On sands where sunshine is a curse,
Antiar, a sentry grim and dreaded,
Alone in all the universe,
Stands, to the arid stillness wedded.

The thirsting steppes gave birth to him,
The sun above them gleaming redly,
And, spiteful, fed his roots and limbs
With poisons swift to act and deadly.

The venom, seeping through his bark,
Melts in the blaze and heat of morning,
But thickens at the fall of dark,
With crystal drops the tree adorning.

No birds, no beasts dare venture near.
Black winds alone, not lightly daunted,
Rush up, but fly away in fear,
By his malignant vapours tainted.

And when a rain-cloud sprays his crown
And leaves the heavy branches sodden,
The drops that from the tree stream down
With poisons are already laden.

But man bade man to seek Antiar —
One look sufficed... The slave, past caring,
Set out, and though the way was far,
Returned at dawn, the poison bearing.

A branch and resin 'fore his lord
He placed in silent supplication,
And down his ashen brow there poured
Cold, leaden drops of perspiration.

And, falling weakly on a mat,
His face a mask of sickly pallor,
He died, a humble bondsman, at
The feet of an almighty ruler.

With poison did his henchmen smear
The prince's arrows at his orders,
And to his neighbours far and near
Death sent he forth across the borders.

Translated by Irina Zheleznova

A.S. Pushkin. Antiar (“On sands where sunshine is a curse...”). Translated by Irina Zheleznova // Alexander Pushkin. Collected Works: Parallel Russian Text and English Translation.
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