The Birch (Береза), Sergei Gorodetsky


Lel’ (or Lelo) is the Slavic god of erotic passion; Yarila is the Slavic god of fertility.

I fell in love with you on amber day,
..When new-born laziness was bleeding
..In radiant gleam of azure ray
..From every grateful branch proceeding.

Your trunk grew white, as white as drunken daze
..Of lake-land waters foaming.
..And jolly Lel, with mocking plays,
..Your beams’ black hair was combing.

Himself, Yarila, gloriously did crown
..With verdant wreath your inky tresses
..And braiding it began to drown
..Sky’s azure tone with green caresses.


Я полюбил тебя в янтарный день,
..Когда, лазурью светозарной
..Рожденная, сочилась лень
..Из каждой ветки благодарной.

Белело тело, белое, как хмель
..Кипучих волн озерных.
..Тянул, смеясь, веселый Лель
..Лучи волосьев черных.

И сам Ярила пышно увенчал
..Концы волос зеленой кроной
..И, заплетая, разметал
..В цвету лазурном цвет зеленый.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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