Poetry Archives Bio

Dream

December 11, 2021

This is my translation of Сон by Михаил Лермонтов [Mikhail Lermontov].


To Philip Taron

In midday heat, in Dagestan's low valley,
Lead in my chest, immobile rested I;
My wound was deep, a smouldering finale;
Each drop escaped me slowly, by and by.

I rested lone atop the valley's desert.
The ledges of the crags had crowded round
And sun their yellow spires seared and weathered
And seared me—but like dead I slept on ground.

And dreamt I of quite radiant with splendour
An evening feast back in my native land.
Betwixt, becrowned with flowers, women tender
About me went with cheerful discourse grand.

But, to the cheerful discourse never joining,
She sat alone there by her thinking bound
And, in a sad dream, soul her young and growing
God knows by what had been submerged and drowned;

And dreamt she then of Dagestan's low valley;
Familiar corpse had in that vale emerged;
His smouldered wound to chest a blackened alley,
And blood thence pouring in a cooling surge.