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Сергей Есенин. Избранные стихотворения на англ. языке

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  • Аннотация:
    Сергей Есенин. Сборник стихотворений на английском языке. Перевод А. С. Вагапова См. собрание сочинений Сергея Есениня: http://az.lib.ru/e/esenin_s_a/

  
  Click to see Sergey Yesenin's autobiography
  
  
   SERGEY YESENIN
   Collection of Poems
  
  
   Translated by Alec Vagapov
  ________________________________________
  
  
   Contents
  
  1. Scarlet Light Of Sunset...
  2. The Night
  3. What Is Gone Cannot Be Retrieved...
  4. My Life
  5. The Stars
  6. You Were Crying On A Quiet Night...
  7. Canes Have Started Rustling ...
  8. Trinity Devotions. Morning Cannon Rite...
  9. I'm A Shepherd, And My Parlours...
  10. White Is The Sweatshirt, And Red Is The Sash...
  11. I'm Tired Of Living In My Land...
  12. The Witch
  13. I'm Back At Home. My Dear Land...
  14. I Will Not Be Wandering About
  15. Over There Beyond Fields Of Yellow...
  16. Like Smoke In The Room You Are Out Of View...
  17. I Do Believe In Happiness...
  18. Silver Bluebell, Are You Singing...
  19. I Have Left My Endeared Home...
  20. There's the silly elation...
  21. Silver road, I wonder where...
  22. My Love Has Changed. I Know You Feel...
  23. I Do Not Regret, And I Do Not Shed Tears...
  24. Sing, Old Man, To The Bloody Guitar....
  25. I Will Not Deceive Myself...
  26. Yes! It's Settled! Now And For Ever...
  27. Azure Space Is Aflame Up Above...
  28. Both This Street And This Little House
  29. .It's Sad To Look At You, My Love...
  30. Let's Sit Down Here, My Dearest
  31. You Have Been Used By Someone Else ...
  32. We'll Depart This World For Ever, Surely...
  33. Don't Torment Me With Coldness And Stiffness...
  34. Little House With Light Blue Shutters...
  35. .A Letter To The Mother
  36. Now My Grief Won't Be Spilt By The Ringing...
  37. A Letter To The Woman
  38. The Golden Birch-Tree Grove Has Fallen Silent...
  39. The Snowstorm Is Crying Like Romany...
  40. Oh My Dear Maple, Frozen Stiff And Bare...
  41. Blue Is The Fog, The Expanse Is Snow-Bound...
  42. Blue Is The Night, And The Moon Is Glancing ...
  43. Snow-Clad Is The Plain, And...
  44. Snowdrift, Piled Up, Is Now Brittle And Callous...
  45. Don't Fall, My Little Star, Keep Shining...
  46. Life Is Tricky With Enchanting Pathos...
  47. I haven't forgotten you, dearie...
  48. The Flowers Say Good-Bye To Me...
  49. Leaves Are Falling Here And Yonder...
  50. Don't You Force A Smile, Girl...
  51. The Snow Is Whirling Lively And Strong...
  52. Oh, What A Night! I Cannot Sleep...
  53. Don't You Look At Me So Reproachfully...
  54. You Don't Love Me And Don't Feel Compassion
  55. Maybe, It's Too Late Or, Maybe, Early...
  ________________________________________
   ***
  
  Scarlet light of sunset shows up on the lake.
  Grouses are crying in the wood, awake.
  
  Hidden in a hollow, cries an oriole.
  I don't feel like crying, brightness in my soul.
  
  You'll come out to meet me later in the day,
  We'll sit down there under stack of hay.
  
  I will kiss and squeeze you, like a loving boy!
  One can't blame a man for being drunk with joy.
  
  You will chuck your kerchief as I hold you tight,
  I will keep you, tipsy, in the bush all night.
  
  Let the birds keep crying as we neck and bask
  There's a happy yearning in the purple dusk.
  
  1910
  
  The Night
  
  The tired day droops, slowly waning ,
  The noisy waves are now tranquil.
  The sun has set, the moon is sailing
  Above the world, absorbed and still.
  
