“The shady forests whisper now” (“Шумят леса тенистые”), Konstantin Fofanov



Konstantin Fofanov (1862-1911) is little known outside Russia, but he was admired by Tolstoy and is seen as a precursor of symbolists like Alexander Blok. He died prematurely, a penniless alcoholic.

The shady forests whisper now,
The shady fragrant trees they bow,
And see, the icy shackles, how
Destroyed they are by wave.

Arrived she did, the lovely one,
And fragrant trees they were outdone,
From light of day by witches spun
The spring of every crave!

Transparent waft of midnight haze
The darkest dreams it weaving strays.
With consummated love ablaze
Green grasses forest pave.

And gazing down the stars they shine,
And blinking hills horizon line,
The chancelled bliss of tears divine,
On cobalt water’s nave.

And everywhere at last they wake,
With love and inspiration quake,
And lost in reverie songs they make,
And all is din and sheen.

And now my hearted passion’s song
To you, my love, it does belong,
Almighty one, none is as strong,
Of lustrous thoughts the queen!


Шумят леса тенистые,
Тенистые, душистые,
Свои оковы льдистые
Разрушила волна.

Пришла она, желанная,
Пришла благоуханная,
Из света дня сотканная

Полночи мгла прозрачная
Свивает грезы мрачные.
Свежа, как ложе брачное,
Зеленая трава.

И звезды блещут взорами,
Мигая в небе хорами,
Над синими озерами,
Как слезы божества.

Повсюду пробуждение,
Любовь и вдохновение,
Задумчивое пение,
Повсюду блеск и шум.

И песня сердца страстная
Тебе, моя прекрасная,
Всесильная, всевластная
Царица светлых дум!

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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