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«My critic, rosy-gilled, as quick as thought to offer
Our gloomy Muse affront, you plump, pot-bellied scoffer,
Come here, I beg, sit down, and have a little nip;
Together we may get the better of the hyp.
Behold those wretched huts: a view to feast your eyes on,
Black earth beyond, the plain that slopes toward the horizon;
Above the hovels hang low clouds, thick-massed and gray.
But the bright meadows, friend, the dark woods — where are they?
Where the blithe brook? Beside the low fence in the court
Two trees rejoice the eye; they're of a meager sort,
Such pitiable things, the two of them together,
And one is stripped quite bare by autumn's rainy weather,
The other's yellow leaves wait, sopping, to be strewn
On puddles by the wind that will be raging soon.
There's not a living cur. True, here a peasant trudges
Across the empty court, tagged by two kerchiefed drudges.
The coffin of a child beneath his arm, no hat
Upon his head — he calls to the priest's lazy brat
To bid his dad unlock the church — “You've legs to run with!
Be quick!We're late — high time the funeral were done with!”
Why do you frown, my friend?» «You've kept this up too long;
Can't you amuse us with a merry sort of song?»
«Where are you off to now?» «To Moscow, I am setting
Out for the birthday ball.» «But are you quite forgetting
That we are quarantined? There's cholera about.
Come, cool your heels, as in the mountainous redoubt
Your humble servant did there's nothing else to do now.
Well, brother, you don't scoff: so you've got the hyp too now!»

Translated by Babette Deutsch

A.S. Pushkin. “My critic, rosy-gilled, as quick as thought to offer...”. Translated by Babette Deutsch // Alexander Pushkin. Collected Works: Parallel Russian Text and English Translation.
© Электронная публикация — РВБ, 2022—2024. Версия 2.1 от 30 ноября 2023 г.