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Alexandr Pushkin
(1799-1837)

List of poems

To Chaadayev

Not long did youth's vain hopes delude us,
Its dreams of love and prideful fame.
They briefly, fleetingly pursued us,
Then passed like mist and no more came.
But still we chafe, our hearts afire,
Under the yoke of tyranny,
And, heedful of our country's plea,
Her true deliverance desire.
We freedom wait with all the fever,
The hidden ache and eagerness
That 'fore the hour of promised bliss
Consume the yong and ardent lover.
While freedom's flame within us lives,
While we by honour's voice are guided,
To Russia, comrade, let us give
Our spirits whole and undivided.
Dear friend, have faith: the wakeful skies
Presage a dawn of wonder - Russia
Shall from her age-old sleep arise,
And despotosm impatient crushing,
Upon its ruins our names incise!

Translated by I.Zheleznova

To Chaadaev
Of love, of hope, of quiet glory
Not long I nursed the self-deceit,
Vanished are adolescent dallies
Like a dream, like the morning mist;
But still desire burns within us;
Beneath the press of fateful power
With impatient soul
We hark the native country's summons.
We bide with yearning expectation
The moment of sacred liberty,
As the young lover bides
The moment of the promised meeting.
The while with liberty we burn,
The while our hearts are quick for honour,
My friend, to our land we dedicate
The soul's exquisite raptures!
Comrade, believe: it will arise,
The star of captivating bliss,
Russia with rouse herself from sleep,
And on the ruins of despotism
Our names will be inscribed!

Translated by Nick and Dimitri Derkatch

К Чаадаеву

Любви, надежды, тихой славы
Недолго нежил нас обман,
Исчезли юные забавы,
Как сон, как утренний туман;
Но в нас горит еще желанье,
Под гнетом власти роковой,
Нетерпеливою душой
Отчизны внемлем призыванье.
Мы ждем с томленьем упованья
Минуты вольности святой,
Как ждет любовник молодой
Минуты верного свиданья.
Пока свободою горим,
Пока сердца для чести живы,
Мой друг, отчизне посвятим
Души прекрасные порывы!
Товарищ, верь: взойдет она,
Звезда пленительного счастья,
Россия вспрянет ото сна,
И на обломках самовластья
Напишут наши имена!

1818


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