  The valley listens to the babbles
  Of peaceful river in the dale.
  The forest, dark and bending, slumbers
  To warbling of the nightingale.
  
  The river, listening in and fondling,
  Talks with the banks in quiet hush.
  And up above resounds, a-rolling,
  The merry rustle of the rush.
  
  1910 -1912
  
  WHAT IS GONE CANNOT BE RETRIEVED
  
  Lovely night I will never retrieve it,
  And I won't see my sweet precious love.
  And the nightingale's song, I won't hear it,
  Happy song that it sang in the grove!
  
  That sweet night is now gone irrevocably
  You can't tell it: please come back and wait.
  Autumn weather has now set in locally,
  With perpetual rains, damp and wet.
  
  Fast asleep in the grave is my sweetheart
  Keeping love, as before, in her heart.
  And however it tries, autumn blizzard
  Cannot wake her from sleep, flesh and blood.
  
  So the nightingale's singing has ended,
  As the song-bird has taken to flight,
  And I can't hear the song now, so splendid,
  Which it sang on that sweet chilly night.
  
  Gone and lost are the joyous emotions
  That I felt in those days and conceived.
  All I have now is chill in my conscience.
  What is gone can't be ever retrieved.
  
  1911-1912
  
  
  The Stars
  
  Stars little stars, you're so high and so clear!
  What have you got in you, so fascinating?
  Stars, deep in thought, so discreet you appear,
  What is the power that makes you so tempting?
  
  Stars, little stars, you're so dense and so solid!
  What is it that makes you so great and alluring?
  How can you, heavenly bodies, afford it:
  Stirring a thirst and desire for learning?
  
  Why, as you shine, are you nice and inviting
  Into your wide open arms, on the instant?
  Pleasing the heart, so benign and enticing,
  Heavenly stars, so remote and so distant!
  
  1911-1912
  My Life
  
  It appears, my life is fated to torment;
  My way is dammed up by grief and distress.
  My life has been severed from fun and enjoyment,
  Vexation and wounds are afflicting my chest.
  
  It seems I'm fated to suffer from pain.
  All I have in this life are bad luck and misfortune.
  I have suffered enough in this life, and again
  Both my body and soul have been put to the torture.
  
  The expanse, vast and hazy, promises joy,
  Sighs and tears, however, are the real solutions.
  A storm will break out, the thunder - oh boy! -
  Will ruin the magical luscious illusions.
  
  Now I know life's deception, and nevertheless
  I don't want to complain of bad luck and misfortune.
  So my soul doesn't suffer from grief and distress,
  No one ever can help to relieve me from torture.
  
  1911-1912
   ***
  You were crying on a quiet night,
  Those tears in your eyes you weren't hiding,
  I was so sad, it was a real plight,
  And yet we couldn't overcome misunderstanding.
  
  Now you are gone, I'm here, on my own,
  My dreams have faded, losing tint and colour,
  You left me, and again I am all alone,
  Without tender word and greeting, in my parlour.
  
  When evening comes I often, crowned with rue,
  Come to the place of our dating here,
  And in my dreams I see the sight of you
  And hear you crying bitterly, my dear.
  
  1912-1913
  
   * * *
  
  Canes have started rustling on the river bank,
  Princess-girl is crying with her face pale, blank.
  
  Pretty girl has chanted ' loves me - loves me not',
  The unwoven flowers down the river float.
  
  She is not to marry later in the spring,
  Goblin has foretold a very frightening thing.
  
  Mice have stripped the birch-tree of the bark, so hard,
  They have frightened girlie out of the yard.
  
  Horses fight, so threateningly jerking their heads,
  Ah, dark hair is what goblin really hates.
  
  Incense smell is coming from the nearby groves,
  Loud winds are singing their dirge-like songs.
  
  On the river bank she sadly walks around,
  As the foamy wave is spinning her a shroud.
  
  1914
  
   * * *
  
  Trinity devotions. Morning cannon rite,
  Birch-trees in the grove are filled with ringing light.
  
  Villagers are coming after festive sleep,
   In the chimes of wind the heady spring will steep.
  
