by Alexander Pushkin
On a rainy autumn evening
Into desert places went a maid;
And the secret fruit of unhappy love
In her trembling hands she held.
All was still: the hills and the woods
Asleep in the darkness of the night.
And her searching glances
In terror about she cast.
And on this babe, the innocent,
Her glance she paused with a sigh:
Asleep thou art, my child, my grief.
Thou knowest not my sadness.
Thine eyes will ope, and tho' with longing,
To my breast shalt no more cling.
No kiss for thee to-morrow
From thine unhappy mother.
Beckon in vain for her thou wilt,
My everlasting shame, my guilt!
Me forget thou shalt for aye,
But thee forget shall not I.
Shelter thou shalt receive from strangers,
Who'll say: Thou art none of ours!
Thou wilt ask, Where are my parents?
But for thee no kin is found!
Hapless one! With heart filled with sorrow,
Lonely amid thy mates,
Thy spirit sullen to the end,
Thou shalt behold fondling mothers.
A lonely wanderer everywhere
Cursing thy fate at all times,
Thou the bitter reproach shalt hear. . . .
Forgive me, oh, forgive me then!
Asleep! let me then, O hapless one
To my bosom press thee once for all.
A law unjust and terrible
Thee and me to sorrow dooms.
While the years have not yet chased
The guiltless joy of thy days,
Sleep, my darling, let no griefs bitter
Mar thy childhood's quiet life!
But lo! behind the woods, near by
The moon brings a hut to light.
Forlorn, pale. and trembling
To the doors nigh she came.
She stooped and gently laid she down
The babe on the threshold strange.
In terror away her eyes she turned
And in the dark night disappeared.
Translator: Translated from the Russian, By Ivan Panin
Cupples And Hurd, 94 Boylston Street, Boston