Monday, October 26, 2009

Verses from Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin, 1827
Vasily Tropinin

"In the hope of making Pushkin available to more readers, especially those who have only a slight knowledge of Russian, or none at all, this web site [see below] is dedicated to providing a translation of some of his poems. The Russian text is set alongside the translation, to provide easy comparisons for those who wish to make their own efforts."

From the website Pushkin's Poems -

Engene Onegin (see also the post below from earlier today)

From near the end of the verse novel starting with 42.

She does not seek to make him stand,
And not withdrawing from him her eyes
From his greedy lips she does not prize
Her senseless and unconscious hand.
What at this moment are her dreams? ...
A long and silent interval
Then passes. Then quietly she speaks:
"Enough; stand up. To you I shall
Declare my thoughts quite openly.
Onegin, you remember, surely,
That hour, when in our garden alley,
Fate brought us close, and unprotestingly
I heard the sermon that you thought to preach.
But now it is my turn to teach.

Skipping now to 45 ...

I weep now.... But if your former Tanya
You have still not forgotten even now,
Then know this: the bitterness of your anger
The stern talk, the coldness of your brow,
If it should be but within my power
I would prefer it to this mean passion,
To these tears, these letters that you fashion.
For to my young dreams in that distant hour
You then at least showed some sympathy,
And some respect for my girlish years...
But now! Why here? What foolishness
Brought you here to my feet? What sordidness?
How, with the heart and the mind that you have
Do you display the soul of the meanest slave?

But for me, Onegin, this luxuriance,
This tinsel glare of a harsh existence,
My status in glittering society's whirl,
My modern home and evening parties,
What are they? I would renounce them all,
And all these rags of showy pretence,
This noisy sparkle, this rich incense,
For a shelf of books or a ragged garden,
For our old house, poor and humble too,
And all those places, where long ago,
Onegin, I first set my eyes on you,
And for that graveyard, quiet, retired,
Where a cross under the shade of trees and skies,
Marks where my poor old nurse now lies.

Yet happiness seemed so possible,
So near at hand!... But now the book
Of fate is shut. Inadmissible
Perhaps was the course I took:
My mother with her tears of entreaty
Prayed me to marry; for poor Tanya
All lots were equal and indifferent...
I married. Onegin, leave me,
You must, I ask you, and I know
Within you there are nobler feelings,
Your pride, and your honourable dealings.
I love you ( why should I deceive you?)
But I am given to another now,
And I will eternally keep my vow.
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