  There are bands and branches on the window panes.
  I will cry with flowers over grieves and pains.
  
  Sing, you birds, lamenting, I will sing along,
  We'll consign to dust my boyhood to this song.
  
  Trinity aurora. Morning cannon rite,
  Birch-trees in the grove are filled with ringing light.
  
  1914
   ***
  
  I'm a shepherd, and my parlours
  Are the ruffled pasture sides,
  Slopes of verdant hills and furrows,
  Balks, with booming cry of snipes.
  
  Yellow foamy clouds are trimming
  Pine-tree wood with lace designs,
  While I listen, lightly dreaming,
  To the whisper of the pines.
  
  Dewy poplars, softly waving,
  Shine with verdure on the scene.
  I am a shepherd, and my dwelling
  Is the gentle field of green.
  
  Cows salute and hail me chatting
  Using their tongue of nods.
  Fragrant flowers are inviting
  Kindly to the river spots.
  
  I forget all grief and care,
  On a heap of twigs I dream.
  To the sun I say my prayer,
  Make communion by the stream.
  
  1914
  
  
   * * *
  
  
  White is the sweatshirt, and red is the sash,
  I'm picking the poppies beginning to flush.
  Deep is the sound of the choral song ,
  I know she is there now, singing along.
  
  She cried, I remember, on ent'ring the hut:
  'You're handsome, but you are not after my heart.
  The wind is enflaming the rings of your curls,
  I've given my brush to somebody else'.
  
  I know she dislikes me and makes me feel small:
  I danced less than others and drank least of all.
  I stood by the wall and was humble and sad,
  While they were drunk and singing, like mad.
  
  He's lucky, he's one of those brazen men, -
  His beard would stick to her neck now and then.
  And joining the circle of dancers, with grace,
  She burst out laughing straight in my face.
  
  White is the sweatshirt, and red is the sash,
  I'm picking the poppies beginning to flush.
  Her heart, like a poppy, is blooming along.
  It isn't for me that she's singing the song.
  
  1915
  
  
  
   * * *
  
  I'm tired of living in my land
  With boring fields and buckwheat fragrant,
  I'll leave my home for ever, and
  Begin the life of thief and vagrant.
  
  I'll walk through silver curls of life
  In search of miserable dwelling.
  My dearest friend will whet his knife
  On me. The reason? There's no telling.
  
  The winding yellow road will go
  Across the sunlit field of flowers,
  The girl whose name I cherish so
  Will turn me out of her house.
  
  I will return back home to live
  and see the others feeling happy,
  I'll hang myself upon my sleeve,
  On a green evening it will happen.
  
  The silky willows by the fence
  Will bend their tops low down, gently,
  To dogs' barking, by my friends,
  Unwashed, I will be buried plainly.
  
  The moon will float up in the sky
  Dropping the oars into the water...
  As ever, Russia will get by
  And dance and weep in every quarter.
  
  1915
  
  The Witch
  
  White and dishevelled, she looks outrageous,
  Running about, brisk and courageous.
  
  Dark is the night, it is scared to death, and
  Clouds, like kerchiefs, have covered the crescent.
  
  Wind, letting out hysterical hoots,
  Whirls like a shot to the back of the woods.
  
  Fir-trees are threatening to hit with a spear
  Owls lie hidden, a-wailing from fear.
  
  Waving her harridan's clutches she shouts.
  Up in the sky stars are winking from clouds.
  
  Vipers, like rings, hanging down her hair,
  Spinning with blizzard, she whirls in the air.
  
  Ringing, the pines make the witch dance and cry.
  Clouds grow dark as they, trembling, float by.
  
  1915
  
  
  
  
   ***
  I'm back at home. My dear land
  Is pensive, spreading all around !
  The twilight waves its snow-white hand
  To greet me from beyond the mound.
  
  The grizzle of the gloomy day
  Is floating by over my home, and
  The evening fills me with dismay
   Like insurmountable torment.
  
  Above the church, over the dome,
  The sunset shade has fallen down.
  My dear friends, I'm back at home,
  And won't be seeing you around.
  
