the great figures in imaginative literature are perpetually contemporary... Ancient or modern, they live in the perpetual present of mankind, crowding it with an accumulation of life and a living variety of human experience. THE ILLUSTRATOR Shaheen Razvi is a freelance artist living in Scotland. Za nashim vekom my idyom 108 We walk behind our age 82. Dva demona emu sluzhili 111 Two demons served him 91. V kotoruyu iz dvukh lyubit'sya 114 With which of the two has fate decreed In welche soll ich mich verlieben (Heine) 97. You're not in the mood for verses, our kindred, Russian tongue! God has somehow allowed not a whole world to threaten you with calamity, but an entire hell to threaten your downfall! Every blasphemous mind and every-God-reviling race has dredged up monarchies of murk in the name of light and freedom! Preparing a cell for you, they foretell your ignominy, yours, the Word, life, enlightenment of better days to come! Oh, in this stern trial, in this final, fateful struggle, be faithful to yourself, justify your deeds to God. Now, at the height of your science and between two worlds, you stand as a universal mediator. Fountains quietly waft and plash, the garden breathes in slumberous coolness, and Peter's limes rustle so jubilantly above you. Play with people, play with fate, you - life destined for battle, you - heart greedy for storms. How often, tormented by sad dreams, I look at you in anguish, my gaze clouding with tears. We wish all the very best to both Nicholases and greet them with heartfelt sincerity. My heartfelt greeting to you, and, such as it is, here's my portrait. Oh, all these fateful rumours, this criminal, wild mumbling of our native land's black sheep will not be heeded by Russia! for her, whose sorrow and trials are understood and gauged only by the one who, sanctifying herself through suffering, stood crying by the cross. Only our spectral liberty imparts a sense of dissonance. and as the moon's about to leave the sky, in that early morning chill, across the land just waking up a spectral visitor wanders still.
Its only forerunner was Charles Tomlinson's slim volume of 1960. Eshchyo shumel vesyolyi den' 89 The happy day was loud 53. V tolpe lyudei, v neskromnom shume dnya 92 Among society's gossips 59. Edva my vyshli iz tresenskikh vrat 97 We had just left the gates of Trezene A peine nous sortions des portes de Trezene (Racine) 62. Lyublyu glaza tvoi, moi drug 125 I love your eyes, dear 124. Smotri, kak zapad razgorelsya 129 Watch the West flaming up 132. Ot russkogo, po prochtenii otryvkov lektsii g-na 133 139. Kak dymnyi stolp svetleet v vyshine 137 A cloud bank, bright and high 148. Tikhoi noch'yu, pozdnim letom 139 Quiet evening, late in summer 154. Perhaps you live in heaven, but theres a passionate, female soul inside! Don't trouble me with your complaints, although you're fully justified. My soul could not be torn from their magic, passionate night! Inscrutable was that gaze, where life was bared to its depths, such suffering I sensed there, and such a depth of passion! Melancholy was their breathing, deep in their dense lashes' shade, languid as pleasure, fateful as suffering. And on such marvellous days, it never happened once that I would meet them unperturbed, without a tear springing to my eyes. For the earthborn they are gods, Death and Sleep, like brother and sister wondrously akin, Death's the gloomier, Sleep is gentler. But there are two more twins: there are no finer twins in the world, and there's no fascination more fearsome than he who's surrendered his heart to them. and who, in an excess of sensation, when blood boils and freezes in his veins, can claim he's never tasted your temptations, Suicide and Love? No, at a fateful moment, lured by mysterious delight, all my soul, my living soul, I buried on your bed. Oh, they burned and shone, your rays, poet, your farewell rays. A pure dove's spirit wafted through him and by this spiritual purity he was a man, strong, shining from within. Not always does the soul have sickly dreams: spring's arrived, once more the sun will beam. And there, peacefully solemn, disrobed since early morning, Mont Blanc is shining like some unearthly revelation. Outside the tepid rain of summer streamed, splashing through the trees in happy games. She lay for quite some time absorbed as slowly she came round, consciously immersed in thought, beginning to listen to the sounds. As if conversing with herself, she said, and she was fully aware, (I was with her, crushed, but still alive,) "Oh, I loved it all so much out there! You love - at loving as you could, no-one's yet arrived. On this day of the Orthodox East, this sacred, sacred great day, spread wide across the whole world your peals and clothe all Russia in them! But do not limit your summons to the frontiers of Holy Russia. Addressed to Prince Alexander Gorchakov (1798-1883), a conspicuous figure in government, from 1856 occupying the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs. Gorchakov was inordinately proud of his prose style. The text ends with the following words: "My dear daughter, keep this in memory of yesterday's stroll and our conversation, but don't show it to anyone. However, on this occasion, he appears to have got almost as good as he gave, as the following anonymous reply to his epigram demonstrates: Vy oshibaetesya grubo, I v vashei Nitstse dorogoi Slozhili, vidno, vmeste s shuboi Vy pamyat' o zemle rodnoi. I can manage nothing better thanks to my present disposition".
