Alexander Pushkin

The Poet

While still Apollo isn’t demanding Bard at the sacred sacrifice, Through troubles of the worldly muddling He wretchedly and blindly shuffles; His holly lyre is quite silent; His soul’s in the sleeping, soft, And mid the dwarves of the world-giant, He, perhaps, is the shortest dwarf. But when a word of god’s commands, Touches his ear, always attentive, It starts – the heart of the Bard native – As a waked eagle ever starts. He’s sad in earthly frolics, idle, Avoids folks’ gossips, always spread, At feet of the all-peoples’ idol He does not bend his proud head; He runs – the wild, severe, stunned, Full of confusion, full of noise – To the deserted waters’ shores, To woods, widespread and humming loud. Translated by Yevgeny Bonver Poet Until the poet’s summoned thus By great Apollo to be martyred, Within the world of bustling fuss He stays immersed and faint-hearted; His lyre’s silent, hushed and cold, His soul lies deep in wintry slumber, Among the humble of the world He is, for now, perhaps, most humble. But let the Word divinely drop And on his harking ears fall lightly, The poet’s soul will rouse timely, As though an eagle, woken up. He’s bored of usual diversion, He longs for simple speech instead, And to the feet of idols worshiped He never bows his proud head. Full of sweet sounds and confusion, He runs instead, untamed and brave, Across the shores with endless waves, Into the noisy grove’s seclusion... Translated by Andrey Kneller

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