Yes, you remember,You certainly rememberThe way I listenedStanding at the wallAs you walked to and fro about the chamberReproving meWith bitter words and all.You saidThat it was time we"d parted,And that my reckless life,For you, was an ordeal,And it was time a new life you had startedWhile I was fatedTo go rolling downhill.My love!You didn"t care for me, no doubt.You weren"t aware of the fact that IWas like a ruined horse, amidst the crowd,Spurred by a dashing rider, flashing by.You didn"t knowThat I was all a-smoke,And in my life, turned wholly upside-down ,I was in misery, downhearted, broke,Because I didn"t see which way we were bound.When face to faceWe cannot see the face.We should step back for better observation.For when the ocean boils and wailsThe ship is in a sorry situation.The world is but a ship!But all at once,Someone, in search of better life and glory,Has turned it, gracefully, taking his chance,Into the hub of storm and flurry.Well, which of usOn board a mighty boatHas never brawled nor barfed nor fallen down?There are not many of them that will notDespair when they"re about to drown.Me, too,To loud hue and cry,But knowing well what I was doingWent down to the hold where IMight keep away from scenes of spewing.“Hold” was a Russian pubWhere IDrank, listening to the loud bicker,I tried to stop my worries byJust drowning myself in liquor.My love!I worried you, oh my!Your tired eyes revealed dejection,I didn"t hide from you that IHad spent my life in altercation.You didn"t knowThat I was all a-smoke,And in my life, turned wholly upside-down,I was in misery, downhearted, broke,Because I didn"t seeWhich way we were bound.
I do not regret, and I do not shed tears,All, like haze off apple-trees, must pass.Turning gold, I"m fading, it appears,I will not be young again, alas.Having got to know the touch of coolnessI will not feel, as before, so good.And the land of birch trees, – oh my goodness!-Cannot make me wander barefoot.Vagrant"s spirit! You do not so oftenStir the fire of my lips these days.Oh my freshness, that begins to soften!Oh my lost emotions, vehement gaze!Presently I do not feel a yearning,Oh, my life! Have I been sleeping fast?Well, it feels like early in the morningOn a rosy horse I"ve galloped past.We are all to perish, hoping for some favour,Copper leaves flow slowly down and sway…May you be redeemed and blessed for ever,You who came to bloom and pass away…1921
The golden birch-tree grove has fallen silentIts merry chatter having stopped afore,The cranes up there flying over, sullen,Have nobody to pity any more.Whom should they pity? Each is just a trotter.One comes and goes and leaves for good again.The moon and hempen bush above the waterRemember all those perished, filled with pain.I"m standing on the plain all on my own,The cranes, the wind is taking them away,I think about my boyhood which has flown,And I do not regret my bygones anyway.I don"t regret the days that I discarded,I don"t feel sorry for the lilac of my soul.The purple rowan burning in the gardenCan"t warm and comfort anyone at all.The rowan will maintain its coloration.The grass exposed to heat will not decease,I drop my words of sorrow and vexationThe way a tree drops quietly its leaves.And if some day the wind of time intendedTo rake them all up in a useless roll…You ought to say: the golden grove has endedIts lovely chatter in the prime of fall.1924
The Bitch Translated by Daniel Weissbort
In the morning the bitch whelped Seven reddish-brown puppies, In the rye barn where a row Of bast mats gleamed like gold. Licking their pelts smooth, And underneath her, the snow Melted out in the heat.
But at dusk, when the hens Were roosting on the perch, There came the grim-faced master Who stuffed the pups in a sack.
The bitch bounded alongside him, Over the snow-deep fields, And the icy surface of the water Shuddered a long, long while.
And when at last she struggled home, Licking the sweat from her sides, To her the moon above the house Seemed like one of the pups.
Whimpering loudly she gazed up Limpidly into the dark, While over the hill, the slender moon Slid into the fields beyond.
And softly, as when someone, Jesting, throws her a stone, Her tears, like golden stars, Trickled down into the snow.