The storm wind covers the sky
Whirling the fleecy snow drifts,
Now it howls like a wolf,
Now it is crying, like a lost child,
Now rustling the decayed thatch
On our tumbledown roof,
Now, like a delayed traveller,
Knocking on our window pane.
Our wretched little cottage
Is gloomy and dark.
Why do you sit all silent
Hugging the window, old gran?
Has the howling of the storm
Wearied you, at last, dear friend?
Or are you dozing fitfully
Under the spinning wheel's humming?
Let us drink, dearest friend
To my poor wasted youth.
Let us drink from grief - Where's the glass?
Our hearts at least will be lightened.
Sing me a song of how the bluetit
Quietly lives across the sea.
Sing me a song of how the young girl
Went to fetch water in the morning.
The storm wind covers the sky
Whirling the fleecy snow drifts
Now it howls like a wolf,
Now it is crying, like a lost child.
Let us drink, dearest friend
To my poor wasted youth.
Let us drink from grief - Where's the glass?
Our hearts at least will be lightened.

The Water-Nymph

In lakeside leafy groves, a friar
Escaped all worries; there he passed
His summer days in constant prayer,
Deep studies and eternal fast.
Already with a humble shovel
The elder dug himself a grave -
As, calling saints to bless his hovel,
Death - nothing other - did he crave.

So once, upon a falling night, he
Was bowing by his wilted shack
With meekest prayer to the Almighty.
The grove was turning slowly black;
Above the lake a mist was lifting;
Through milky clouds across the sky
The ruddy moon was softly drifting,
When water drew the friar's eye...

He's looking puzzled, full of trouble,
Of fear he cannot quite explain,
He sees the waves begin to bubble
And suddenly grow calm again.
Then - white as first snow in the highlands,
Light-footed as nocturnal shade,
There comes ashore, and sits in silence
Upon the bank, a naked maid.

She eyes the monk and brushes gently
Her hair, and water off her arms.
He shakes with fear and looks intently
At her, and at her lovely charms.
With eager hand she waves and beckons,
Nods quickly, smiles as from afar
And shoots, within two flashing seconds,
Into still water like a star.

The glum old man slept not an instant;
All day, not even once he prayed:
Before his eyes still hung and glistened
The wondrous, the relentless shade...
The grove puts on its gown of nightfall;
The moon walks on the cloudy floor;
And there's the maiden - pale, delightful,
Reclining on the spellbound shore.

She looks at him, her hair she brushes,
Blows airy kisses, gestures wild,
Plays with the waves - caresses, splashes -
Now laughs, now whimpers like a child,
Moans tenderly, calls louder, louder...
'Come, monk, come, monk! To me, to me!..'
Then - disappears in limpid water,
And all is silent instantly...

On the third day the zealous hermit
Was sitting by the shore, in love,
Awaiting the delightful mermaid,
As shade was covering the grove...
Dark ceded to the sun's emergence;
Our monk had wholly disappeared -
Before a crowd of local urchins,
While fishing, found his hoary beard.

A LEGEND OF THE WATER-SPRITE

In forest depths, beside a mere,
A monk once made his habitation ;
Absorbed in penances severe,
In fast and prayer he sought salvation.
Already by his own poor spade
His grave was hollowed to receive him,
And every day the good saint prayed
That Heaven from earth would soon relieve him.

One summer's eve, the hermit poor,
At prayer within his narrow room,
Looked out beyond his humble door
And saw the forest wrapped in gloom ;
Night-mists were rising from the mere,
Between the clouds the moon 'gan peep;
The monk unto the pool drew near
And gazed into its waters deep.

He saw himself—drew back perturbed
By fears he ne'er had known before ;
For, lo, the waters were disturbed,
Then suddenly grew calm once more ;
'While fitful as a twilight shade,
Than virgin snow more purely white,
From out the pool appeared a maid
Approaching in the silver light.

She shook the bright drops from her hair
And gazed upon the anchorite ;
To look upon her form so fair
The good monk trembled with affright.
And he beheld her from afar
With head and hand strange signals make,
Then swifter than a shooting star
Dive back into the silent lake.

