• Язык:
    Английский (English)
  • The Heritage of Russian Verse. Introduced and edited by Dimitri Obolensky

The Peasant


In the thickets, in the vast swamps, by the river the colour of tin, in shaggy and dark huts, there live strange peasants.

One of them goes out into the trackless wastes where the feather-grass has run riot, and, sensing an ancient legend, listens to the cries of Stribog.1

The Pecheneg, with a fixed gaze, used to pass through here... It smells of dampness and of reptiles by rivers that are growing shallow.

Here he2 is now with a scrip, filling the forest path with a song, slow and soft, but mischievous, so mischievous.

His path is light and darkness, the whistle of robbers in the fields, quarrels, bloody brawls in taverns horrible as nightmares:

He enters our proud capital — God save us ! — and bewitches the Empress of boundless Russia

by his gaze, his child-like smile, his speech that is so mischievous — and on his mighty chest there glitters a golden cross.

Alas, why did not the cross on the Kazan' Cathedral and the one on St Isaac's bend and leave their places?

Shots, shouting, and the tocsin are heard over the stunned capital; the city has bared its teeth like a lioness protecting her young.

«Well, Orthodox folk, burn my corpse on a dark bridge, throw the ashes to the wind... Who will protect the orphan?

«In the wild and poor country there are many such peasants; the joyful tramp of their footsteps is heard along your roads.»

1. A Slavonic pagan god, associated with the wind.
2. The subject of this poem is Rasputin.

Другие переводы:

  • Английский
    Бартон Раффел, Алла Бураго
    The Muzhik
  • Болгарский
    Бойко Ламбовски
  • Венгерский
    Иштван Бака
  • Чешский
    Мария Марчанова

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