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From "Captains"


In far waters of Arctic and South
On the curves of the malachite ripples,
Among reefs of bright pearls and gray basalt,
Rustle sails of impetuous ships.

The swift-winged, they are lead by the captains,
Who discover new waters and lands,
Who don’t fear for fury of tempests,
Strength of maelstroms and plots of banks’ sands.

Whose breasts really are saturated
Not with dust of the skipp’d out scrolls,
But with sea salt, who plot on a tattered
Maps with needles, their venturesome course,

Who, on planks of high bridges, which roam,
Think of ports, they have left far behind,
As they slash the white flakes of sea foam
>From their jack-boots with cane’s sprightly winds,

Or, to mutiny, flar’d up on board,
Whip long pistols from their silky belts,
So strongly that scatter light gold,
>From their cuffs of the pink Brabant lace.

Though the sea may be crazy and fierce,
And the waves rise to heavens and wail,
Still, not one of these captains would fear,
And not one would reef in his ship’s sails.

Cowards aren’t blessed with such hands and looks that
Are so keen, self-assured and strait,
That can suddenly hurl, ‘gainst feluccas
Of the enemy, daring frigates,

With the iron harpoons or with bullets,
Overtake the palatial whales,
And in nights, in which starry sky rules,
Find the guiding lighthouses’ flames.

Перевод стихотворения Николая Гумилёва «На полярных морях и на южных…» на английский язык.

На полярных морях и на южных…

На полярных морях и на южных,
По изгибам зеленых зыбей,
Меж базальтовых скал и жемчужных
Шелестят паруса кораблей.

Быстрокрылых ведут капитаны,
Открыватели новых земель,
Для кого не страшны ураганы,
Кто изведал мальстремы и мель,

Чья не пылью затерянных хартий, —
Солью моря пропитана грудь,
Кто иглой на разорванной карте
Отмечает свой дерзостный путь

И, взойдя на трепещущий мостик,
Вспоминает покинутый порт,
Отряхая ударами трости
Клочья пены с высоких ботфорт,

Или, бунт на борту обнаружив,
Из-за пояса рвет пистолет,
Так что сыпется золото с кружев,
С розоватых брабантских манжет.

Пусть безумствует море и хлещет,
Гребни волн поднялись в небеса,
Ни один пред грозой не трепещет,
Ни один не свернет паруса.

Разве трусам даны эти руки,
Этот острый, уверенный взгляд
Что умеет на вражьи фелуки
Неожиданно бросить фрегат,

Меткой пулей, острогой железной
Настигать исполинских китов
И приметить в ночи многозвездной
Охранительный свет маяков?

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