I love you, though I rage at it,
Though it is shame and toil misguided,
And to my folly self-derided
Here at your feet I will admit!
It ill befits my years, my station,
Good sense has long been overdue!
And yet, by every indication
Love's plague has stricken me anew:
You're out of sight - I fall to yawning;
You're here - I suffer and feel blue,
And barely keep myself from owning,
Dear elf, how much I care for you!
Why, when your guileless girlish chatter
Drifts from next door your airy tread,
Your rustling dress, my senses scatter
And I completely lose my head.
You smile - I flush with exultation;
You turn away- I'm plunged in gloom,
Your pallid hand is compensation
For a whole day of fancied doom.
When to the frame with artless motion
You bend to cross-stitch, all devotion,
Your eyes and ringlets down-beguiled,
My heart goes out in mute emotion,
Rejoicing in you like a child!
Dare I confess to you my sighing,
How jealously I chafe and balk
When you set forth, defying
Bad weather, on a lengthy walk?
And then your solitary crying,
Those twosome whispers out of sight,
Your carriage to Opochka plying,
And the piano late at night...
Aline! I ask but to be pitied,
I do not dare to plead for love;
Love, for the sins I have committed,
I am perhaps unworthy of.
But make believe! Your gaze, dear elf,
Is fit to conjure with, believe me!
Ah, it is easy to deceive me!...
I long to be deceived myself!.

Translated by Katharena Eiermann


Oh, I love you, I'm mad with rage,
Albeit it's shame and hopeless trouble,
And I confess my foolish ruffles,
I'm sitting near you, like page.
It doesn't suit me, frankly speaking,
It's time I have to be more keen,
I recognize all sings of fleeting
Disease of soul. Love, I mean.
And I feel sad with you - I'm quiet,
I'm bored without you - I yawn,
I have a great and strong desire
To say, my Angel, I'm all yours.
And when I hear your light footfalls,
Or virgin voice, or noise of dress
In drawing - room before a gay ball,
Then suddenly I lose my sense.
You smile to me - it's a joyance,
You turn away - I'm despondent,
But for the day of my annoyance
My best reward - your pale hand.
And when you are so conscientious,
Bend carelessly with attention
Aloft the tambour, I enjoy
Your curls and eyes and your attraction
With tender silence, like a boy.
O, may I tell about sorrows,
My distresses and jealous grieve,
When you are going to stroll.
I take your last and sudden leave.
And piano in the quiet sundowns,
And fascinating tete-a-tete,
And journeys to a little town,
And after weeping you look sad.
Alina! Take a pity on me!
I can't require your delight,
I don't worth your love, your sights,
My Angel, for my sins so paltry!
But feign, this glance so nice and deep
Can show everything so finely,
You easily can mystify me,
I'm glad myself to be deceived.

Translated by Lada Slobodyanik


Я вас люблю, - хоть я бешусь,
Хоть это труд и стыд напрасный,
И в этой глупости несчастной
У ваших ног я признаюсь!
Мне не к лицу и не по летам...
Пора, пора мне быть умней!
Но узнаю по всем приметам
Болезнь любви в душе моей:
Без вас мне скучно, - я зеваю;
При вас мне грустно, - я терплю;
И, мочи нет, сказать желаю,
Мой ангел, как я вас люблю!
Когда я слышу из гостиной
Ваш легкий шаг, иль платья шум,
Иль голос девственный, невинный,
Я вдруг теряю весь свой ум.
Вы улыбнетесь, - мне отрада;
Вы отвернетесь, - мне тоска;
За день мучения - награда
Мне ваша бледная рука.
Когда за пяльцами прилежно
Сидите вы, склонясь небрежно,
Глаза и кудри опустя, -
Я в умиленье, молча, нежно
Любуюсь вами, как дитя!..
Сказать ли вам мое несчастье,
Мою ревнивую печаль,
Когда гулять, порой, в ненастье,
Вы собираетеся вдаль?
И ваши слезы в одиночку,
И речи в уголку вдвоем,
И путешествия в Опочку,
И фортепьяно вечерком?..
Алина! сжальтесь надо мною.
Не смею требовать любви.
Быть может, за грехи мои,
Мой ангел, я любви не стою!
Но притворитесь! Этот взгляд
Все может выразить так чудно!
Ах, обмануть меня не трудно!..
Я сам обманываться рад!