In the Winter (Зимой), Arseny Tarkovsky


The last stanza here was a real struggle – I’ve emulated the repeated rhymes of the original, but have probably sacrificed accuracy as a result.

Oh, where I wonder, is she leading –
Oh this, my fate, oh this my fate?
We blunder as this sphere is speeding
And balk at sight of coffin’s plate.

We cannot see where moon is shining,
Our crutches falter in the snow,
Our white-eyed souls with glance declining
Upon the land gaze as they go.

Old woman, tell of how we struggled,
Of how it was, do you recall?
Of how, beneath this stone-built wall
Did once upon a time come call,
Its muffled sound to us was smuggled,
Its whisper with its hush we juggled,
Its echo boomed behind it all.


Куда меня ведет подруга –
Моя судьба, моя судьба?
Бредем, теряя кромку круга
И спотыкаясь о гроба.

Не видно месяца над нами,
В сугробах вязнут костыли,
И души белыми глазами
Глядят вослед поверх земли.

Ты помнишь ли, скажи, старуха,
Как проходили мы с тобой
Под этой каменной стеной
Зимой студеной, в час ночной,
Давным-давно, и так же глухо,
Вполголоса и в четверть слуха,
Гудело эхо за спиной?

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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