Alexander Pushkin


The Black Shawl

by Alexander Pushkin

I Gaze demented on the black shawl
And my cold soul is torn by grief.

When young I was and full of trust
I passionately loved a young Greek girl.

The charming maid, she fondled me,
But soon I lived the black day to see.

Once as were gathered my jolly guests
A detested Jew knocked at my door.

Thou art feasting (he whispered) with friends
But betrayed thou art by thy Greek maid.

Moneys I gave him and curses,
And called my servant the faithful.

We went: I flew on the wings of my steed;
And tender mercy was silent in me.

Her threshold no sooner I espied
Dark grew my eyes, and my strength departed.

The distant chamber I enter alone,
An Armenian embraces my faithless maid.

Darkness around me; flashed the dagger;
To interrupt his kiss the wretch had no time.

And long I trampled the headless corpse, --
And silent and pale at the maid I stared.

I remember her prayers, her flowing blood,
But perished the girl, and with her my love.

The shawl I took from the head now dead
And wiped in silence the bleeding steel.

When came the darkness of eve, my serf
Threw their bodies into the Danube's billows --

Since then I kiss no charming eyes,
Since then I know no cheerful days.

I gaze demented on the black shawl,
And my cold soul is torn by grief.



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