What's in my name?..

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...
Alexander Pushkin
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What means my name to you?

What means my name to you?.. 'Twil die
As does the melancholy rumour
Of distant waves, or, of a summer,
The forest's hushed nocturnal sigh.
Found on a fading album page,
Dim will it seem and enigmatic,
Like words traced on a tomb, a relic
Of some long dead and vanished age.
What's in my name?.. Long since forgot,
Erased by new, tempestuous passion,
Of tenderness 'twill leave you not
The lingering and sweet impression.
But in an hour of agony,
Pray, speak it, and recall my image,
And say, "He still remembers me,
His heart alone still pays me homage."
Alexander Pushkin
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Drowned

Children run into their izba,
Hail their father, drip with sweat:
"Daddy, Daddy! Come - there is a
Deadman caught inside our net."
"Scary, scary fabrication,"
Grumbled back the weary Pa,
"Oh these imps' imagination...
Deadman, really: ya-ha-ha!
Hmm... the court may come to bother;
What'll I say before the judge?..
Hey you brats, go have your mother
Bring my coat; I'd better trudge...
So, where is he?" - "There, Dad, farther!"
On the sand where dragnet ropes
Lay spread out, the children's father
Saw a veritable corpse.
Badly mangled, ugly, frightening,
Blue and swollen on each side -
Has he fished in storm and lightning
Or committed suicide?
Could this be a careless drunkard
Or a mermaid-seeking monk
Or a trusting merchant, conquered
By some bandits, robbed and sunk?
To the peasant, what's it matter?
Quick: he grabs the dead man's hair,
Drags the body to the water,
Looks around: nobody there:
Good; relieved of the concern he
Grabbed a paddle, gave a toss,
And the stiff resumed his journey
Downstream for a grave and cross.
Long the dead man as one living
Rolled on waves amid the foam.
Having watched his gradual leaving,
Our glum peasant started home.
"Come you pups! let's go, don't scatter.
Each of you will get his bun.
But remember: just you chatter -
And I'll whip you, every one."
Dark and stormy it was turning.
High the river ran in gloom.
Now the torch has finished burning
In the peasant's smoky room.
Kids asleep, the wife aslumber,
He lies listening to the rain...
Bang! he hears a sudden comer
Knocking on the windowpane.
"Yeah?" - "Hey, let me in there, master!"
"Cain, you found the time to roam!
Well, what is it, your disaster?
Let you in? It's dark at home,
Dark and crowded... What a pest you are!
Where'd I put you in my cot?.."
Finally with lazy gesture
He lifts up the pane - and what?
Out of clouds the moon was showing.
Well, a naked man was there,
Water down his beard a-flowing,
Wide the eyes, unmoved the stare.
Wholly numb the dreadful body,
Arms were hanging, feeble, thin;
Crabs and cancers, black and bloody,
Sucked into the swollen skin.
And the peasant slammed the shutter:
Recognized his visitant,
Horror-struck he could but mutter
"May you burst!" and start to pant.
He was shivering, awful chaos
All night through stirred in his brain,
While the knocking shook the house
By the gates and at the pane.
Folks relate a frightful rumor:
Ever since, each year they say
The poor peasant, out of humor,
Waits a visitor that day.
Early on, the storm's increasing,
Nightfall brings a hurricane,
And the drowned man knocks, unceasing,
By the gates and at the pane.
Alexander Pushkin
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The Captive

A captive, alone in a dungeon I dwell,
Entombed in the stillness and murk of a cell.
Outside, in the courtyard, in wild, frenzied play,
My comrade, an eagle, has punced on his prey.
Then, leaving it, at me he looks as if he
In thought and in purpose at one were with me.
He looks at me so, and he utters a cry.
"'Tis time," he is saying, "from here let us fly!
"We're both wed to freedom, so let us away
To where lonely storm clouds courageously stray,
Where turbulent seas rsh to merge with the sky,
Where only the winds dare to venture and I!.."
Alexander Pushkin
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Storm-cloud