All night the hermit could not sleep,
All day in agony he prayed ;
But still he could not choose but keep
The image of that wondrous maid
Before him. So, when day did wane,
And overhead the moon was bright,
He watched, and saw her come again
In all her beauty, dazzling white.

She beckoned to him where he stood,
And gave him greeting glad and free.
She played and splashed about the flood,
She laughed and danced in childish glee,
As softly to the monk she cried :
' Come hither, monk, and join me here!'
Then suddenly she dipped to hide
Her beauty in the darkling mere.

The third day came—grown mad with love,
The hermit sought th' enchanted shore
Ere yet night's veil was drawn above,
And waited for the maid once more.
Dawn broke—the monk had disappeared . . .
And now the frightened children say
He haunts the pool: and lo! his beard
Floats on the water night and day.

The Drowned Man

Children running into izba,
Calling father, dripping sweat:
'Daddy, daddy! come - there is a
Deadman caught inside our net.'
'Fancy, fancy fabrication...'
Grumbled off their weary Pa,
'Have these imps imagination!
Deadman, really! ya-ha-ha...

'Well... the court may come to bother -
What'll I say before the judge?
Hey you brats, go have your mother
Bring my coat; I better trudge...
Show me, where? ' - 'Right there, Dad, farther! '
On the sand where netting ropes
Lay spread out, the peasant father
Saw the veritable corpse.

Badly mangled, ugly, frightening,
Blue and swollen on each side...
Has he fished in storm and lightning,
Or committed suicide?
Could this be a careless drunkard,
Or a mermaid-seeking monk,
Or a merchandizer, conquered
By some bandits, robbed and sunk?

To the peasant, what's it matter!
Quick: he grabs the dead man's hair,
Drags his body to the water,
Looks around: nobody's there:
Good... relieved of the concern he
Shoves his paddle at a loss,
While the stiff resumes his journey
Down the stream for grave and cross.

Long the dead man as one living
Rocked on waves amid the foam...
Surly as he watched him leaving,
Soon our peasant headed home.
'Come you pups! let's go, don't scatter.
Each of you will get his bun.
But remember: just you chatter -
And I'll whip you, every one.'

Dark and stormy it was turning.
High the river ran in gloom.
Now the torch has finished burning
In the peasant's smoky room.
Kids asleep, the wife aslumber,
He lies listening to the rain...
Bang! he hears a sudden comer
Knocking on the window-pane.

'What the...' - 'Let me in there, master! '
'Damn, you found the time to roam!
Well, what is it, your disaster?
Let you in? It's dark at home,
Dark and crowded... What a pest you are!
Where'd I put you in my cot...'
Slowly, with a lazy gesture,
He lifts up the pane and - what?

Through the clouds, the moon was showing...
Well? the naked man was there,
Down his hair the water flowing,
Wide his eyes, unmoved the stare;
Numb the dreadful-looking body,
Arms were hanging feeble, thin;
Crabs and cancers, black and bloody,
Sucked into the swollen skin.

As the peasant slammed the shutter
(Recognized his visitant)
Horror-struck he could but mutter
'Blast you! ' and began to pant.
He was shuddering, awful chaos
All night through stirred in his brain,
While the knocking shook the house
By the gates and at the pane.

People tell a dreadful rumor:
Every year the peasant, say,
Waiting in the worst of humor
For his visitor that day;
As the rainstorm is increasing,
Nightfall brings a hurricane -
And the drowned man knocks, unceasing,
By the gates and at the pane.


Translated by: Genia Gurarie, 11/95

The Coming Of Winter

_Stanzas from 'Onegin'_

Our Northern Winter's fickle Summer,
Than Southern Winter scarce more bland--
Is undeniably withdrawing
On fleeting footsteps from the land.
Soon will the Autumn dim the heavens,
The light of sunbeams rarer grown--
Already every day is shorter,
While with a smitten hollow tone
The forest drops its shadow leafage;
Upon the fields the mists lie white,
In lusty caravans the wild geese
Now to the milder South take flight;
Seasons of tedium draw near,
Before the door November drear!