  The years have flown like a whirl,
  And where are you, my friends, I wonder?
  All I can hear is the purl
  Of water by the mill-house yonder.
  
  And often, sitting by the hearth,
  to sound of sedge crack, or whatever,
  I pray to steaming mother earth
  Fore those who're are gone lost for ever.
  
   1916
  
  
   ***
  Over there beyond fields of yellow
  There are villages stretching ahead.
  There's a wood and the sunset of mellow
  And a fence with a nettle thread.
  
  There over the domes of the temple
  Is the turquoise dust of the sky,
  And the wind rings the grass, wet and gentle,
  As it comes from the lakes nearby.
  
  It is not for the song of the valley
  That I love this greenery spill,
  Like a crane I'm in love with the alley
  And the convent on top of the hill.
  
  When the azure gets misty and blooming,
  And the sunset hangs over the bridge.
  I can see you, my wandering woman,
  Go to bow to the cross and beseech.
  
  Chaste is life in the convent village,
  Public prayer absorbs you all,
  Pray before our Saviour's image,
  Preach to God for my fallen soul.
  
  1916
  
  
  ***
  Like smoke in the room you are out of view.
  With a humble heart I will pray for you.
  
  Your oatmeal image feeds my soul,
  You are my helper, my friend and all.
  
  The world is sown with the solar flame
  The holy truth has got no name.
  
  The sand of the dream is keeping time,
  You've added new grains to the sublime.
  
  Words are growing on the arable plot,
  The green feather-grass is mixed with thought.
  
  On solid muscles of raised up hands
  The sound erects white churches in lands.
  
  The souls are delighted in trampling your glow
  And seeing your steps on the recent snow.
  
  But self-abasement and faded zeal
  Of those dropped off are lovelier still.
  
  1916
  ***
  We'll depart this world for ever, surely,
  To repose in peace and quite. Oh, my Lord!
  Maybe, I shall also have to duly
  Pack my things preparing for the road.
  
  Oh, my birch-tree woods! Amazing pictures!
  Oh, my dear land! My sandy plains!
  In the face of crowds of mortal creatures
  I'm unable to conceal my pains.
  
  I've been filled with love and admiration
  For the things embodying the soul.
  Peace to aspens, lost in contemplation,
  Spreading branches, staring at the shoal!.
  
  I have thought in silence days and hours,
  I have written songs. And I don't grieve.
  I am happy in this gloomy world of ours
  To have had a chance to breathe and live.
  
  I am happy, I have kissed a woman,
  I have slept in grass and flower-bed,
  And I never, like a decent human,
  Hit a dog or kitten in the head.
  
  The unknown land! No blooming pictures!
  No amazing fields of wheat, so fine!
  Hence, before the crowds of mortal creatures
  I have always shivers down the spine.
  
  In that land, I know, there won't be any
  Fields of wheat that shine like gold at night
  That's the reason why I love those many
  Living with me in this country-side.
  
  1924
  ***
  I will not be wandering about
  Trampling goose-foot in the bushes any more;
  And I know you'll never come around
  In my dreams, oat-haired, as before.
  
  You were tender beautiful and fair,
  Berry juice upon your skin, so light.
  You resembled rosy sunset glare,
  And, like snow, you were lustrous, fair and bright.
  
  Having shed their grain your eyes are fading,
  And your name has melted like the sound of chimes;
  But the folders of your crumpled shawl and veiling
  Have retained the smell of honey from your arms.
  
  When it's quiet and the sunset smartens,
  Like a kitten, washing up its face.
  I can hear the honeycomb-like patterns
  Chat about you, along with wind and haze.
  
  Well, the evening tells me you are oderous,
  Like a dream, a flower and sweet song,
  After all, who has designed your waist, your shoulders
  Apprehending holy secret all along?
  
  I will not be wandering about
  Trampling goose-foot in the bushes any more;
  And I know you'll never come around
  In my dreams, oat-haired, as before.
  
  1916
  
   ***
  I do believe in happiness!
  The sun has not yet faded. Rays
  Of sunrise like a book of prayers
  Predict the happy news. Oh yes!
  I do believe in happiness!
  
