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lyrics translations

Lyrics translations

All lyrics by Nikolai Gumilev


translated by: Yevgeny Bonver
Poetry Lovers' Page

By the hut, left by people and heaven,
Where the fence's black remnants are steeping,
The ragged beggar and black old raven,
Were discussing the dreams of the sleeping.

The old bird, with commotion's moans,
Was repeating in hot indecision,
That he had on the tower's stones
The unusual, fabulous visions;

That in flight, full of valor and air,
He, who lost their usual sadness,
Was a swan, snow white, sweet and fair,
And the beggar - a prince of the greatness!

The ugly pauper was helplessly wailing.
Heavy night was descending and reigning.
The old woman, while passing the dwelling,
Was unceasingly crossing and praying.

After Death

Beyond the Grave
translated by: B. Raffel & A. Burago
source: Selected Works of Nikolai S. Gumilev, 1972

There's a secret cavern, deep in the earth,
filled with stately tombs,
Lucifer's fiery dreams.
Beautiful whores slink between them.

Whether you die proud or ashamed ;
a gloomy old man, a bony old man,
a boring, sluggish workman—Death—
will come and stare at you imperiously.

He'll carry you down corridors,
he'll carry you from tower to tower.
Your eyes glassy, bulging, you'll understand
that this is the way the dream unfolds.

And then, dropped into your tomb,
you'll start to dream of heaven's temple,
And you'll suddenly see
a whore with pearly-sharp teeth.

How sweetly she'll press you to her,
kissing you with infinite spite.
You can't move. You can't scream.
That's all there is. Forever and forever.

The Clever Demon

translated by: Yevgeny Bonver
Poetry Lovers' Page

My old good friend, my faithful Demon,
Had sung the little song to me:
All night of hell the sailor sailed on,
But drowned by the morn in sea.

Around him waves stood like domes,
They fell and loomed again above,
And before him, whiter than foam,
Was flying his unrivaled love.

He heard the call, while he was flitting,
"I'll not deceive you, trust in me."
Remember, - said this Demon, witty, -
He drowned at the morn in sea.

© 2011 Little Tragedies