Eugene Onegin (Chapter 7)

By now the rays of spring are chasing
the snow from all surrounding hills;
it melts, away it rushes, racing
down to the plain in turbid rills.
Smiling through sleep, nature is meeting
the infant year with cheerful greeting:
the sky is brilliant in its blue
and, still transparent to the view,
the downy woods are greener-tinted;
from waxen cell the bees again
levy their tribute on the plain;
the vales dry out, grow brightly printed;
cows low, in the still nights of spring
the nightingale's begun to sing.

Alexander Pushkin
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Eugene Onegin (Chapter 6)

Seeing Vladimir had defected,
Eugene, at Olga's side, was racked
by fresh ennui as he reflected
with pleasure on his vengeful act.
Olinka yawned, just like her neighbour,
and looked for Lensky, while the labour
of the cotillion's endless theme
oppressed her like a heavy dream.
It's over. Supper is proceeding.
Beds are made up; the guests are all
packed from the maids' wing to the hall.
Each one by now is badly needing
a place for rest. Eugene alone
has driven off, to find his own.

Alexander Pushkin
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Eugene Onegin (Chapter 5)

That year the season was belated
and autumn lingered, long and slow;
expecting winter, nature waited --
only in January the snow,
night of the second, started flaking.
Next day Tatyana, early waking,
saw through the window, morning-bright,
roofs, flowerbeds, fences, all in white,
panes patterned by the finest printer,
with trees decked in their silvery kit,
and jolly magpies on the flit,
and hills that delicately winter
had with its brilliant mantle crowned --
and glittering whiteness all around.

Alexander Pushkin
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Eugene Onegin (Chapter 4)

With womankind, the less we love them,
the easier they become to charm,
the tighter we can stretch above them
enticing nets to do them harm.
There was a period when cold-blooded
debauchery was praised, and studied
as love's technique, when it would blare
its own perfection everywhere,
and heartless pleasure was up-graded;
yes, these were our forefathers' ways,
those monkeys of the good old days:
now Lovelace's renown has faded
as scarlet heels have lost their name
and stately periwigs, their fame.

Alexander Pushkin
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Eugene Onegin (Chapter 3)

``You're off? why, there's a poet for you!''
``Goodbye, Onegin, time I went.''
``Well, I won't hold you up or bore you;
but where are all your evenings spent?''
``At the Larins'!'' ``But how mysterious.
For goodness' sake, you can't be serious
killing each evening off like that?''
``You're wrong.'' ``But what I wonder at
is this -- one sees from here the party:
in first place -- listen, am I right? --
a simple Russian family night:
the guests are feasted, good and hearty,
on jam, and speeches in regard
to rains, and flax, and the stockyard.''

Alexander Pushkin
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Eugene Onegin (Chapter 2)

The place where Eugene loathed his leisure
was an enchanting country nook:
there any friend of harmless pleasure
would bless the form his fortune took.
The manor house, in deep seclusion,
screened by a hill from storm's intrusion,
looked on a river: far away
before it was the golden play
of light that flowering fields reflected:
villages flickered far and near,
and cattle roamed the plain, and here
a park, enormous and neglected,
spread out its shadow all around --
the pensive Dryads' hiding-ground.

Alexander Pushkin
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I’ve come to know how tired faces shrivel,

How fear, from underneath the eyelids, peeks,

How suffering and torment leaves a scribble

Of cuneiform across the dried up cheeks,

I’ve seen how dark or ash-blond strands of hair

Would unexpectedly turn silver soon thereafter,

How smiles fade from the submissive stares,

And terror trembles in the hollow laughter.

And now I pray, not for myself, but all

Who stood beside me, on that very street,

Beneath the blind and towering red wall,

Through bitter chill and scorching July heat.


The hour of remembrance is here once again.

I see, I hear, I feel you near, my friends:

The one by the window, who could barely stand,

The one, who no longer walks on this land,

She flung back her hair, as she said with a tear:

“I feel like I’m home every time I come here.”

I wish I could call each by name, but the list

Was taken away and no longer exists.

For all of them, I wove this gorgeous shawl

From fragments of phrases I took from them all.

I think of them always, wherever I go.

I'll never forget them in new times of woe.

And soon, when my mouth is sealed once again, -

The mouth that screamed for a million men, -

Let them remember me in a similar way, -

On the eve of my future memorial day.

And if, in this country, they come to agree

To raise up a statue in remembrance of me,

I’ll grant my consent to this fine celebration –

Only if promised that it never be stationed

In the land of my birth, by the picturesque coast,

(My last link to the sea has already been lost),

And not in Tsar’s garden, by the sacred old tree,

Where the grief–stricken shadow is looking for me,

But here, where I stood for three hundred hours,

Where the strong iron bars obstructed the towers.

For even in death, I’m afraid to forget

The way black marias clanged up ahead,

The way the gate shut when it was released,

As the old woman wailed like a wounded beast.

And there, unexpectedly, teardrops will flow

From the eyelids of bronze with the melting of snow,

And prison-yard pigeons will rise to the sky,

As the ships, on the Neva, pass quietly by.
Anna Akhmatova
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“Do not weep for me, Mother,

Seeing me in the coffin.”


The choir of angels sang out heavenly,

The sky was melted into a fiery sea.

To the Father: “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

To the Mother: “Do not weep for me.”


Magdalene wept in a furious daze,

The dear disciple stood still, like a stone.

But no one was daring to gaze

Where His Mother, stood silent, alone.
Anna Akhmatova
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9 - The madness covers with its wing

The madness covers with its wing

Half of my soul from fear,

It gives me fiery wine to drink

And darkness lures me near.

I’ve come to see the resolution,

And I must cede the throne

And hearken to my own delusion

As if it ceased to be my own.

(However much I try to plead,

And beg for mercy’s sake)

It will not grant me what I need, -

Those things I’d like to take:

My child’s chilling frightening stare –

The torment’s heavy rock,

The jail visits that we shared,

The day when thunder struck,

The coolness of the hands I stroked,

The lime tree’s agitation,

The light and distant words we spoke

In parting consolation.
Anna Akhmatova
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8 - To Death

You’ll come. – Why delay any more?

I’m waiting – life’s hard to endure.

For you, I have opened the door

You’ll enter, so wondrous and pure.

Take on any form, - take your pick,

Burst in like some poisonous gas,

Or creep, like a crook, with a brick,

Or like typhus, come in with a gasp,

Or a story that you simply make up,

So common, it’s making me nauseous –

I’ll see the policeman’s blue cap

And the janitor, frightened and cautious.

The Yenisey is flowing. In the skies,

The Polar Star is lit. My fate is sealed.

The sparkle of the blue beloved eyes

Is veiled by the horror’s last ordeal.
Anna Akhmatova
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