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Stalaktity ('Stalactites') (1908) Op. 26 no.6

Stalaktity ('Stalactites')

Mne dorog grot, gde dymnym svetom
Moj fakel sumrak bagrjanit,
Gde `ekho grustnoje zvuchit
Na vzdokh nevol'nyj moj otvetom;
Mne dorog grot, gde stalaktity,
Kak gor'kikh sljoz zamjorzshij rjad,
Na svodakh kamennykh visjat,
Gde kapli padajut na plity.
Pust' vechno v sumrake pechal'nom
Carit torzhestvennyj pokoj,
I stalaktity predo mnoj
Visjat uborom pogrebal'nym...
Uvy! Ljubvi mojej davno
zamjorzli gorestnye sljozy,
No vsjo zhe serdcu suzhdeno
Rydat' i v zimnije morozy.


I love the grotto, where my crimson torch
Burnishes the half-light with its obscure light,
Where a mournful echo responds
To my involuntary sigh;
I love the grotto, where stalactites,
Like a frozen row of bitter tears,
Hang from the stone vaults,
Where drops of water fall on slabs of stone.
May solemn silence ever reign
In the sad half-light,
And may the stalactites before me
Hang like funerary garb…
Alas! The mournful tears of my love
Have long since frozen,
Yet my heart is still fated
To sob in cold depths of winter.

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Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev was a Russian composer, pianist, teacher of composition, music theorist and author.

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René François Armand (Sully) Prudhomme was a French poet and essayist, and was the first ever winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1901.

Born in Paris, Prudhomme originally studied to be an engineer, but turned to philosophy and later to poetry; he declared it as his intent to create scientific poetry for modern times. In character sincere and melancholic, he was linked to the Parnassus school, although, at the same time, his work displays characteristics of its own.

Prudhomme attended the Lycée Bonaparte, but eye trouble interrupted his studies. He worked for a while in the Creusot region for the Schneider steel foundry, and then began studying law in a notary's office. The favourable reception of his early poems by the Conférence La Bruyère (a student society) encouraged him to begin a literary career.

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