Alexander Pushkin


Where sea waves crash against The barren cliffs with all their might, Where the glowing moon enchants In the twilight of the night, Where, in a harem, a Muslim, daily Spends his time without a care, The sorceress, caressing, gave me A sacred talisman to wear. And then, embracing me, she said: “It contains mysterious force! Cherish it and keep it safe! Understand that love’s its source. Also know — it can’t prevent Sudden death or serious illness, It cannot protect you head From the hurricane or tempest. It cannot bestow upon you All the riches of the East, Prophet’s crowds won’t applaud you Or obey you in the least. It cannot transport you forth From the gloomy foreign lands, From the south to the north, Home to be embraced by friends… But whenever cunning eyes Charm you and you can’t resist, Or hiding in the night’s disguise, Wicked lips aim for your lips, Then, this talisman will guard From dishonesty, my friend! And protect your fragile heart, From betrayals and neglect!” Translated by Talisman

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