Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova

1. Solnce komnatu napolnilo

Solnce komnatu napolnilo
Pyl’ju zheltoj i skvoznoj.
Ja prosnulas’ i pripomnila:
Milyj, nynche prazdnik tvoj.

Ottogo i osnezhennaja
Dal’ za oknami tepla,
Ottogo i ja, bessonnaja,
Kak prichastnica spala.

1. Sunshine has filled the room

Sunshine has filled the room
with clear golden specks of dust.
I woke up and remembered,
dear, it was your birthday.

But far beyond my windows
snow has covered the ground,
And made me forget, so now to atone,
I sleep without dreams.

2. Nastojashchuju nezhnost’

Nastojashchuju nezhnost’ ne sputajesh’
Ni s chem, i ona tikha.
Ty naprasno berezhno kutajesh’
Mne plechi i grud’ v mekha
I naprasno slova pokornyje
Govorish’ o pervoj ljubvi.
Kak ja znaju `eti upornyje,
Nesytyje vzgljady tvoji!

2. True tenderness

True tenderness is silent
and can’t be mistaken for anything else.
In vain with earnest desire
you cover my shoulders with fur;
In vain you try to persuade me
of the merits of first love.
But I know too well the meaning
of your persistent burning glances.

3. Pamjat’ o solnce

Pamjat’ o solnce v serdce slabejet,
Zheltej trava.
Veter snezhinkami rannimi vejet
Jedva-jedva.

Iva na nebe pustom rasplastala
Vejer skvoznoj.
Mozhet byt’, luchshe, chto ja ne stala
Vashej zhenoj.

Pamjat’ o solnce v serdce slabejet.
Chto `eto? T’ma?
Mozhet byt’! Za noch’ prijti uspejet
Zima.

3. Thoughts of the sunlight

Thoughts of the sunlight fainter and dimmer,
And parched the grass.
Breezes, fresh breezes at dawn’s early shimmer,
Flit by repass.

Look at the willows against a clear heaven,
Cloudless and wide.
Better, far better not to be given
Thee for thy bride!

Thoughts of the daylight dimmer and fainter.
Oh, darkness! Gloom!
Once again . . . Morning,
Tell me if winter is come.

4. Zdravstvuj!

Zdravstvuj! Legkij shelest slyshish’
Sprava ot stola?
`Etikh strochek ne napishesh –
Ja k tebe prishla.

Neuzheli ty obidish’
Tak, kak v proshlyj raz, —
Govorish’, chto ruk ne vidish’,
Ruk mojikh i glaz.

U tebja svetlo i prosto.
Ne goni menja tuda,
Gde pod dushnym svodom mosta
Stynet grjaznaja voda.

4. Greetings!

Greetings! Do you hear the soft rustle
beside your table?
Don’t bother to write
for I’ll come to you.

Is it possible you are angry
with me like the last time?
You say that you don’t want to see my hands,
my hands or my eyes.

I am with you in your bright, simple room.
Don’t chase me away
to where the cold, murky water
flows under the bridge.

5. Seroglazyj korol’

Slava tebe, bezyskhodnaja bol’!
Umer vchera seroglazyj korol’.
Vecher osennij byl dushen i al.
Muzh moj, vernuvshis’, spokojno skazal:
,,Znajesh’, s okhoty jego prinesli,
Telo u starogo duba nashli.
Zhal’ korolevu. Takoj molodoj!
Za noch’ odnu ona stala sedoj.“

Trubku svoju na kamine nashjol
I na rabotu nochnuju ushjol.
Dochku moju ja sejchas razbuzhu,
V seryje glazki jejo pogljazhu.
A za oknom shelestjat topolja:
,,Net na zemle tvojego korolja.“

5. The gray-eyed king

Hail to thee, everlasting pain!
The gray-eyed king died yesterday.
Scarlet and close was the autumn eve,
My husband, returning, said calmly to me:
“They brought him back from the hunt, you know,
They found his body near the old oak.
Pity the queen. So young!…
Overnight her hair has turned gray.”

Then he found his pipe on the hearth
And left, as he did every night, for work.
I will wake my little daughter now,
And look into her eyes of gray.
And outside the window the poplars whisper:
“Your king is no more on this earth…”

Alexander Nevsky: Field of the Dead

I shall go across the snow-covered field, fly over the field of death. I shall search out my betrothed, and those glorious falcons, noble youths. Here lies one hacked by swords; here lies one pierced by an arrow. Their blood has watered our beloved Russian land. I shall kiss the dead eyes of those who died nobly for Russia, and to the one who survived, I shall be a true companion and faithful spouse. I shall not marry a handsome man, for earthly beauty comes to an end. I shall be married to a brave man. Hear this, bold falcons!

Pushkin Romances

1. Sosny

Vnov’ ja posetil tot ugolok zemli,
Gde ja provel izgnannikom dva goda nezametnykh.
Uzh desjat’ let ushlo s tekh por,
I mnogo peremenilos’ v zhizni dlja menja,
I sam, pokornyj obshchemu zakonu,
Peremenilsja ja; no zdes’ opjat’
Minuvsheje menja ob”jemlet zhivo.
I kazhetsja, vechor jeshchjo
Brodil ja v `etikh roshchakh.

