch
Will outlive my forgotten age
As it outlived the age of my fathers.
When I caress a dear child,
I'm already thinking: goodbye!
I yield my place to you: it's time
For me to decay and you to blossom.
I say goodbye to each day,
Trying to guess
Which among them will be
The anniversary of my death.
And how and where shall I die?
Fighting, travelling, in the waves?
Or will the neighbouring valley
Receive my cold dust?
And though it's all the same
To the feelingless body,
I should like to rest
Closer to the places I love.
And at the grave's entrance
Let young life play,
And the beauty of indifferent nature
Never cease to shine.
Alexander Pushkin
Read in English and Russian
0

Devils

Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
On and on our coach advances,
Little bell goes din-din-din...
Round are vast, unknown expanses;
Terror, terror is within.
- Faster, coachman! "Can't, sir, sorry:
Horses, sir, are nearly dead.
I am blinded, all is blurry,
All snowed up; can't see ahead.
Sir, I tell you on the level:
We have strayed, we've lost the trail.
What can WE do, when a devil
Drives us, whirls us round the vale?
"There, look, there he's playing, jolly!
Huffing, puffing in my course;
There, you see, into the gully
Pushing the hysteric horse;
Now in front of me his figure
Looms up as a queer mile-mark -
Coming closer, growing bigger,
Sparking, melting in the dark."
Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
We can't whirl so any longer!
Suddenly, the bell has ceased,
Horses halted... - Hey, what's wrong there?
"Who can tell! - a stump? a beast?.."
Blizzard's raging, blizzard's crying,
Horses panting, seized by fear;
Far away his shape is flying;
Still in haze the eyeballs glare;
Horses pull us back in motion,
Little bell goes din-din-din...
I behold a strange commotion:
Evil spirits gather in -
Sundry, ugly devils, whirling
In the moonlight's milky haze:
Swaying, flittering and swirling
Like the leaves in autumn days...
What a crowd! Where are they carried?
What's the plaintive song I hear?
Is a goblin being buried,
Or a sorceress married there?
Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
Swarms of devils come to rally,
Hurtle in the boundless height;
Howling fills the whitening valley,
Plaintive screeching rends my heart...
Alexander Pushkin
Read in English and Russian
0

Arion

We many were who filled the boat:
Some held the sails aloft and flying,
Some plied the oars, and thus, defuing,
The wayward winds, kept us afloat.
Our helmsman steered the vessel, loaded
Full as she was, and onward sent;
And I, to them I sang, content
And unconcerned... A violent
Gale overtook the boat and goaded
The seas to fury... All were lost
But I who out the deep was tossed
By surging waves; my body flinging
On to the sands, they fled... Now I
Sit drying in the sun and my
Old, well loved songs in relish singing.
Alexander Pushkin
Read in English and Russian
0

The Upas Tree

Deep in the desert's misery,
far in the fury of the sand,
there stands the awesome Upas Tree
lone watchman of a lifeless land.
The wilderness, a world of thirst,
in wrath engendered it and filled
its every root, every accursed
grey leafstalk with a sap that killed.
Dissolving in the midday sun
the poison oozes through its bark,
and freezing when the day is done
gleams thick and gem-like in the dark.
No bird flies near, no tiger creeps;
alone the whirlwind, wild and black,
assails the tree of death and sweeps
away with death upon its back.
And though some roving cloud may stain
with glancing drops those leaden leaves,
the dripping of a poisoned rain
is all the burning sand receives.
But man sent man with one proud look
towards the tree, and he was gone,
the humble one, and there he took
the poison and returned at dawn.
He brought the deadly gum; with it
he brought some leaves, a withered bough,
while rivulets of icy sweat
ran slowly down his livid brow.
He came, he fell upon a mat,
and reaping a poor slave's reward,
died near the painted hut where sat
his now unconquerable lord.
The king, he soaked his arrows true
in poison, and beyond the plains
dispatched those messengers and slew
his neighbors in their own domains.
Alexander Pushkin
Read in English and Russian
0

Amidst the Noisy Ball

Amidst the noisy ball, in Hell
Of everyday distress,
I’ve seen you, but the secret’s veil
Was covering your face.

Your fair eyes were sad and bright,
And voice was so sweet,
As sound of a pipe apart
Or murmur of the sea.

I’ve liked your fine and slender waist,
And thoughtful image, whole,
And sound of your voice -- it nests
Forever in my soul...

When tired, in my lone nights,
I lie down to pause --
And see your beautiful sad eyes,
And hear your merry voice.

And, sad, I fall asleep to see
My dreams that run above...
I’m sure not whether I love thee --
But, maybe, I’m in love.
Alexey Tolstoy
Read in English and Russian
0