Sunday, 18 November 2007

Выхожу один я на дорогу

I found this poem by Mikhail Lermontov while studying Russian Poetry and fell in love with it. I have tried to translate it roughly for those who do not speak Russian.

Выхожу один я на дорогу...

Выхожу один я на дорогу;
Сквозь туман кремнистый путь блестит;
Ночь тиха. Пустыня внемлет Богу,
И звезда с звездою говорит.

В небесах торжественно и чудно!
Спит земля в сиянье голубом...
Что же мне так больно и так трудно?
Жду ль чего? Жалею ли о чем?

Уж не жду от жизни ничего я,
И не жаль мне прошлого ничуть.
Я ищу свободы и покоя!
Я б хотел забыться и заснуть!

Но не тем холодным сном могилы...
Я б желал навеки так заснуть,
Чтоб в груди дремали жизни силы,
Чтоб, дыша, вздымалась тихо грудь,

Чтоб, всю ночь, весь день мой слух лелея,
Про любовь мне сладкий голос пел,
надо мной чтоб, вечно зеленея,
Темный дуб склонялся и шумел.

Rough English translation:

I go out alone on the road;
Through the mist the flinty path shines;
Silent night. God listens in the empty place,
And the star talks with the star.

In the heavens solemnly and wonderfully!
Sleeps the Earth in pale blue...
Whatever hurts me so and is so hard for me?
For what do I wait? About what do I regret?

I already wait for nothing from life,
And I do not pity the past at all,
I seek freedom and peace!
I would love to forget myself and fall asleep!

But not those cold dreams of the grave...
I would so desire to fall asleep forever,
So that life's forces slumbered in my chest,
So that, while breathing, my chest heaves silently,

So that all night, all day soothing my ear,
A sweet voice sings to me about love,
So that eternally turning green over me,
The dark oak leaned itself and made noise.

NB Some of the intial meaning in the poem is lost through translation as the order and meaning of the words convey differnt things in Russian and in English. Nevertheless this is one of my favourite Russian Poems by one of my favourite authors.


mail said...
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Maria (viola33) said...

Good translation :) Congratulations!

David Yakobi said...

Hi Laura-Rose,
My name is David Yakobi. I have recently done a translation of this poem/song as well.
I did a google search and found your post. I thought you may be interested in my take on it. This is also meant to match lyrically for the popular Russian song based on the poem...

All Alone I Set Out On This Highway

All alone I set out on this highway.
Through the mist, a pebbled pathway shines.
Unto God the desert listens quietly,
And the stars in dialog entwine.

In the heavens lies a solemn wonder:
A world asleep in a bluish glow…
All my hardship and my pain I ponder,
In regret or longing? I don’t know.

From this life, there’s nothing I require.
From the past, there’s nothing I regret.
May in peace and freedom I retire,
And in sleep my nothingness be met!

Not the chilling slumber of a burial,
Do I desire forever as my rest;
Let my living vigor, immaterial,
Gently bellow from beneath my chest.

Night and day by song my soul be nurtured,
Let me hear the sweetest voice of love,
Let me lie forever in this orchard,
In the shade of the rustling oak above.