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Lullaby (1875)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Songs and Dances of Death ('Pesni i pljaski smerti')


Stonet rebjonok... Svecha, nagoraja,
Tusklo mercajet krugom.
Celuju noch' kolybel'ku kachaja,
Mat' ne zabylasja snom.
Ranym-ranjokhon'ko v dver' ostorozhno
Smert' serdobol'naja stuk!
Vzdrognula mat', ogljanulas' trevozhno...
,,Polno pugat'sja, moj drug!
Blednoje utro uzh smotrit v okoshko...
Placha, toskuja, ljublja,
Ty utomilas', vzdremni-ka nemnozhko,
Ja posizhu za tebja.
Ugomonit' ty ditja ne sumela.
Slashche tebja ja spoju.’’ -
,,Tishe! rebjonok moj mechetsja, b'jotsja,
Dushu terzaja moju!’’
,,Nu, da so mnoju on skoro ujmjotsja.
Bajushki, baju, baju.’’
,,Shchjochki blednejut, slabejet dykhan'e...
Da zamolchi-zhe, molju!’’ -
,,Dobroje znamen'e, stikhnet stradan'e,
Bajushki, baju, baju.’’
,,Proch' ty, prokljataja!
Laskoj svojeju sgubish' ty radost' moju!’’
,,Net, mirnyj son ja mladencu naveju.
Bajushki, baju, baju.’’ -
,,Szhal'sja, pozhdi dopevat' khot' mgnoven'e,
Strashnuju pesnju tvoju!’’
,, Vidish', usnul on pod tikhoje pen'e.
Bajushki, baju, baju.’’


A child moans… A candle, burning low,
Casts its dull flicker all around.
All through the night, as she rocks the cradle,
A mother has not slept.
Early in the morning comes the gentle knock
Of Death, the compassionate one, at the door!
The mother shudders, anxiously looking around her…
‘There’s no need to be afraid, my friend!
The pale morning is peeping through the window…
You have worn yourself out with crying, longing, loving,
So rest a while, my dear,
And I will take your place at his side.
You couldn’t soothe the little child,
But I can sing more sweetly than you.’
‘Shhh! The child is tossing and turning,
My heart grieves to see him thus!’
‘Come now, with me he will soon calm down,
Hushaby, hushaby-hush.’
‘His cheeks are so pale, his breathing so shallow…
Please be quiet, I beg you!’
‘That’s a good sign, his suffering will soon be over,
Hushaby, hushaby-hush.’
‘Be away with you, accursed woman!
You will destroy my joy with your caresses!’
‘No, I will waft the sleep of peace over the infant,
Hushaby, hushaby-hush.’
‘Have pity! Cease your singing for just a moment,
Cease your terrible song!’
‘See now, my quiet song has sung him to sleep,
Hushaby, hushaby-hush.’

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Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (21 March 1839 – 28 March 1881) was a Russian composer. He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music. Many of his works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, and other national themes.

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