From shivering mist ascends the morning,
The bustle, of the fields declines,
The wolf walks now upon the highway,
In wolfish hunger howls and whines;
The traveller's pony scents him, snorting--
The heedful wanderer breathless takes
His way in haste beyond the mountains!
And though no longer when day breaks
Forth from their stalls the herd begins
To drive the kine,--his noon-day horn recalls.
The peasant maiden sings and spins,
Before her crackling, flaming bright
The pine chips,--friend of Winter night.

And see! The hoar frost colder sparkles
And spreads its silver o'er the fields,
Alas! the golden days are vanished!
Reluctant Nature mournful yields.
The stream with ice all frozen over
Gleams as some fashionable parquet,
And thronging hordes of boyish skaters
Sweep forward on its crystal way.
On her red claws despondent swimming,
The plump goose parts the water cold,
Then on the ice with caution stalking
She slips and tumbles,--ah behold!
Now the first snowflake idling down
Stars the depressing landscape brown.

At such a season in the country,
What can a man's amusements be?
Walk? And but more of empty highway
And of deserted village see?
Or let him through the far Steppes gallop,
His horse can scarcely stand at all--
His stamping hoofs in vain seek foothold,
The rider dreading lest he fall!
So then remain within thy paling,
Read thou in Pradt or Walter Scott,
Compare thy varying editions,
Drink, and thy scoffing mood spare not!
As the long evenings drag away
So doth the Winter too delay.


FROM 'ONEGIN'

Sometimes he read aloud with Olga
A latter day romance discreet,
Whose author truly painted nature,
With cunning plot, insight complete;
Oft he passed over a few pages,
Too bald or tasteless in their art--
And coloring, began on further,
Not to disturb the maiden heart.
Again, they sat for hours together,
With but a chess board to divide;
She with her arms propped on the table,
Deep pondering, puzzled to decide--
Till Lenski from his inward storm
Captured her castle with his pawn!


FROM 'ONEGIN'

Love condescends to every altar,
Ah when in hearts of youth it springs,
Its coming brings such glad refreshment
As May rain o'er the pasture flings!
Lifted from passion's melancholy
The life breaks forth in fairer flower,
The soul receives a new enrichment--
Fruition sweet and full of power.
But when on later altars arid
It downward sweeps, about us flows--
Love leaves behind such deathly traces
As Autumn tempests where it blows
To strip the woods with ruthless hand,
And turn to soggy waste the land!


FROM 'ONEGIN'

How sad to me is thine appearing,
O Springtime, hour of love's unrest!
Within the soul what nameless languors!
What passions hid within the breast!
With what a heavy, heavy spirit
From the earth's rustic lap I feel
Again the joy of Springtide odors--
That once could make my spirit reel!
No more for me such pleasures thrilling,
All that rejoices, that has life,
All that exults,--brings but despondence
To one past passion as past strife,
All is but prose to such as he,
Wearied unto satiety.

Perchance we fain would pass unnoticed
That which in Autumn drooped and pined,
Now radiant in verdure springing,
Since it must of our loss remind;
As with a tortured soul we realize
In Nature's glad awakening,
That we shall never find renewal,
Who evermore are withering.
Perchance there haunts us in remembrance,
Our own most dear and lyric dream,
Another long forgotten Springtime--
And trembling neath this pang supreme,
The heart faints for a distant country
And for a night beside the sea!

The Bronze Horseman

A Petersburg Story

1833
INTRODUCTION

The incident, described in this story is based on a truth.
The details of the flood are taken from the contemporary magazines.
The curious ones can consult the record, prepared by V. I. Berkh.


