19 May 2011

"Eugene Onegin," Ch.7 I-III, by Alexander Pushkin (trans. Vladimir Nabokov)

Chased by the vernal beams,
down the surrounding hills the snows already
have run in turbid streams
onto the inundated fields.
With a serene smile, nature
greets through her sleep the morning of the year.
Bluing, the heavens shine.
The yet transparent woods
as if with down are greening.
The bee flies from her waxen cell
after the tribute of the field.
The dales grow dry and varicolored.
The herds are noisy, and the nightingale
has sung already in the hush of nights.

How sad your apparition is to me,
spring, spring, season of love!
What a dark stir there is
in my soul, in my blood!
With what oppressive tenderness
I revel in the whiff
of spring fanning my face
in the lap of the rural stillness!
Or is enjoyment strange to me,
and all that gladdens, animates,
all that exults and gleams,
casts spleen and languishment
upon a soul long dead
and all looks dark to it?

Or gladdened not by the return
of leaves that perished in the autumn,
a bitter loss we recollect,
harking to the new murmur of the woods;
or with reanimated nature we
compare in troubled thought
the withering of our years,
for which there is no renovation?
Perhaps there comes into our thoughts,
midst a poetic reverie,
some other ancient spring,
which sets our hearts aquiver
with the dream of a distant clime,
a marvelous night, a moon...

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