Russian Legacy

Alexandr Pushkin
(1799-1837)

List of poems

Winter evening

Storm has set the heavens scowling,
Whirling gusty blizzards wild,
Now they are like beasts a-growling,
Now a-wailing like a child;
Now along the brittle thatches
They will scud with rustling sound,
Now against the window latches
Like belated wanderers pound.
Our frail hut is glum and sullen,
Dim with twilight and with care.
Why, dear granny, have you fallen
Silent by the window there?
Has the gale's insistent prodding
Made your drowsing senses numb,
Are you lulled to gentle nodding
By the whirling spindle's hum?
Let us drink for grief, let's drown it,
Comrade of my wretched youth,
Where's the jar? Pour out and down it,
Wine will make us less uncouth.
Sing me of the tomtit hatching
Safe beyond the ocean blue,
Sing about the maiden fetching
Water at the morning dew.
Storm has set the heavens scowling,
Whirling gusty blizzards wild,
Now they sound like beasts a-growling,
Now a-wailing like a child.
Let us drink for grief, let's drown it,
Comrade of my wretched youth,
Where's the jar? Pour out and down it,
Wine will make us less uncouth.

Translated by Walter Arndt

O'er the earth a storm is prowling...

O'er the earth a storm is prowling,
Bringing whirling, blinding snow.
Like a beast I hear it howling,
Like an infant wailing low.
Now the thatch it rustles, playing
On our roof; now at our pane
Raps like someone homeward straying
And behighted in the plain.
Old our hut is, dark and dreary,
By a candle dimly lit...
Why so sad, my dear, and weary
At the window do you sit?
Is't because the storm is moaning
That so very still you keep?
Does your spindle's mournful droning
Put you quietly to sleep?
Come, O comrade solitery
Of this cheerless youth of mine,
Take a cup, and let us bury
All our many woes in wine!
Of a maid out by a river
Sing a little song to me
Or a tomtit, one that never
Leaves its home beyond the sea.
O'er the earth a storm is prowling,
Bringing whirling, blinding snow.
Like a beast I hear it howling,
Like an infant wailing low.
Come, O comrade solitery
Of this cheerless youth of mine,
Take a cup, and let us bury
All our many woes in wine!

Translated by I. Zheleznova

Winter evening
(literal linear translation)

Storm with mist the heavens covers,
Snowy whirlwinds twisting;
Now like a wild beast falls roaring,
Now falls crying like a child,
Now along the wizened roof
Abruptly with the straw it rustles,
Now like a belated wanderer
At our window it will rap.
Our decrepit little cabin
Is (both) dismal and dark.
How comes it, dear old granny,
You fell silent (a little) at the window?
By the storm's roar, off and on,
Are you numbed, my dear,
Or dozing to the buzz
of your spindle?
Let us drink, kind little friend
of my wretched youth,
Let us drink from grief; where is the jug?
The heart will be gayer.
Sing me the song of how the blue tit
Quietly lived beyond the sea
Sing me the song of how the maiden
Went for water at the morn.
Storm with mist the heavens covers,
Snow whirlwinds twisting;
Now like a wild beast falls roaring
Now falls crying like a child.
Let us drink, kind little friend
Of my wretched youthi
Let us drink from grief; where is the jug?
The heart will be gayer.

Translated by Walter Arndt

Winter evening

The squall veiled the sky
In snowy, swirling mists.
Like a child winds cry,
Or they howl like beasts.
Winds rustle in the thatch, and rock
Our crumbling roof,
On our window they knock
Like late comers, and then they move.
Our weathered shack is tiny,
Very dark, and dreary.
You fell silent at the window, nanny,
Why? Are you weary?
Did the howls of the squall still
Your busy hands? Or at the days end
The humming of your spinning wheel
Sent you napping, my dear friend?
Let’s drink my good friend,
Companion of my wretched youth,
Where is the jug? Let’s drink, to mend
The bitter heart, to elate it, and to soothe.
Nanny, sing me the song about the staid
Bluetit that settled beyond the sea.
Or sing me the song about the maid
That went for water at the morning lea.
The squall veiled the sky
In snowy, swirling mists.
Like a child winds cry
Or they howl like beasts.
Let’s drink, my good friend,
Companion of my wretched youth,
Where is the jug? Let’s drink, to mend
The bitter heart, to elate it, and to soothe.


Translated from original by K.M.W.Klara.
Зимний вечер

Буря мглою небо кроет,
Вихри снежные крутя;
То, как зверь она завоет,
То заплачет как дитя,
То по кровле обветшалой
Вдруг соломой зашумит,
То, как путник запоздалый,
К нам в окошко постучит.
Наша ветхая лачужка
И печальна и темна.
Что же ты, моя старушка,
Приумолкла у окна?
Или бури завыванием
Ты мой друг утомлена,
Или дремлешь под жужжанием
Своего веретена?
Выпьем, добрая подружка
Бедной юности моей,
Выпьем с горя; где же кружка?
Сердцу будет веселей.
Спой мне песню, как синица
Тихо за морем жила;
Спой мне песню, как девица
За водой поутру шла.
Буря мглою небо кроет,
Вихри снежные крутя;
То, как зверь она завоет,
То заплачет как дитя.
Выпьем, добрая подружка
Бедной юности моей,
Выпьем с горя; где же кружка ?
Сердцу будет веселей.

1825

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