PROLOGUE

On a deserted, wave-swept shore,
He stood - in his mind great thoughts grow -
And gazed afar. The northern river
Sped on its wide course him before;
One humble skiff cut the waves' silver.
On banks of mosses and wet grass
Black huts were dotted there by chance -
The miserable Finn's abode;
The wood unknown to the rays
Of the dull sun, by clouds stowed,
Hummed all around. And he thought so:
‘The Swede from here will be frightened;
Here a great city will be wrought
To spite our neighborhood conceited.
From here by Nature we're destined
To cut a door to Europe wide,
To step with a strong foot by waters.
Here, by the new for them sea-paths,
Ships of all flags will come to us -
And on all seas our great feast opens.'

An age passed, and the young stronghold,
The charm and sight of northern nations,
From the woods' dark and marshes' cold,
Rose the proud one and precious.
Where once the Finnish fisherman,
Sad stepson of the World, alone,
By low riverbanks' a sand,
Cast into waters, never known,
His ancient net, now on the place,
Along the full of people banks,
Cluster the tall and graceful masses
Of castles and palaces; and sails
Hasten in throng to the rich quays
From all the lands our planet masters;
The Neva-river's dressed with rocks;
Bridges hang o'er the waters proud;
Abundantly her isles are covered
With dark-green gardens' gorgeous locks…

By the new capital, the younger,
Old Moscow's eclipsed at once -
Such is eclipsed a queen-dowager
By a new queen when her time comes.
I love you, Peter's great creation,
I love your view of stern and grace,
The Neva wave's regal procession,
The grayish granite - her bank's dress,
The airy iron-casting fences,
The gentle transparent twilight,
The moonless gleam of your nights restless,
When I so easy read and write
Without a lamp in my room lone,
And seen is each huge buildings' stone
Of the left streets, and is so bright
The Admiralty spire's flight,
And when, not letting the night's darkness
To reach the golden heaven's height,
The dawn after the sunset hastens -
And a half-hour's for the night.
I love your so sever winter's
Quite still and fresh air and strong frost,
The sleighs race on the shores river's,
The girls - each brighter than a rose,
The gleam and hum of the balls' dances,
And, on the bachelors' free feast,
The hissing of the foaming glasses
And the punch's bluish flaming mist.
I love the warlike animation
Of the play-fields of the god Mars,
And horse-and-footmen priests' of wars
So homogeneous attraction,
In their ranks, in the rhythmic moves,
Those flags, victories and rended,
The glitter of those helmets, splendid,
Shot through in military strives.
I love, O capital my fairest,
Your stronghold guns' thunder and smoke,
In moments when the northern empress
Adds brunches to the regal oak
Or Russia lauds a winning stroke
To any new and daring foe,
Or, breaking up the light-blue ice,
The Neva streams it and exults,
Scenting the end of cold and snow.

City of Peter, just you shine
And stand unshakable as Russia!
May make a peace with beauty, thine,
The conquered nature's casual rushes;
And let the Finnish waves forget
Their ancient bondages and malice
And not disturb with their hate senseless
The endless sleep of Peter, great!

The awful period was that,
It's fresh in our recollection…
This time about, my dear friend,
I am beginning my narration.
My story will be very sad.


PART ONE

On Petrograd, sunk into darkness,
November breathed with fall cold's harshness.
And, splashing, with the noisy waves
Into the brims of her trim fences,
The Neva raved, like the seek raves
In a bed, that has become the restless.
Now it was very dark and late;
The rain stroke ‘gainst the window's flat.
And the wind blew with sadly wailing.
Right at this time, from being a guest
Evgeny, for his nightly rest,
Came home. This name was most prevailing
In our young hero's name choice.
It sounds pleasantly. Of course,
With it my pen's had long connections
It needn't the special commendations,
Though in the times, in Lithe gone,
It might have been the most attractive
And under Karamzin's pen, fine,
Sung in some legends, our native;
But now it is forgotten by
The world and rumors. Our guy
Lives in Kolomna: he's in service,
Avoids the rich ones, and ne'er sad is
For his kin which had left the world,
Or for the well-forgotten old.

