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Stantsy, 'Stanzas' (1936) Op. 46 no.4

Part of a series or song cycle:

Four Romances on Poems by Pushkin (Op. 46)

Stantsy, 'Stanzas'

Brozhu li ia vdol’ ulits shumnykh,
Vkhozhu l’ vo mnogoliudnyi khram,
Sizhu l’ mezh iunoshei bezumnykh,
Ia predaius’ moim mechtam.
Ia govoriu: promchatsia gody,
I skol’ko zdes’ ne vidno nas,
My vse soidem pod vechny svody -
I chei-nibud’ uzh blizok chas.
Gliazhu l’ na dub uedinennyi,
Ia mysliu: patriarkh lesov
Perezhivet moi vek zabvennyi,
Kak perezhil on vek ottsov.
Mladentsa l’ milogo laskaiu,
Uzhe ia dumaiu: prosti!
Tebe ia mesto ustupaiu:
Mne vremia tlet’, tebe tsvesti.
Den’ kazhdyi, kazhduiu godinu
Privyk ia dumoi provozhdat’,
Griadushchei smerti godovshchinu
Mezh nikh staraias’ ugadat’.
I gde mne smert’ poshlet sud’bina?
V boiu li, v stranstvii, v volnakh?
Ili sosednjaja dolina
Moi primet okhladelyi prakh?
I khot’ beschuvstvennomu telu
Ravno povsiudu istlevat’
No blizhe k milomu predelu
Mne vse b khotelos’ pochivat’.
I pust’ u grobovogo vkhoda
Mladaia budet zhizn’ igrat’
I ravnodushnaia priroda
Krasoiu vechnoiu siiat’.


Whenever I stroll down noisy streets,
Or enter a crowded church,
Or sit ’midst frenzied youths,
I surrender to my imagination.
I say to myself: the years will rush by,
And however many of us there still are,
We will all descend through the gates of eternity –
And for some, the hour is close to hand.
Whenever I stare at a solitary oak tree,
I think to myself: this patriarch of the forests
Will outlive my soon-to-be-forgotten age,
Just as it has already outlived that of my fathers.
Whenever I embrace a babe-in-arms,
I am already thinking: adieu!
I yield my place to you:
As time bids me decay, it bids you bloom.
I have grown used to contemplating
Every day and every year,
Trying to discern within them
The anniversary of my impending death.
And where will I be when death calls?
In battle, or journeying by land or sea?
Or will some neighbouring valley
Accept my cold ashes?
And whilst the insensible body
Cares not where it is fated to decay,
I’d nonetheless rather find eternal rest
Near to my native land.
Where youthful life might play
By the entrance to my tomb,
And indifferent nature might shine
With its eternal beauty.

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Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer and pianist. He achieved fame in the Soviet Union, although later developed a more complex and difficult relationship with the government. As a composer, he combined a variety of different musical techniques into his works, and his music is characterised by sharp contrast, grotesque elements, and ambivalent tonality. 


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Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (6 June 1799 – 10 February 1837) was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.

Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow. His father, Sergey Lvovich Pushkin, belonged to Pushkin noble families. A maternal great-grandfather was African-born general Abram Petrovich Gannibal. He published his first poem at the age of 15, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. Upon graduation from the Lycee, Pushkin recited his controversial poem "Ode to Liberty", one of several that led to his being exiled by Tsar Alexander the First. While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar's political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832.

Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with his brother-in-law, Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès, also known as Dantes-Gekkern, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment, who attempted to seduce the poet's wife, Natalia Pushkina.

Taken from Wikipedia. Read the full article here.

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