Death Of the Poet

The Bard is killed! The honor's striver
Fell, slandered by a gossip's dread,
With lead in breast and vengeful fire,
Drooped with his ever-proud head.
The Poet's soul did not bear
The shameful hurts of low breed,
He fought against the worldly "faire,"
Alone as always,... and is killed!
He's killed! What for are late orations
Of useless praise; and weeps and moans,
And gibberish of explanations? -
The fate had brought her verdict on!
Had not you first so hard maltreated
His free and brave poetic gift,
And, for your pleasure, fanned and fitted
The fire that in ashes drifts?
You may be happy... Those tortures
Had broken his strength, at last:
Like light, had failed the genius gorgeous;
The sumptuous wreath had weathered fast.
His murderer, without mercy,
Betook his aim and bloody chance,
His empty heart is calm and healthy,
The pistol did not tremble once.
And what is wonder?... From a distance,
By road of manifold exiles,
He came to us, by fatal instance,
To catch his fortune, rank and price.
Detested he the alien lands
Traditions, language and discussions;
He couldn't spare The Fame of Russians
And fathom - till last instant rushes -
What a disaster grips his hand!...
And he is killed, and leaves from here,
As that young Bard, mysterious but dear,
The prey of vengeance, deaf and bland,
Who sang he of, so lyric and sincere,
Who too was put to death by similar a hand.
And why, from peaceful times and simple-hearted fellows,
He entered this high life, so stiff and so jealous
Of freedom-loving heart and passions full of flame?
Why did he give his hand to slanders, mean and worthless
Why trusted their words and their oaths, godless,
He, who from youth had caught the mankind's frame?
And then his wreath, a crown of sloe,
Woven with bays, they put on Poet's head;
The thorns, that secretly were grown,
Were stinging famous brow, yet.
His life's fast end was poisoned with a gurgle
And faithless whisper of the mocking fops,
And died he with burning thrust for struggle,
With hid vexation for his cheated hopes.
The charming lyre is now silent,
It will be never heard by us:
The bard's abode is grim and tightened,
And seal is placed on his mouth.

And you, oh, vainglory decedents
Of famous fathers, so mean and base,
Who've trod with ushers' feet the remnants
Of clans, offended by the fortune's plays!
In greedy crowd standing by the throne,
The foes of Freedom, Genius, and Repute -
You're hid in shadow of a law-stone,
For you, and truth and justice must be mute!...
But there is Court of God, you, evil manifold! -
The terrible court: it waits;
It's not reached by a ring of gold,
It knows, in advance, all thoughts' and actions' weights.
Then you, in vain, will try to bring your evil voice on:
It will not help you to be right,
And you will not wash of with all your bloody poison,
The Poet's righteous blood!
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
+1

Forever you, the unwashed Russia

Forever you, the unwashed Russia!
The land of slaves, the land of lords:
And you, the blue-uniformed ushers,
And people who worship them as gods.
I hope, from your tyrannic hounds
To save me with Caucasian wall:
From their eye that sees through ground,
From their ears that hear all.
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
0

No, I'm not Byron; I am, yet

No, I'm not Byron; I am, yet,
Another choice for the sacred dole,
Like him - a persecuted soul,
But only of the Russian set.
I early start and end the whole,
And will not win the future days;
Like in an ocean, in my soul,
A cargo of lost hopes stays.
Who, oh, my ocean severe,
Could read all secrets in your scroll?
Who'll tell the people my idea?
I will or God or none at all!
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
0

The Beggar

By gates of an abode, blessed,
A man stood, asking for donation,
A beggar, cruelly oppressed
By hunger, thirst and deprivation.
He asked just for a peace of bread,
And all his looks were full of anguish,
And was a cold stone laid
Into his stretched arm, thin and languished.
Thus I prayed vainly for your love,
With bitter tears, pine and fervor,
Thus my best senses, that have thrived,
Were victimized by you forever!
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
0

I come out to the path, alone

I come out to the path, alone,
Night and wildness are referred to God,
Through the mist, the road gleams with stone,
Stars are speaking in the shinning lot.
There is grave and wonderful in heaven;
Earth is sleeping in a pale-blue light...
Why is then my heart such pined and heavy?
Is it waiting or regretting plight?
I expect that nothing more goes,
And for past I do not have regret,
I wish only freedom and repose,
I would fall asleep and all forget...
I would like to fall asleep forever,
But without cold sleep of death:
Let my breast be full of dozing fervor
For the life, and heave in gentle breath;
So that enchanting voice would ready
Day and night to sing to me of love,
And the oak, evergreen and shady,
Would decline to me and rustle above.
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
0

The Cliff

By a cliff a golden cloud once lingered;
On his breast it slept, but, rising early,
Off it gently rushed across the pearly
Blue of sky, a tiny thing and winged.

Still, a trace it left upon the stony
Giant's heart, and plunged in thought and weeping
Slow and tortured tears, he stands there, keeping
Vigil o'er the gloomy waste and lonely.
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
0

The Dagger

I like you well, O trusty dagger mine,
My comrade wrought of cool Damascus steel!
Forged were you by the Georgian with revenge in the mind,
By the Circassian free - for war were you made keen.

A lily-white hand it was gave you to me -
You were affection's keepsake, its last gift...
Not blood, but pearl-like tears born of the agony
Of bitter parting down your blade ran swift.

Her dark eyes rested, full of secret pain,
Of sadness and of mystery, upon
My face, and like yourself when lit by flickering flame,
Now clouded and turned dull, now glowed and shone.

O dagger, love's mute pledge, you will my true
Friend stay, and an example set to me, a wanderer:
For faithful, yes, and firm of soul like you
I'll be like you that tempered was by fire.
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
0

The Sail

A lone white sail shows for an instant,
Where gleams the sea, an azure streak.
What left it in its homeland distant?
In alien parts what does it seek?

The billow play, the mast bends creaking,
The wind, impatient, moans and sighs...
It is not joy that it is seeking,
Nor is it happiness it flies.

The blue wave dance, they dance and tremble,
The sun's bright ray caress the seas.
And yet for storm it begs, the rebel,
As if in storm lurked calm and peace!
Mikhail Lermontov
Read in English and Russian
0

I have outlasted all desire... (ver. 2)

I have outlasted all desire,
My dreams and I have grown apart;
My grief alone is left entire,
The gleanings of an empty heart.
The storms of ruthless dispensation
Have struck my flowery garland numb-
I live in lonely desolation
And wonder when my end will come.
Thus on a naked tree-limb, blasted
By tardy winter's whistling chill,
A single leaf which has outlasted
Its season will be trembling still.
Alexander Pushkin
Read in English and Russian
0

I have endured my desire...

I have endured my desire,
I've ceased to love my fairy dreams,
And only fruit of hearty fire -
My sufferings have stayed, it seems.
And under storms of cruel kismet
My blooming spirit quickly died,
I waited for the end, I missed it.
I'm feeling loneliness inside.
So that enveloped by the blow
Of cold wind and stormy flaws
A leaf which is belated, sole,
Vibrates on bare branch in pause..
Alexander Pushkin
Read in English and Russian
0