  Ring , golden Russia, carry on,
  Oh blow you wind, so unabated!
  Blessed is the one who celebrated
  Your shepherd's sadness, hope forlorn.
  Ring, golden Russia, carry on!
  
  I love the wild impetuous streams,
  The shine of stars upon the water.
  The blessed dejection, crying quarter,
  The blessing people and extremes
  Of roaring wild impetuous streams.
  
  1917
  
   * * *
  
  Silver bluebell, are you singing,
  Or, perchance, my heart is dreaming?
  Light from rosy icon flashes
  Falling on my golden lashes.
  
  Though I'm not that gentle infant
  in the flapping splash of pigeons,
  Yet my golden dreams are distant,
  Somewhere in the woodland regions.
  
  I don't need the narrow house,
  Word and mystery won't reckon.
  Teach me, please to dream and drowse,
  Fall asleep and never waken.
  
  1917
  
   * * *
  I have left my endeared home,
  Getting out my Russia of blue.
  Little grove by the pond will warm
  My old mother's sorrow anew.
  
  Like a golden croaker the moon
  Lies prostrate on the water, tranquil.
  Grizzly hair, like apple-tree bloom,
  In my father's beard will spill.
  
  I will not come back readily, and
  Singing blizzard will ring on and on.
  Maples guard my blue Russian land,
  Standing there, one-legged, all alone.
  
  And I know that it's joyous for those
  Who've been kissing the rain of the leaves.
  For the maple and I, we both
  Are alike, in the head that is.
  
  1918
  
   ***
  There's the silly elation,
  The garden the windows look on!
  Soundless sunset reflection
  Swims in the pool, like a swan.
  
  Greetings, golden serenity,
  Shadows of trees, black as tar!
  Crows on the roof, in sincerity,
  Hold vespers in praise of the star.
  
  Timidly, over the garden
  Where the guelder-rose springs,
  A girl in a snow-white garment
  A beautiful melody sings.
  
  Like a blue gown, the evening
  Cold from the meadow sweeps...
  Happiness, sweet silly feeling!
  Virginal blush of the cheeks!
  
  1918
  
  
  ***
  Silver road, I wonder where
  You are calling me anew?
  Like a Thursday candle there
  Shines a starlet over you.
  
  Are you fraught with joy or sorrow?
  Isn't madness your intent?
  Help me, heart and soul, tomorrow
  Love your hard snow to the end.
  
  Give me sunset for the sleigh and
  Willow branch that beautifies.
  Maybe I will in the end
  Reach the gate of paradise.
  
  1918
   * * *
  To Kluyev
  
  My love has changed. I know you feel
  Upset about the situation:
  The crescent's sweeper couldn't spill
  The pools of lyrical creation.
  
  Upset, but taking in good part
  The star that fell upon your brows,
  You spilt you heart about the house,
  But there's no house in your heart.
  
  The one you waited for to greet
  Has passed your shelter like a cynic.
  My friend, whomever did you gild
  The key for with your singing lyric?
  
  You'll never versify the sun
  And never see the Heaven's bound.
  Just like a mill that flaps its fan
  But cannot tear off the ground.
  
  1918
  
  
   * * *
  
  I do not regret, and I do not shed tears,
  All, like haze off apple-trees, must pass.
  Turning gold, I'm fading, it appears,
  I will not be young again, alas.
  
  Having got to know the touch of coolness
  I will not feel, as before, so good.
  And the land of birch trees, - oh my goodness!-
  Cannot make me wander barefoot.
  
  Vagrant's spirit! You do not so often
  Stir the fire of my lips these days.
  Oh my freshness, that begins to soften!
  Oh my lost emotions, vehement gaze!
  
  Presently I do not feel a yearning,
  Oh, my life! Have I been sleeping fast?
  Well, it feels like early in the morning
  On a rosy horse I've galloped past.
  
  We are all to perish, hoping for some favour,
  Golden leaves flow down turning grey.
  May you be redeemed and blessed for ever,
  You who came to bloom and pass away...
  
