Pushkin: To Dawe. Esq. (From Russian)

George Dawe was an English portrait-artist who had the habit of doing spontaneous pencil sketches of people he met.

To Dawe. Esq.
By A.S. Pushkin
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Why would your sublime pencil draw
The features of my negroid face?
Though meant for future eyes, the devil
Has advocates for its disgrace.

Draw Miss Olénina instead.
When inspiration flames the heart,
Nothing but youth and beauty ever
Should summon genius to art.


The Original:

To Dawe, Esq.

Зачем твой дивный карандаш
Рисует мой арапский профиль?
Хоть ты векам его предашь,
Его освищет Мефистофель.

Рисуй Олениной черты.
В жару сердечных вдохновений,
Лишь юности и красоты
Поклонником быть должен гений.

Romanization:

Začém tvoj dívnyj karandáš
Risújet moj arápskiy prófilj?
Hotj ty vekám jegó predáš,
Jegó osvíščet Mefistófelj.

Risúj oléninoj čertý.
V žarú serdéčnyh vdohnovénij,
Liš júnosti i krasotý
Poklónnikom bytj dólžen génij.

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