Pushkin: Night (From Russian)

By Alexander Pushkin
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

My voice for you is languid, low and light,
Troubling the silence of the dark, late night.
A sullen candle at the pillow's verge
Glows; and my verses murmurously merge
And gush; the brooks of love flow full of you
And in the darkness that your eyes shine through
To smile at me, there are the sounds I hear:
I'm yours....I'm yours....my dear...my only dear.

The Original:


Мой голос для тебя и ласковый и томный
Тревожит поздное молчанье ночи темной.
Близ ложа моего печальная свеча
Горит; мои стихи, сливаясь и журча,
Текут, ручьи любви, текут, полны тобою.
Во тьме твои глаза блистают предо мною,
Мне улыбаются, и звуки слышу я:
Мой друг, мой нежный друг, люблю..твоя..твоя!    


Moy gólos dlya tebyá i láskovïy i tómnïy
Trevóžit pózdnoye molčáne nóči tyómnoy.
Bliz lóža moyegó pečál'naya svečá
Gorít; moí stixí, sliváyasʹ i žurčá,
Tekút, ručʹí lyubví, tekút, polnḯ tobóyu.
Vo tʹmé tvoí glazá blistáyut prédo mnóyu,
Mne ulïbáyutsa, i zvúki slḯšu ja:
Moy drug, moy néžnïy drug, lyublyú..tvoyá..tvoyá!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mr. Foreman,

    first of all, I take my hat off to the fruitful effort which has lead to the Russian translation, I am now reading.
    I do think your translation above is apt, but there is one detail in the last line of the original poem that you, perhaps, did not find particularly striking. Or it might just be my interpretation.
    My point is that Pushkin probably intended to have a little gradation with the line:

    "Мой друг, мой нежный друг, люблю..твоя..твоя!"
    It appears to me, that the person's eyes are only gradually giving the feeling (of Love) away. This gradation might reflect the restraint or, perhaps, suppression of the emotions as they are breaking free in the heroine's head. I wonder, how do you perceive this gradation?Unfortunately, I am hardly competent to give you any suggestion as how to make this poem closer to what might be just be my own interpretation, but nevertheless I thought I could try to contribute to your respectable endeavour by my limited means.

    I am looking forward to hearing your opinion.

    Yours sincerely,
    Vratislav Kosovsky