by Alexander Pushkin

Not dear I prize high-sounding rights
By which is turned more head than one;
Not murmur I that not granted the Gods to me
The blessed lot of discussing fates,
Of hindering kings from fighting one another;
And little care I whether free the press is.

All this you see are words, words, words!
Other, better rights, dear to me are;
Other, better freedom is my need. . . .
To depend on rulers, or the mob --
Is not all the same it? God be with them!
To give account to none; to thyself alone
To serve and please; for power, for a livery
Nor soul, nor mind, nor neck to bend:
Now here, now there to roam in freedom
Nature's beauties divine admiring,
And before creations of art and inspiration
Melt silently in tender ecstasy --
This is bliss, these are rights! . . . .

Translators Notes:
In the original this is called, From VI. Pindemonte. But this is an original piece by Pushkin; at first he called it, From Alfred Musset. Evidently the censorship was likely to pass it as a work of a foreign author where it would not as one of Pushkin; to his political convictions Pushkin never, indeed, did dare to give free expression. He never deliberately misled the government, but he did at times lead it to believe more in his loyalty than was strictly in accordance with the facts.


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