Muse-sister gazed at me pensively,
Her clear bright eyes didn’t blink,
And snatched the gold ring from me,
The very first gift of spring.
Muse! you see, how happy they feel–
Young ladies, widows, and wives…
I would much rather die on the wheel
Than to be in these fetters for life.
I know: while guessing, even I will tear
Those delicate daisy petals.
All on this earth are destined to bear
The torments of love unsettled.
Until sunrise, my candle remains aglow
And there isn’t a person I miss,
But I don’t, don’t, don’t want to know
How another woman is kissed.
Tomorrow, laughing, the mirrors will say:
“Your gaze isn’t clear or bright…”
And I’ll reply quietly: “She took away
A gift from God that night.”
Not the snake fangs, but the stinging
Heartache emptied out my veins.
A quiet girl, I call love, singing
Birdlike in the whitened plains.
The other road closed long ago,
My prince - in a fortress, up high,
Will I betray him? – I don’t know!
But my life on this earth is a lie.
I won’t forget how he bid me farewell
I didn’t cry; I knew it was fate.
To visit his dreams, I’m casting new spells
But my spells are in vain, I’m afraid.
Does he sleep so serenely, locked in,
All because I’m barred and locked out,
Or is the bright-eyed tender Sirin
Already singing to him from a cloud?
Bury me, bury me, wind!
None of my kin had arrived,
Above me, the evening dimmed
And the earth indistinctly sighed.
Like you, I was free and of course,
I couldn’t resist life’s charms
And now, wind, you see my corpse,
With no one to fold my arms.
Let this black wound recede
As the shroud of darkness spreads,
And command azure mist to read
Psalms up above my head.
To ease me, alone, on the brink
Of sleep for the final time,
Make the sedges rustle of spring,
Of the spring that used to be mine.
The threshing barn is stifling and hot,
I laugh, but in my heart, I weep from spite.
My old friend mumbles to me: “Jinx it not,
Can’t you discern that luck is on our side!”
I listen to my old friend’s words with doubt.
He’s lost his sight, he’s ludicrous and vile.
He spent his whole life trampling the ground
Of long and dreary trails in denial.
My fragile voice is crying out with sorrow,
The ringing voice of those who knew no better:
“Our knapsacks are all emptied and tomorrow
Just promises more hunger and foul weather!”
I didn’t lock the door
And candles weren’t lit,
Exhausted, sleepy, sore, -
I wouldn’t sleep a bit.
I’d watch lights dying down,
And gloomy evening firs,
And get drunk on the sounds
A voice, so much like yours.
My loss - a heavy burden
And life is agony!
I used to be so certain
That you’d return to me.
A loafer, wandering around, -
No matter where, I’m pining bored.
The mill is drowsing on the mound.
Here, years can pass without a word.
Above the dodder, all dried up,
A bee glides gently in the breeze,
I call the mermaid by the pond,
But the mermaid’s long deceased.
The pond is shallow now, enclosed
And covered up with rusty slime,
Over the shaking aspen boughs
The crescent moon begins to shine.
Damp scent of poplar-trees is spreading.
I notice everything anew.
I’m silent. Silently, I’m ready
To be transformed, earth, into you.
By the early sunrise seized,
I sing of love aloud,
In the garden, on my knees
Weeding goosefoot out.
I tear it out and I hurl –
Pardon this offense.
I see a little barefoot girl
Crying by the fence.
Voice of sorrow rings and swells,
Filling me with dread,
Stronger grows the tepid smell
Of the weed now dead.
Stone, not bread, will be my prize
To accept with poise,
Up above me, just the skies,
And with me, your voice.
Nothing chains a heart to heart,
If you’d like to leave.
Many joys will life impart
On the one who’s free.
I don’t cry, complain or pout,
Mine is not a life of bliss.
Do not kiss me, all worn out, -
Death will come to kiss.
Bitter languor has been weathered
With the winter snows.
Why, o why, must you be better
Than the one I chose?
My husband beat me with the plating
Of a belt he bent in two.
With a candle, I keep waiting
On the windowsill for you.
It is dawning. Smoke is weaving,
Rising up above the forge.
O, for me, a captive grieving,
You, again, did not emerge.
It’s for you such fate I bear,
Filled with torment and ordeal,
Did you fall for someone fair?
Does a redhead now appeal?
How to mask such ringing moaning!
Heart is stifled, drunk with dread,
As the thin rays of the morning
Graze the still unrumpled bed.
When you’re drunk, you’re so much fun -
Your rambling tales make no sense.
The early fall arrived and hung
Bright yellow flags upon the elms.
In the land of fraud and guile,
We have strayed, and now, repent,
But, what are these fictitious smiles,
On our lips, so strangely bent?
Not happiness or peace of mind,
A biting torment - we pursued…
I will not leave my friend behind, -
So tender and so dissolute.