“Dejected willow tree was leaning” (“Печально верба наклоняла”), Konstantin Fofanov


I have yet to find a poem by Fofanov that doesn’t mention trees. This is an early poem, from 1887.

Dejected willow tree was leaning
Its curling fronds towards the pool;
And then the yearning earth was keening,
Awaiting star of evening’s jewel.

The heavens were immensely shining,
And in them, like a flock of dreams,
The darkening clouds with rose-hued lining
Were gliding by in lazy streams.

And, silent, filled with pain and passion,
Just like a cloud, welled in my soul
My dreams and sounds in crowded fashion,
And song of longing from me stole.

And then I truly would have wanted
With lively song to resurrect
The memories that had only haunted,
Things unforgettable reject!


Печально верба наклоняла
Зеленый локон свой к пруду;
Земля в томленьи изнывала,
Ждала вечернюю звезду.

Сияло небо необъятно,
И в нем, как стая легких снов,
Скользили розовые пятна
Завечеревших облаков.

Молчал я, полн любви и муки,
В моей душе, как облака,
Роились сны, теснились звуки
И пела смутная тоска.

И мне хотелось в то мгновенье
Живою песнью воскресить
Все перешедшее в забвенье
И незабвенное забыть!..

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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