Farewell to the Sea

Farewell, ye proudly rolling waters,
Farewell, thou glittering, charging sea,
The blue expanse that knows no fetters,
The beauty full of majesty.

No more will I thy friendly murmur,
Thy loud yet wistful summons hear,
Thy voice's lilt, its mournful tremor
That now, in parting, haunts my ear.

O realm that held my heart contented!
How oft, by secret dreams enthralled
And vague and misty thoughts tormented,
Thy shores I walked for hours untold.

I loved thy raucous voice, the mellow
Play of thy waves, their darts and leaps,
Thy evening calm, thy fitful sleep,
Thy passionate and wrathful bellow!

A humble fishing boat doth glide
O'er thy waves easily, obeying
Their whim, but, with the wind allied,
Great ships engulfest thou, displaying
Ungoverned rage and savage pride!

How futile proved my hope this languid
And torpid shore to leave fore’er,
To drink thy beauty in and sing it
And fly away over thy winged,
Thy soaring peaks and reaches bare!

I strove, thy eager summons hearing,
To burst my chains, but strove in vain.
By passion held, my heart ensnaring,
Here on these shores did I remain.

Ah, well, what use regret and whither
Shall I pursue my carefree way?..
One speck upon these wastes of water
Still holds my anxious heart in sway –

One cliff, one isle, a tomb of glory,
Where ebbed of lofty memories
The tide, and where Napoleon's weary
And tortured heart at last found peace.

He died, and like a tempest sweeping
From sight, so did another bold
And mighty genius leave us, keeping
On our hearts an eternal hold.

His laurel wreath behind him leaving,
He vanished, mourned by freedom... Weep
For him who was thy bard, relieving
Thy pain in storm, o mighty deep!

By thee his spirit was enchanted,
By thee 'twas sought, by thee 'twas claimed.
Like thine, 'twas fierce, like thine, undaunted,
Like thine, rebellious and untamed.

The world's a void... Where wouldst thou labour
O sea, to carry me?.. Behold!
Man's fate is uniform all over:
Where good sprouts forth, child of endeavour,
There either despots rule or gold.

Farewell, farewell! Forget I'll never
Thy solemn beauty, prideful sea!
Where'er I go, my heart aquiver,
I'll hear thee softly speak to me.

Away with me into the silence
Of flowering fields and shady groves
I'll take thy voice's magic cadence,
Thy shimmering waves and rocky coves.

Translated by Irina Zheleznova

A.S. Pushkin. Farewell to the Sea (“Farewell, ye proudly rolling waters...”). Translated by Irina Zheleznova// Alexander Pushkin. Collected Works: Parallel Russian Text and English Translation.
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