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Aleksandr Pushkin

Aleksandr Pushkin

ALEXANDR PUSHKIN: The Tenth Commandment

The Tenth Commandment

“You shalt not covet …” – your ukase
I honor, O, my Lord, severe;
But you know all strengths, I have here –
Am I to control the sweet sense?
I wish not to offend my neighbor,
I don’t crave for a village his,
Nor ‘tis his bull that I have missed,
None raise in me a jealous fervor:  
Neither his home, nor slave, nor cattle –
I don’t intend this bliss to loom in, 
But in the case that his bondwoman 
Is charming . . . Oh my God! I’m settled!
And if to add that his friend, dear,
Like Angel in a flesh is sweet - 
Oh, just God! pardon my misdeed –
I envy Eden of my peer.
Who could direct a heart of his?
Who is a slave of trying, useless?
Who’s able to avoid the lustiest?
How can’t one help desiring bliss?
I see and pine and sigh in sadness,
But keep on honoring my pledge,
Fear to free passions from their cage . . .
I’m mute...  my sufferings are helpless.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, March 23, 2005

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