O storm-cloud, the tempest's survival, alone
Like mad do you rush o'er the heavenly dome;
Alone do you cast as you drift on your way
A dark, brooding shade on the jubilant day.
A short while ago you lay cloaking the sky,
And great forks of lightning flared round you on high.
You thundered and roared over forest and plain
And fed thirsting earth with a bounty of rain.
Enough! Make you haste! Do not tarry... Begone!
The earth is refreshed, and the rain-storm has flown,
And tame though the wind is, it stubbornly tries
To make you desert the now radiant skies.
Alexander Pushkin
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The Talisman (ver. 3)

Where the sea forever dances
Over lonely cliff and dune,
Where sweet twilight's vapor glances
In a warmer-glowing moon,
Where with the seraglio's graces
Daylong toys the Mussulman,
An enchantress 'mid embraces
Handed me a talisman.
'Mid embraces I was bidden:
"Guard this talisman of mine:
In it secret power is hidden!
Love himself has made it thine.
Neither death nor ills nor aging,
My beloved, does it ban,
Nor in gales and tempest raging
Can avail my talisman.
Never will it help thee gather
Treasures of the Orient coast,
Neither to thy harness tether
Captives of the Prophet's host;
Nor in sadness will it lead thee
To a friendly bosom, nor
From this alien southland speed thee
To the native northern shore.
"But whenever eyes designing
Cast on thee a sudden spell,
In the darkness lips entwining
Love thee not, but kiss too well:
Shield thee, love, from evil preying,
From new heart-wounds---that it can,
From forgetting, from betraying
Guards thee this my talisman."
Alexander Pushkin
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The Talisman (ver. 2)

There, where seas are ever crashing,
On the shores of lonely cliffs,
And where the moon glows warmer,
Through sweet hours of twilight mist,
And, wherein the harem, revelling,
The Mussluman's days pass by,
An enchantress, with caresses,
Handed me a talisman.
And, caressing me, she bade me:
Keep you safe my talisman:
In it lies a wondrous power.
It is given you with love.
From an illness of from dying,
From turmoil, or fear storm
Thy dear life, O my beloved,
My talisman will not save.
And the riches of the Orient
It shall not bestow you,
Nor disciples of a prophet
To you will subdue;
And to you, a friendly bosom
From a sad and wondrous land,
To your hearth, from north to south,
Will not speed, my talisman.
But whenever eyes bewitching,
Enchant you suddenly,
Or when lips in dark of night
Without love, kiss you -
Dearest friend! from trespasses,
From fresh wounds of the heart,
From betrayal, from forgetness,
Guard you, shall my talisman.
Alexander Pushkin
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The Talisman

Where the sea - eternal stormer -
Splashes on deserted scaurs,
Where the moon is shining warmer
At the tender nightfall hours,
Where bondmaidens serve in duty
To the reveling mussulman,
There, caressing me, a beauty
Handed me a talisman.
And she spoke to me, caressing:
"Keep this talisman, my dove:
It contains a secret blessing!
It is given you by love.
Should it happen that from blizzard,
Threat, misfortune, death you ran,
You would not be saved by wizard
Powers of my talisman.
"And of oriental profit
It will never bring to you;
And adorers of the Prophet
It will never win to you;
Nor to northern lands from southern
All across the global span
To the bosom of your brethren
Carry you my talisman.
"But when wily eyes would harness
Your sad fancy instantly,
Or unloving lips in darkness
Give a kiss of falsity -
Then oh friend! of crime, of letting
New heart wounds on my dear man,
Of betrayal, of forgetting
Alexander Pushkin
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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...
Alexander Pushkin
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The old man

I am no more that passioned lover,
Once the world's most marvelous face:
My spring and wondrous golden summer
Forever gone without a trace.
Oh Cupid, god of days of yore!
I was your faithful servant then;
If only to be born once more,
Oh how I'd serve you yet again!
Alexander Pushkin
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