Alexander Pushkin


The Task

by Alexander Pushkin

The longed-for moment here is. Ended is my long-yeared task.
Why then sadness strange me troubles secretly?
My task done, like needless hireling am I to stand,
My wage in hand, to other task a stranger?
Or my task regret I, of night companion silent mine,
Gold Aurora's friend, the friend of my sacred household gods?


Translators Notes:
Byelinsky, who has taught me to appreciate much in Pushkin which I otherwise would not have appreciated, speaks of this little piece as especially excellent among Pushkin's anthological poems, written in hexameter, and says, that a breath antique blows from them. Well, I cannot agree with Byelinsky. There is, doubtless, a sentimentlet in the piece, -- a germ; but it is only a germ, incomplete, immature. I would not have translated it (since its beauty, whatever that be, it owes entirely to its form, which is untranslatable), but for the sake of the reader, in justice to whom, a poem so highly thought of by Byelinsky ought to be given, whatever my opinion of it.


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