  1921
  
  
  
   ***
  Sing, old man, to the bloody guitar, and
  Let your fingers show natural bent.
  I would choke in this drunken enchantment
  You're my last and my only friend.
  
  Don't you look at her wrist and the blooming
  Silky shawl hanging down her head.
  I was looking for joy in this woman
  But I found perdition instead.
  
  I did not know that love was infection,
  I did not know that love was a plague.
  She just came and feigning affection
  Drove the rowdy mad, no mistake.
  
  Sing and let me remember, brother,
  Our fidgety youthful whirl.
  Let her kiss, pet and fondle another,
  Ah, this beautiful wicked girl!
  
  No, no, wait. I don't blame her or bully.
  No, no, wait. I don't damn or disgrace.
  Let me sing now about yours truly
  To the sound of this string of base.
  
  Rosy vault of my days is streaming.
  I've got plenty of golden dreams.
  I have petted so many young women,
  Touched and squeezed them, governed by whims.
  
  Yes! There is bitter truth of the world
  When a child I caught sight of that truth:
  Troops of hounds, excited and wild,
  Taking turns lick a bitch all in juice.
  
  Why be jealous of her? I don't get.
  Being sick would mere pretext.
  Our life is just bed-sheet and bed.
  Our life is a kiss and a vortex.
  
  Sing , old man! In the fateful sphere
  Of these hands is a fated end.
  Tell them all to f... out of here.
  I will never be dead, my friend.
  
  1922
  
   * * *
  I will not deceive myself, admitting
  I have worries in my heart, so dreary.
  Why am I reputed as a cheating
  Crook and trouble-maker, really?
  
  I am not a villain nor a thief in hiding,
  And I never shot imprisoned convicts.
  I am just a thoughtless idler, smiling
  Friendly and avoiding conflicts.
  
  I am a naughty reckless Moscow loner.
  All along the main street, and around,
  Every little dog in every corner
  Knows me by the way I tread the ground.
  
  Every jade I meet, rundown and hopeless,
  Gives me nods of hail and salutation.
  I am a friend of animals, my verses
  Are as good for them as medication.
  
  I don't wear my hat to charm the ladies
  For I can't stand featherbrained emotions.
  It's convenient to use my hats as ladles
  Filling them with oats to feed the horses.
  
  I do not have friends among the people,
  It's a different kingdom I am bound to.
  I will gladly give my tie to simple
  Shaggy dog I happen to encounter.
  
  From now on I will be safe and sound.
  In my heart a sunny day is breaking.
  That's the reason why they tend to count
  Me to be a crook and trouble-maker.
  
  1922
  
  
  
   * * *
  
  Yes! It's settled! Now and for ever
  I have left my dear old plain.
  And the winged leaves of poplars will never
  Ring and rustle above me again.
  
  Our house will sag in my absence,
  And my dog died a long time ago.
  Me, I'll die without compassions
  In the crooked streets of Moscow, I know.
  
  I admire this city of elm-trees
  With decrepit buildings and homes.
  Golden somnolent Asian entities
  Are reposing on temple domes.
  
  When the moonlight at night, dissipated,
  Shines... like hell in the dark sky of blue!
  I walk down the alley, dejected,
  To the pub for a drink, maybe, two.
  
  It's a sinister den, harsh and roaring,
  But in spite of it, all through the night
  I read poems for girls that go whoring
  And carouse with thieves with delight.
  
  Though I talk, all I say is quite pointless,
  With my heart pulsating so fast:
  Just like you, I am totally worthless,
  And I cannot re-enter the past.
  
  Our house will sag in my absence,
  And my dog died a long time ago.
  I am fated to die with compassions
  In the crooked streets of Moscow, I know.
  
  1922
  
  
  * * *
  Azure space is aflame up above,
  I've forgotten my home destination .
  For the first time I'm singing of love,
  For the first time I give up contention.
  
  I was all like a desolate grove
  Loving women and heavily drinking.
  I don't drink any more and don't love
  Like I did, living fast and unthinking.
  
