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Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov

MIKHAIL LERMONTOV: To the Portrait

To the Portrait

1840
Like a boy, she is curly and frisky,
Like a butterfly – wrapped in the brightness; 
And words that are empty or misty,
In her lips, are full of a kindness.
She can’t like a person for long:
Hates habits as chains on her body,
A snake, she will slip away, strong,
And fly far away – a free birdie.
And lies on her brow, so bright,
A wish to be free – as commotion.
Her eyes are a heavenly light,
Her soul – a dark of the ocean!
Once, all in her is just a farce,
Once, all is so truthful and clever!
One cannot understand her, alas!
But can’t help but love her forever.


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


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