Death Thoughts

by Alexander Pushkin

Whether I roam along the noisy streets
Whether I enter the peopled temple,
Whether I sit by thoughtless youth,
Haunt my thoughts me everywhere.

I say, Swiftly go the years by:
However great our number now,
Must all descend the eternal vaults, --
Already struck has some one's hour.

And if I gaze upon the lonely oak
I think: the patriarch of the woods
Will survive my passing age
As he survived my father's age.

And if a tender babe I fondle
Already I mutter, Fare thee well!
I yield my place to thee. For me
'T is time to decay, to bloom for thee

Every year thus, every day
With death my thought I join
Of coming death the day
I seek among them to divine.

Where will Fortune send me death?
In battle? In wanderings, or on the waves?
Or shall the valley neighboring
Receive my chilled dust?

But tho' the unfeeling body
Can everywhere alike decay,
Still I, my birthland nigh
Would have my body lie.

Let near the entrance to my grave
Cheerful youth be in play engaged,
And let indifferent creation
With beauty shine there eternally.

1829

Translators Notes:
In the original this poem is headed, Stanzas.

Source:

Poems
Copyright 1888
Translator: Translated from the Russian, By Ivan Panin
Cupples And Hurd, 94 Boylston Street, Boston
 
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