Elegy (The extinguished joy of crazy years...)

by Alexander Pushkin

The extinguished joy of crazy years
On me rests heavy, like dull debauch.
But of by-gone days the grief, like wine
In my soul the older, the stronger 't grows.
Dark my path. Toil and pain promised are me
By the Future's roughened sea.

But not Death, O friends, I wish!
But Life I wish: to think and suffer;
Well I know, for me are joys in store
'Mid struggles, toils, and sorrows:
Yet 'gain at times shall harmony drink in
And tears I'll shed over Fancy's fruit, --
Yet mayhap at my saddened sunset
Love will beam with farewell and smile.

1830

Translators Notes:
The fourth volume of Pushkin's Works, in which this poem was first published, struck Byelinsky with the poverty of its contents. But in the fourth volume of Pushkin's Poems, says he, there is one precious pearl which reminds us of the song of yore, of the bard of yore. It is the elegy, 'The extinguished joy of crazy years.' Yes! Such an elegy can redeem not only a few tales. but even the entire volume of poetry! . . . (Byelinsky's Works, ii. 194.)

Source:

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