1. Pine trees

Once more I visited that corner of the dart
Where I spent two dreary years in exile.
Then years have passed since then
And much has changed in my life
And obeying the general law
I myself have changed.
But returning here, the past surrounds me vividly
And it seems only yesterday that I wandered through these groves.

2. Rumjanoj zarjoju pokrylsja vostok

Rumjanoj zarjoju
Pokrylsja vostok,
V sele za rekoju
Potukh ogonjok.

Rosoj okropilis’
Cvety na poljakh,
Stada probudilis’
Na mjagkikh lugakh.

Tumany sedyje
Plyvut k oblakam,
Pastushki mladyje
Speshat k pastukham.

S zhurchan’jem stremitsja
Istochnik mezh gor,
Vdali zolotitsja
Vo t’me sinij bor.

Pastushka mladaja
Na rynok speshit
I vdal’, pripevaja,
Prilezhno gljadit.

Rumjanec igrajet
Na polnykh shchekakh,
Nevinnost’ blistajet
Na robkikh glazakh.

Iskusnoj rukoju
Kosa ubrana,
I nozhka soboju
Prel’shchat’ sozdana.

Pastushka prikhodit
V vishennik gustoj
I mnogo nakhodit
Plodov pred soboj.

Khot’ vid ikh prekrasen
Krasotku manit,
No put’ k nim opasen,
Bednjazhku strashit.

Podumav, reshilas’
S ikh vishen pojest’,
Za vetv’ ukhvatilas’
Na derevo vlezt’.

Uzhe dostigajet
Nagrady svojej
I robko stupajet
Nogoj mezh vetvej.

Beri plod rukoju,
I vidnja tvoja,
No, Akh! chto s toboju,
Pastushka moja?

Vdali usmotrela,
speshit pastushok:
Noga oslabela,
skol’zit bashmachok.

Pastushku neshchasnu
S suchka tikho, tikho snjal
I grud’ svoju strastnu
K krasotke, krasotke prizhal.

Vsja krov’ zakipela
V dvukh pylkikh serdcakh,
Ljubov’ priletela,
Priletela na bystrykh krylakh.

2. Rosy Dawn

Roseate dawn
Has colored the East,
Darkness fell
Over a village across the river

On the fields
The flowers are sprinkled with dew,
The cattle are awake
On the soft meadows.

The grey fog
Is floating towards the clouds,
Young shepherdesses
Are hurrying to shepherds.

The rippling stream
Is coming down from the mountains,
In the distance
The blue forest is seen in the golden glow.

A young shepherdess
Is hurrying to the market,
And looks diligently
Into the distance, humming a song.

Her plump cheeks
Are covered with a blush,
Innocence is shining
In her timid gaze.

Her hair is braided
With a skillful hand.
And her little foot
Was created to tempt.

The shepherdess
Came to the dense cherry orchard,
And there are many cherries
Before her.

Their luscious sight
Entices the beauty,
But a dangerous path to them
Scares her.

Having pondered,
She decided to taste those cherries.
She grasped a branch
To clim the tree.

She is already
Nearing her prize,
And timidly sets her foot
Amid the branches.

Only reach with your hand
And the cherry is yours,
But, ah! What happened to you,
My shepherdess?

She sees in the distance
A shepherd hurrying up:
Her leg is growing limp,
Her shoe is slipping.

He quietly took the poor shepherdess
Off the tree,
And pressed the beauty,
To his passionate breast.

All the blood has boiled
In the two ardent hearts,
Love has flown,
Love has flown on rapid wings.

3. V tvoju svetlicu

V tvoju svetlicu, drug moj nezhnyj,
Ja prikhozhu v poslednij raz.
Ljubvi schastlivoj, bezmjatezhnoj
Delju s toboj poslednij chas.

Vperjod odna v nadezhde tomnoj
Ne zhdi menja sred’ nochi tjomnoj,
Do pervykh utrennikh luchej
Ne zhgi svechej.

3. I came to your room

I came to your chamber for the last time, tender friend
I share with you now the last peaceful hour of our happy love.
Go forward in hope and don’t wait for me.
Though the night is dark, don’t burn the candles till the first light of dawn.
Don’t burn the candles till the first light of dawn.

3 Children’s Songs, Op. 68 (Sung in German) Words by: Barto, Agniya / Sakonskaya, Nadezhda / Kvitko, Leib

No. 1. Boltunya (Chatterbox)

Vovka made it all up
That Lyda is a chatterbox,
But when do I have time to chatter?
I have no time to chatter.
A drama class, a photography class,
A choir, I love to sing! Etc.

No. 2. Sladkaya pesenka (Lollipop Song)

Do you know who this is singing?
I’m on show at stall or shop:
I set all mouths watering.
I’m your old friend Lollipop!
Slip me from the packet,
Strip my colored jacket
Open wide
Then right inside I’ll hop. Etc.

No. 3. Porosyata (The Little Pig)

Ann and Jan and Rally all say:
“May we see your pigs today?
We won’t tease or poke them,
Only pet and stroke them.”
“No you can’t, so run away.
Don’t ask me for favors.
they’re all in the bath, I say
Go and see the neighbor’s” Etc.