Russian Legacy

Alexandr Pushkin
(1799-1837)

List of poems

What means my name to you?..

What means my name to you?.. 'Twil die
As does the melancholy rumour
Of distant waves, or, of a summer,
The forest's hushed nocturnal sigh.
Found on a fading album page,
Dim will it seem and enigmatic,
Like words traced on a tomb, a relic
Of some long dead and vanished age.
What's in my name?.. Long since forgot,
Erased by new, tempestuous passion,
Of tenderness 'twill leave you not
The lingering and sweet impression.
But in an hour of agony,
Pray, speak it, and recall my image,
And say, "He still remembers me,
His heart alone still pays me homage."

Translated by I.Zheleznova

What's in my name?..

What's in my name? It's soulless,
It shall expire, like the dismal roar
Of waves that hit the distant shore, --
Like nighttime noises in the forest!
Upon the memo sheet, in grief,
Its imprint in the stillborn gloom,
Much like the writing on the tomb,
In foreign language it will leave.
What's in it? All the lost and trite
In new and wild insurrection,
Within your soul it won't excite
The pure and kind recollections.
But silently, in time of anguish
Pronounce it softly while grieving
Say that my memory won't vanish
That there's a heart in which I'm living...

Translated by M.Kneller


Что в имени тебе моем?

Что в имени тебе моем?
Оно умрет, как шум печальный
Волны, плеснувшей в берег дальный.
Как звук ночной в лесу глухом.
Оно на памятном листке
Оставит мертвый след, подобный
Узору надписи надгробной
На непонятном языке.
Что в нем? Забытое давно
В волненьях новых и мятежных,
Твоей душе не даст оно
Воспоминаний чистых, нежных.
Но в день печали, в тишине,
Произнеси его тоскуя;
Скажи: есть память обо мне,
Есть в мире сердце, где живу я...

1830

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