The Demon

His way above the sinful earth
The melancholy Demon winged
And memories of happier days
About his exiled spirit thronged;
Of days when in the halls of light
He shone among the angels bright;
When comets in their headlong flight
Would joy to pay respect to him
As, chaste among the cherubim,
Among th' eternal nebulae
With eager mind and quick surmise
He'd trace their caravanserai
Through the far spaces of the skies;
When he had known both faith and love,
The happy firstling of creation!
When neither doubt nor dark damnation
Had whelmed him with the bitterness
Of fruitless exile year by year,
And when so much, so much...but this
Was more than memory could bear.

...
Mikhail Lermontov
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Clouds

Clouds in the skies above, heavenly wanderers,
Long strings of snowy pearls stretched over azure plains!
Exiles like I, you rush farther and farther on,
Leaving my dear North, go distances measureless.
What drives you southward? Is't envy that covertly
Prods you or malice whose arrows strike openly?
Destiny is it? A crime hanging over you?
Or friendship's honeyed but poisonous calumny?
No! O'er those barren wastes heedlessly journeying,
Passion you know not or anguish or punishment;
Feeling you lack, you are free - free eternally,
You have no homeland, for you there's no banishment.
Mikhail Lermontov
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The Dream

In noon's heat, in a dale of Dagestan
With lead inside my breast, stirless I lay;
The deep wound still smoked on; my blood
Kept trickling drop by drop away.
On the dale's sand alone I lay. The cliffs
Crowded around in ledges steep,
And the sun scorched their tawny tops
And scorched me - but I slept death's sleep.
And in a dream I saw an evening feast
That in my native land with bright lights shone;
Among young women crowned with flowers,
A merry talk concerning me went on.
But in the merry talk not joining,
One of them sat there lost in thought,
And in a melancholy dream
Her young soul was immersed - God knows by what.
And of a dale in Dagestan she dreamt;
In that dale lay the corpse of one she knew;
Within his breast a smoking wound showed black,
And blood ran in a stream that colder grew.
Mikhail Lermontov
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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