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Aleksandr Pushkin

Aleksandr Pushkin

"Suppose That You Won..."

From "To my friend, the verse-monger"
Suppose that you won the Pind -- the sacred mount,
Then you can call yourself 'A Bard', without doubt,
Then, with much pleasure, they would read your books.
But, do you think that now golden brooks
Will run to you, because you are a poet,
That you'll farm out countries to exploit,
Hide golden coins in a protected site,
And eat and sleep, appeased, just lying on your side?
Not of this kind, the writers have a richness,
The fate doesn't send to them nor marble chambers' fitness,
Nor caskets, full to rims with everlasting gold:
The garret under roof, the dugout’s 'resort' --
Are 'splendid halls and castles for 'immortals'.
All people praise the bards, but feed them only journals;
The wheel of fortune passes writers by;
Russeau, as bare was born, so bare goes to die;
Kamoence shares with the poor his deathbed, rotten,
Kostrov expires on a garret, quite forgotten,
He’s carried to a grave by hands, that're strange to him:
Their life -- an endless plight, and their fame -- a dream.

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

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