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Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov


The Dagger

Yes, I like you, my knife of damask pledge, 
My friend so bright and so cold,
A thoughtful Georgian forged you for his revenge,
A free Circassian then sharpened for a row.

You had been trusted me by lily-like a hand – 
A sign for memory – in time of separation,
And now no blood has dripped from you on land,
But crystal tears – the pearls of depravation.

And looking strait at me, the black and immense eyes, 
Filled to their rims with the mysterious woe,
Like your reflective steel in light of fire-dance,
Were sometimes darkness – sometimes glow.   

On roads, you are friend – the voiceless passion’s grant, 
And for a traveler – the object to rely on:
I will be never changed – my soul will be hard
As you, as you, my friend of iron. 

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, November, 2001
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, June, 2001

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