The Pushkin Page - Poems by Year
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Poems by Year
1821-23 : 1824-26 : 1827-29 : 1830-32 : 1833-36
I have outlasted all desire,
My dreams and I have grown apart;
My grief alone is left entire,
The gleanings of an empty heart.
The storms of ruthless dispensation
Have struck my flowery garland numb-
I live in lonely desolation
And wonder when my end will come.
Thus on a naked tree-limb, blasted
By tardy winter's whistling chill,
A single leaf which has outlasted
Its season will be trembling still.
Epigram on A. A. Davydova*
One had Aglaya by attraction
Of raven curls and martial stance,
One for his money (no objection),
A third because he was from France,
Cleon* by dint of being clever,
Damis* for tender songs galore;
By, my Aglaya, say, whatever
Did your own husband have you for?
A Little Bird
In alien lands devoutly clinging
To age-old rites of Russian earth,
I let a captive bird go winging
To greet the radiant spring's rebirth.
My heart grew lighter then: why mutter
Against God's providence, and rage,
When I was free to set aflutter
But one poor captive from his cage!
"Forth went the sower to sow his seeds..."
As freedom's sower in the wasteland
Before the morning star I went;
From hand immaculate and chastened
Into the grooves of prisonment
Flinging the vital seed I wandered--
But it was time and toiling squandered,
Benevolent designs misspent...
Graze on, graze on, submissive nation!
You will not wake to honor's call.
Why offer herds their liberation?
For them are shears or slaughter-stall,
Their heritage each generation
The yoke with jingles, and the gall.
On Count Voronstov
One half Milord, one half in trade,
One half a sage, one half a dunce,
One half a crook, but here for once
There's every hope he'll make the grade.
To The Sea
Farewell to you, unharnessed Ocean!
No longer will you roll at me
Your azure swells in endless motion
Or gleam in tranquil majesty.
A comrade's broken words on leaving,
His hail of parting at the door:
Your chant of luring, chant of grieving
Will murmur in my ears no more.
Oh, homeland of my spirit's choosing!
How often on your banks at large
I wandered mute and dimly musing,
Fraught with a sacred, troubling charge!
How I would love your deep resounding,
The primal chasm's muffled voice,
How in your vesper calm rejoice,
And in your sudden, reckless bounding!
The fisher's lowly canvas slips,
By your capricious favor sheltered,
Undaunted down your breakers' lips:
Yet by your titan romps have weltered
And foundered droves of masted ships.
Alas, Fate thwarted me from weighing
My anchor off the cloddish shore,
Exultantly your realm surveying,
And by your drifting ridges laying
My poet's course forevermore.
You waited, called... I was in irons,
And vainly did my soul rebel,
Becalmed in those uncouth environs
By passion's overpowering spell.
Yet why this sorrow? Toward what fastness
Would now my carefree sails be spread?
To one lone goal in all your vastness
My spirit might have gladly sped.
One lonely cliff, the tomb of glory...
There chilling slumber fell upon
The ghost of mankind's proudest story:
There breathed his last Napoleon.
There rest for suffering he bartered;
And, gale-borne in his wake, there streams
Another* kingly spirit martyred,
Another regent of our dreams.
He passed, and left to Freedom mourning,
His laurels to Eternity.
Arise, roar out in stormy warning:
He was your own true bard, oh Sea!
His soul was by your spirit haunted,
In your own image was he framed:
Like you immense, profound, undaunted,
Like you nocturnal untamed.
Bereft the world... where by your power,
Oh Sea would you now carry me?
Life offers everywhere one dower:
On any glint of bliss there glower
Enlightenment or tyranny.
Farewell then, Sea! Henceforth in wonder
Your regal grace will I rever;
Long will your muffled twilit thunder
Reverberate within my ear.
To woods and silent wildernesses
Will I translate your potent spells,
Your cliffs, your coves, your shining tresses,
Your shadows and your murmurous swells.