Tyutchev can teach much of value about both how to savour the beauty of fleeting moments and how to face life's adversities with spirit. Net, moego k tebe pristrast'ya 117 No, Mother-Earth, my tenderness for you 102. Kak ptichka, ranneyu zaryoi 120 The whole world starts as sunlight streams 111. Potok sgustilsya i tuskneet 122 The stream has frozen and dulled 115. You, so long, so gloriously guarding Russia faithfully? Their bayonets were like lightning, sparkling as their drums resounded ... Of this innumerable host marching by, not a tenth, not a tenth, escaped that fateful stamp! Russia will regain the frontiers bequeathed to her and old Moscow will be the newest of the three capitals. The sky has gone in so deeply on itself, the stars burn so high and the Donets glistens in the dark. Beneath the walls of their dwelling, illuminated by the moon, the monks sleep in peace. A gigantic outcrop, wondrously white, the cliff stands above the Donets, raising its cross to Heaven like an eternal sentry guarding the monks. It is said that in its womb, locked away, as if in a grave, a wondrous monk lived in severe abnegation for many a year, shedding so many tears before God, lavishing so much faith! It's for that that at night, with a strength that lives even today, above the Donets the cliff stands, and, with this sacred place of prayer, abundant in grace even today, it enlivens the sleeping world. No, never has God's justice been so insolently called to battle by the injustice of man! This cry of blind sympathy, a universal summons to frenzied conflict, the depravity of minds, the distortion of the word, it's all risen up and threatens you, .......... Such a call to arms has not been heard since the earliest times. who, chosen to be the bull's-eye of all sedition, stood and stands, peaceful, unharmed, in spite of foes, their lies and evil-mouthing, in spite, alas, of his own people's banalities? So let this letter to him from us, his friends, be a shameful piece of testimony! Warmed by her presence, life shook its feathers anew, and even Peter's summer thought of thawing out when she arrived. A sudden song bursts out and by some charm the mist curls up and flies away, the sky is blue once more, clothing itself in radiance, and everything is green again, everything turns into spring. I want to know myself, to be aware; I can't, a shattered boat thrown up by breakers upon a nameless shore that's wild and bare. Dying, he doubted, tormented by an ominous thought, but not for nothing had God spoken in him. Blood's pouring over the brim of the cup filled to overflowing by the wrath of God, and the West is drowning in it. "Unity", an oracle of our century has said, "can only be welded by iron and blood." Well, we'll try welding it with love. Submissive to a high command standing guard over thought, we haven't been too diligent, despite the carbine in our hand. Whatever life might have taught us, still the heart believes in wonders: there is a strength which never wanes, there is untainted beauty, .......... The gloom will be the same and everything will stay precisely in its place! A fool we've known for ages, the bustlesome old censor feeds any old way on our flesh, God bless him! The Emperor was kept in complete ignorance of his condition. Tyutchev, as is well known, tended to lose sight all together of his best lyrics once he had written them. A greetings telegram sent to Vyazemsky on his name-day.
It is precisely these qualities which have, I believe, been caught admirably in Frank Jude's translations. Cherez livonskie ya proezzhal polya 106 Crossing Livonian fields 76. V dushnom vozdukha molchan'e 117 Silent air enwrapping 103. S polyany korshun podnyalsya 119 The kite lifts from the field 109. Tam, gde gory, ubegaya 120 Far into the shining distance 112. Sizhu zadumchiv i odin 122 I sit deep in thought and alone 116. Once, only once, by the will of God, you let the Antichrist affront the sacred integrity of our Russian land and doing that, you made it firm forever! Neman, do you remember the past, the day of that fateful year when he stood above you, he, that mighty southern demon, when you, as now, flowed on, surging under the bridges of the foe, when he caressed you with his eyes, with his wondrous eyes? His companies knew victories, their banners gaily flapping, the sun picked out their bayonets, beneath the cannon bridges groaning, and from on high, just like a god, he seemed to soar above them, moving, watching over every item with his wondrous eyes. Just one thing he did not see, this wondrous warrior, did not see that there, upon the other bank, there stood Another. In her there lives charm, a marvel of pure delicacy, a charm of mystery and melancholy, and her soft presence is like an obscure dream with which, without knowing how, the soul is filled. For itself this story speaks, the plot's not hard to unravel: our dirty Russian pub has travelled right up to the Caucasian peaks. While she was here, old age became young again and experience became an apprentice. This fantasy stayed with me all the time your little bird was singing. The past no longer wafts its clear shadow: like a corpse, it lies beneath the ground. Above it, in bright reality, loveless, where sun-rays never fall, there's an impassive, soulless world which neither knows, nor can remember her at all. The blood is spattering you, my friends, my brothers! and earthly fading will not touch unearthly flowers, and in the midday heat the dew on them will not dry up, .......... I'm half asleep and I can't work out this combination: I hear the whistle of runners on the snow and the chirruping of spring swallows. A whole gamut of events has come to pass, but faith has not deceived us, and we hear the last rattle of Sevastopol rumbling. The last, thunderous shot suddenly rang out, life-creating. And everything which till so recently had been raised up by blind hostility, so insolently, so arbitrarily, has crumpled in on itself before his authoritative honour .......... So not until several days before the heir's death did the Emperor learn accidentally from a state messenger about the imminent tragedy". Since the immediate inspiration was of the first importance in the composition of so many of his poems, I have chosen to reinstate the final stanza. Appended are the words, "Here are some fairly bad verses to please the recipient".