So, he is home - our Evgeny,
Took off his greatcoat, undressed,
Lay in his poor bed, but oppressed
He was by his thoughts, so many.
What did he thought of? Well, of that
That he was poor and that his bread,
His honour and his independence
Just by hard work must be achieved,
That God should send to him from heavens
More mind and money. That do live
Such idle, fully happy creatures -
The lazy-bones, quite ludicrous,.
Whose life is absolutely light!
That he had served for two long years;
And that the weather, former fierce,
Hadn't come less fierce, that the flood
In the Neva is getting higher,
The bridges might be got entire,
And that his sweet Parasha's place
For two-free days wouldn't be accessed.
There sighed Evgeny with his soul,
And dreamed as dreams a real bard:

"To marry then? Of course it's hard.
But why don't marry, in a whole?
I'm of the young and healthy sight,
Ready to work for day and night;
I'll someway find the good repose,
The simple and shy place, at last,
Parasha will be there composed.
The year or, may be, two will pass -
I'm in position, to my dear
I'll give all family to bear
And bring our children up, at once...
Such we'll start life, at last repose,
With hand-in-hand, such we'll come both,
And our grandsons will bury us..."

Thus he did dream. And a great sadness
Embraced his soul in that night,
He wished the wind's weep to be lesser,
Rain's siege of windows - not so tight.
At last his sleepy eyes were closed...
And now the night is getting gray -
That night, so nasty and morose,
And it is coming - the pale day
The awful day! During the night
Neva had strived for sea ‘gainst tempests
But, having lost all her great battles,
The river ceased the useless fight…
And in the morn on her shores proud,
Stood people in a pressed in lot
And saw the tall and heard the loud
Fierce waters' mountains, it had brought.
But by the force of airy breathing
Blocked from the Gulf, the wide Neva
Came back - the wrathful one and seething -
And flooded islands, near and far;
The weather grew into the cruel,
Neva - more swelling and more brutal,
Like in a kettle boiled and steamed,
And then, as a wild creature seemed,
Jumped on the city. And before it,
All ran away from its strait path,
And all got emptied there; at once.
The waters flew into the cellars,
And raised up to the fence of canals -
And, like Triton, Petropol sails
Sunk in the water till his waist.

Siege and assault! The evil waters
Thrust into windows, like slaughters.
The mad boats row into a glass.
The stalls are under the wet mass.
The wrecks of huts, the logs, roofs' pieces,
The stores of the tread, auspicious,
The things, carried the pale want from,
The bridges got away by storm,
The coffins from the graveyards - float,
Along the streets!
The populace
Sees God's great wrath and waits for death.
All is destroyed: bread and abode.
And how to live?
The monarch, blessed,
Tsar Aleksandr, in a good fashion,
Still governed Russia that year, dread,
And from the balcony he, sad
And pale, said: "Ne'er the God-made nature
Can be subdued by any tsars."
And, in a thought, looked at the evil's
With his full of deep sadness eyes.
The streets turned into the fast rivers,
Running to made lakes, dark and grievous,
The Palace was an island, sad,
That loomed over the blackened waters.
The Tsar decreed - from end to end,
Down the shortest streets and longest,
On danger routs over the waves,
His generals set into the sailing -
To save the drawing and straining
On streets and in their homes-graves.

Then on the widest Square of Peter,
Where with his glass a new pile glittered,
Where on its porch, too highly placed,
With their paw raised, as if they're living,
Stood two marble lions, overseeing.
On one of them, as for a race,
Without his hat, arms - tightly pressed,
Awfully pale - no stir appeared -
Evgeny sat. And there he feared
Not his own death. He did not hear
How the wrathful roller neared,
Greedily licking his shoes' soles,
And how flagged him the rain coarse,
And how the fierce wind there wailed,
Or how it'd blown off his hat.
His looks of deepest desperation
Were all set on a single place
Without a move. The waves, impatient,
Had risen there, like tallest crags,
Lifted from waked deeps in a madness,
There wreckage swam, there wailed a tempest …
O, God! O, God! - Right on that place,
Alas! so close to the waves,
And by the shores of the Gulf Finnish,
A willow-tree, a fence unfinished
And an old hut: there they must be -
A widow and her child Parasha -
His soul's dream … Or does he see
It in a dream? … And, like the usher
Of dreams - a sleep, is our life none -
Just Heavens make of Earth a fun?

