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Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov

MIKHAIL LERMONTOV: The Neighbor

The Neighbor

1837
No matter who you are, my neighbor, always sad,
I like you, yet, as my young years’ friend –
   My comrade by a mischance-law – 
Though the fate’s manipulative hand
Divided us for time without end,
   Now by wall, then - by the unknown.

When half-light of the everyday sunrise,
Through grates of prison, dying, sends to us
   It’s final greeting, gentle and rose,
And our guard, while leaning on his gun
And thinking of the past that utterly had gone,
   Begins unfailingly to doze, -- 

Leaning my brow on a row wall,
I listen, -- and in this obscure and silent hole,
  Your clear tunes begin to sound.
What they’re about, a don’t know, yet,
But full of pine, in the harmonic set,                  
   Like easy tears, they pour around…  

And love and hope of my former years
Again revive in my tormented breast,
   My thoughts flee out in a distance,
My mind is full of passions and surprise,
And my blood boils – and tears from my eyes,
   Like sounds flow down every instant.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, November, 2000
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, June, 2001


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