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Aleksandr Pushkin

Aleksandr Pushkin


In desert, withered and burned,
On ground that is dry and sultry,
Anchar, alone in the world,
Stands like an awful, silent sentry.

The nature of the thirsty land,
Has borne him on the day of terror,
And flesh of roots and boughs, dead,
Was filled with venom blood forever.

The poison oozes through his bark
And melts at noon in beams from heaven,
And thickens in the evening dark--
A tar, transparent one and heavy.

And birds don't visit him at all,
Not any tiger for him wishes
And only, sometimes, comes a whirl,
To fly away, but as pernicious.

And if, by chance, a cloud sprays
His leaves in wandering alone,
From all his twigs, the poisoned rains
Pour into scorching sand and stone.

But once a man had sent a man,
To desert -- to the poison demon,
The slave obediently ran,
And by the morn he brought the venom.

He brought the resin of the death,
A twig with faded leaves, by morning,
And heavy sweat, on his pale face,
In icy rivulets was rolling.

He came, and lay, and fell in fit,
In shadow of the tent, in fluster,
The slave had died by the feet
Of his inexorable master.

The prince immediately breathed
The evil tar into his arrows,
And sent with them the poison-death,
To alien lands--the lands of neighbors.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, December, 1999
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, March, 2000

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