And he, like under conjuration,
Like in jail irons' limitation,
Cannot come down. Him around
Only black waters could be found!
And turned to him with his back, proudest,
On height that never might be tossed,
Over Neva's unending wildness,
Stands, with his arm, stretched to skies, lightless,
The idol on his brazen horse.


PART TWO

But now, sated with distraction
And tired of its rude attack,
Neva, at last, was coming back,
Looking at ruins with satisfaction
And leaving with a little attention
Its prey behind. A reprobate,
With his sever and low set,
Thus, thrusting in a village, helpless,
Breaks, slaughters, robs all and oppresses:
The roar, rape, swore, alert and wails!...
And, under their large booty posted,
Afraid of chases and exhausted,
The robbers speed to their old place,
Losing their loot along the road.

The waves were gone, the pavement, broad,
Was opened, and Evgeny, stressed,
With heart half-dead and stifled throat,
In a hope, fear and awful pains,
Runs to the stream, just now restrained.
But, in the winning celebration,
Waves still were boiling with a passion,
As if to flames, under them fanned;
They still were with white foam covered,
And Neva's breast was heavily moved,
Like the steed's one after a race.
Evgeny sees a boat here;
He runs to it - a find, revered, -
He calls a boatman at once -
The boatman, a guy quite careless,
Just for ten kopeks, with great gladness,
Takes him into the waves' wild dance.

And for a long with these waves, close,
The much trained rower was in fight,
And to sink deeply mid their rows,
The scuff, with its brave sailors both,
Was apt all time… The other side
Is reached, at last. And the frustrated
Runs through the so well-known street
To his old places. He doesn't meet
A thing, he'd known. The view's rated
As the worst one! All's in a mess -
All is failed down or swept or stressed:
The little houses are bent down,
Some - shifted, some - razed to their ground
By awful forces of the waves;
The bodies, waiting for their graves,
Are lying round, like aft fight, merciless.
Our poor Evgeny - his mind's flamed -
Half-dead under the tortures, endless,
Runs there where the inhumane fate
Would give him the unknown message,
As if a letter, sealed to bear;
He's now in the suburbs' wreckage,
There is the Gulf, the house is near…
But what is this? He stopped, frustrated,
Went back, returned a little later…
He looks… he walks … he looks once more.
There is the place their house for
And willow-tree. The gates were here -
They're swept… But where's the house, o grace?
And full of troubles, hard to wear,
He walked and walked around the place.
Told to himself in voices loud -
And suddenly, as if all's found,
Struck his forehead and fell in laugh.
The night embraced the city, stuffed
With all its woe. And still for hours
A sleep was running from each house -
The folk recalling the past day.
Now, through the clouds, weak and pale,
The morn ray flashed o'er the mute city
And did not found e'en a trace
Of the past woe. The dawn, witty,
Had safely screened the doing, base.
The former life had got its place.
Along the streets now free of flooding,
With cold indifference, folks are moving.
Just having left his lodge of night,
The clerk is going at his site.
The petty tradesman, very dauntless,
Is opening his cellar - wet,
Robbed by the waves' impudent set -
Intending to revenge his losses
On brothers-humans. From the yard
Is pulled the boat, full of mud.
Count Khvostov, a pet of Zeus,
Now is singing his songs, deathless,
To the Neva shores' former plight.