There has been no serious attempt to translate them in bulk, possibly because the task would be monumental. i Kto s khlebom slyoz svoikh ne el 78 He who has not eaten tears with his bread Wer nie sein Brot mit Tranen a? In the harbour, his flight in the wilderness over, he re-acquaints himself with joy! 4 And is it any wonder that a memory of the sublime visited your soul with involuntary sadness! As the plumes of smoke waft away, so our days go by! Separation has this lofty meaning: if love lasts years, if but a day it takes, loves just a dream and were a moment dreaming, and whether early, whether late the waking, the time must finally arrive when we awake. There's no salvation in lies and violence, however you might boldly arm yourself with them, not for man's soul nor for his affairs.
A satisfactory Russian version of all the poems has yet to appear. Pesn' Radosti 67 Song of Joy An die Freude (Schiller) 20. S chuzhoi storony 70 From a Foreign Land Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam 22. ii Kto khochet miru chuzhdym byt' He who would be a stranger in the world Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergiebt (Goethe) 37. Exulting, will he not then drape his mighty bark with flowers? They take the sky and hoist it far over the horizon. Sweetness shudders through the land as if, freed from the heat, natured scooped spring waters in her hand and splashed her burning feet. Fate did not create a swan of you, dipping its wing into the crimson waves when the sunset burns above the currents and it swims, admiring itself, between a dual dawn. Gods, only you are eternal, everything earthly goes by! Do you know the land where the myrtle and laurel bloom, where deep and pure is the azure vault of the sky, where the lemon flowers, and the golden orange burns like a fire beneath its dense foliage? There, there would I like to hide away with you, my love. Do you know that summit with a path along its steep sides? In mountain crevices there lives a family of snakes, the avalanche thunders and the waterfall roars. Listen while you celebrate, whoever he might now be, armed to the teeth with violence and deceit, your turn will come, and sooner or later you'll be defeated by it! They transmit faithfully the feelings and the tone of the originals, sometimes with remarkable success. Chto ty klonish' nad vodami 118 Willow, why do you lower 104. Nad vinogradnymi kholmami 121 Across vine-covered hillsides 113. Eshchyo zemli pechalen vid 123 Earth's face is still a melancholy thing 117. Love has dissolved in the air and the blossoming world of nature is ecstatic in life's abundance. But in all this surplus of sensation no joy is more acute than a single smile of emotion from your tormented soul. Under velvet snow it's mute, immobile, glistening wondrously with life, standing enchanted, neither dead nor alive, entranced by a magic dream, entirely covered, fettered by light links of snow. We've been burdened by a horrible dream, a horrible, ugly dream: up to our ankles in blood, we're fighting corpses resurrected for fresh funerals. These battles have already lasted eight months, this heroic ardour, the treachery and lies, a den of thieves in a house of prayer, crucifix and dagger in the same hand. She twisted this diplomatic milieu around her little finger. With his last, quiet steps he approached the window. and this faith will not deceive whoever lives by it alone. But the grace of this faith for the few is accessible only to those who in life's stern trials, like you, still loving, were able to suffer, .......... The last word in the cruel battle has only now been spoken. And there you have it: free element, as our national poet would have said, you roar as you did in days of yore, and your blue waves roll on and you sparkle in proud beauty! Fifteen years you spent in forced confinement in the west. Once again your importunate billows call on your kindred Russia, and into this feud, reasoned out by God, great Sevastopol awakes from its enchanted sleep. And that which you, in days of old, hid from martial inclemency in your sympathetic breast you'll give us back, without casualties - the immortal Black Sea fleet. Yes, in the heart of the Russian people this day will be consecrated, it is our external freedom, it will illuminate the grave's shadows of the St. There was a day of judgement and censure, that fateful, irrevocable day, when to ensure a long fall, he stepped onto the highest rung .......... We are vaguely aware that we exist as shadows in her dreams. Completing life's useless game, one by one her children she devours in her peace-making abyss, welcoming, treating every one the same. The epigraph comes from the Epistolarum liber/Book of Letters (B:1/282) of the Roman poet Ausonius (4th. Akinfeva and written at her request to compose something for her album.