What's of Evgeny, our poor hero? …
Alas! His agitated mind,
Against the immense woe's billow
Didn't stand untouchable. The wind's
And Neva's noise was always growing
In his poor ears. Mute and half-blind,
With awful thoughts, he was a-roaming,
Being quite tortured by some dream.
A week, month passed by as a stream,
At his past home he wasn't returning
And his landlord, when the rent's time
Had gone, gave his corner to some
Bard, sunk in a poverty unduly.
Evgeny didn't come for his stuff
And soon became a stranger, fully,
To world: his day wasn't long enough
For walk; he slept on wharfs till morning
His bread was one a beggar has,
He wore the dirt and rotten dress.
The evil children, with cries joyful,
Sometimes threw stones to his back,
Often the coachmen' whips, wrathful,
Stung his thin body - for his track
Was cast without choosing direction -
He seemed to notice nothing else -
He was quiet deafened and oppressed
By noise of inner agitation.
And thus he strayed in his life's mist -
Not humane being, nor some beast -
Not fish, nor flesh - not living creature,
Nor ghost of dead … But once he slept
By Neva's wharf - the summer's features
Were now like autumn's. The wind, bad,
Was breathing there. The roller, sad,
Was splashing its complain and groan
And striking ‘gainst the steps of stone,
Like the offended at the door
Of justice that doesn't hear him more.
The poor waked up. All was gloom round:
Falling the rain, wind wailing loud,
And it was answered through the night
By some alone distant guard...
Evgeny got up in a hurry,
He recollected his all flurry,
Stood on a spot, began to walk
And stopped again, almost choked,
Intently gazing him around
With a wild terror on his face...
It seemed that he himself had found
By a big house where were placed,
With their paw up, as if quite living,
Two marble lions, overseeing,
And in the height, strait o'er him posed,
Over the rock, fenced with cast iron,
With arm stretched into the skies, sullen,
The idol sat on his bronze horse.

Evgeny startled. Became clear
The strange thoughts, torturing his mind -
He named the place where played the flood,
Where ran the waters-spoilers, fierce, -
Merging in one rebellious stream, -
The lions, square and, at last, him,
Who stood without a move and sound -
The cooper head piercing black skies -
Him, by whose fatal enterprise
This city under sea took ground...
He's awful in the nightly dark!
In what a thought his brow's sunk!
What a great might in it lies, hidden!
And what a fire's in this steed!
O, proud horse, where do you speed!
Where will you down your bronze hoofs, flittin'?
O, karma's mighty sovereign!
Not thus you'd reared Russia, sullen,
Into the height, with a curb, iron,
Before an abyss in your reign?

The poor madman circled around
The foot of the black idol's mass,
He gazed into the brazen face
Of the half-planet's ruler, proud.
And was his breast oppressed. He laid
On the cold barrier his forehead.
His eyes were veiled with a mist-cover,
His heart was all caught with a flame,
His blood seethed. Gloomy he became
Before the idol, looming over,
And, having clenched his teeth and fist,
As if possessed by evil powers,
"Well, builder-maker of the marvels,"
He whispered, trembling in a fit,
"You only wait!..."- And to a street,
At once he started to run out -
He fancied: that the great tsar's face,
With a wrath suddenly embraced,
Was turning slowly around...
And strait along the empty square
He runs and hears as if there were,
Just behind him, the peals of thunder,
Of the hard-ringing hoofs' reminders, -
A race the empty square across,
Upon the pavement, fiercely tossed;
And by the moon, that palled lighter,
Having stretched his hand over roofs,
The Brazen Horseman rides him after -
On his steed of the ringing hoofs.
And all the night the madman, poor,
Where'er he might direct his steps,
Aft him the Bronze Horseman, for sure,
Keeps on the heavy-treading race.

And from this time, when he was going,
Along this square, only by chance,
A sense of terror was deforming
His features. And he would then press
His hand to heart in a great fastness,
As if to make its tortures painless,
Take off the worn peaked cap at once,
Didn't turn from earth his fearful eyes
And try to pass by.
A small island's
Seen in the sea quite near a shore.
A fisherman, the late catch for,
Would sail to it with his net, silent,
Sometimes - and boil there his soup, poor;
Or an official clerk would moor
To it in a boat-walking Sunday's.
The empty isle. Seeds don't beget
There any plant. A player, sightless,
The flood, had pulled there a ghost, sad,
Of an old hut. The water over,
It had been left like a bush, black.
Last spring, by a small barging rover,
It was conveyed to the shore, back -
Destroyed and empty. By its entry,
They'd found the poor madman of mine
And, for a sake of the Divine,
Buried his corpse in that soil, scanty.