  All I want is to look at the vast
  Of your gold-brown eyes, and, - oh, bother! -
  How I wish that, disliking your past,
  You would not like to go to another!
  
  Tender step, graceful waist that you have!
  Oh if only you were able to tumble
  'How a bully can really love,
  And how he can be timid and humble!'
  
  All those pubs I would never attend,
  And my poems would be forgotten,
  If you just let me touch your hand
  And your hair, the colour of autumn.
  
  I would follow you ever, my dove,
  Be it distant or close destination...
  For the first time I'm singing of love,
  For the first time I give up contention.
  
  1923
  
  
   * * *
  
  Both this street and this little house
  Have been long so familiar to me.
  Up the window the blue straw of wires
  Is weighed down as it once used to be.
  
  There've been years of austere contingency
  Years of vehement endeavours, too.
  I remember my village, my infancy
  And the countryside heaven of blue.
  
  I did not search for fame and complacence
  For I know all the price of reward.
  As I sleep now I fancy the presence
  Of my near and dear abode .
  
  There's the garden in livid speckles,
  August sleeps on the railing lines.
  Chirping birds fly around in circles
  and repose in the clutches of limes.
  
  I was fond of this wooden house,
  Logs had menacing heated might,
  Our stove would let out strange howls
  As we tended the fire at night.
  
  It's was wailing loud like funnel
  As if mourning and suffering pain.
  What on earth did he see, mason's camel,
  In the pouring and howling rain?
  
  Well, it probably saw distant bounds
  And the dream of a blooming phase,
  Like Afghanistan's sandy grounds
  And Bukhara's translucent haze.
  
  Well, I know very well those locations
  I've been there as a travelling man.
  Now I want to select destinations
  But as close to my home as I can.
  
  Golden slumbers have now faded out,
  All has vanished in haze like foam.
  Peace to you, grasses scattered about,
  Peace to you, wooden parents' home!
  
  1923
  
   * * *
  It's sad to look at you, my love,
  And it's so painful to remember!
  It seems, the only thing we have
  Is tint of willow in September.
  
  Somebody's lips have outworn
  Your warmth and body trepidation,
  As if the rain was drizzling down
  The soul, that stiffened in congestion.
  
  Well, let it be! I do not dread.
  I have some other joyous gala.
  There's nothing left for me except
  For brown dust and grizzly colour.
  
  I've been unable, to my rue,
  To save myself, for smiles or any.
  The roads that I have walked are few
  Mistakes that I have made are many.
  
  Thus funny life and funny split.
  So it has been and will be ever
  The grove with birch-tree bones in it
  Is like a graveyard , well I never!
  
  Likewise, we'll go to our doom
  And fade, like callers of the garden.
  In winter flowers never bloom,
  An so we shouldn't grieve about them.
  
  1923
  
  
  
  
   ***
  
  Let's sit down here, my dearest,
  Look and see how much I care.
  I will listen to the tempest
  Under your submissive stare.
  
  All this golden vegetation
  And this fair lock of hair,-
  They have come just like salvation
  Of the loafer free of care.
  
  Long ago I left my village
  With the blooming fields and thicket,
  Tempted by the city image
  And the life of fame, so wicked.
  
  So I buried in oblivion
  Orchard, summer I enjoyed
  Where I, to the frogs' singing,
  Raised myself to be a poet.
  
  Autumn with the golden branches...
  Maple, lime-trees, taking pleasure,
  Stick their twigs inside, like clutches,
  Searching for someone they treasure.
  
  They are gone, our dear losses,
  In the homely yard the crescent
  Marks with beams of light on crosses
  That we'll join them in the basement.
  
  Going trough the troubles wholly
  We shall go like this to welkin
  All the winding roads are only
  For the living beings welcome.
  
  Let's sit down here, my dearest,
  Come and look into my face.
  Let me listen to the tempest
  Under your submissive gaze.
  
  1923
  
  ***
  
  You have been used by someone else
  But there is something good at bottom:
  Your glassy hair casting spells,
  Your weary eyes tired out in autumn.
  The autumn age! Well, for my part,
  I like it more than youth, I know it,
  You're now much better to the heart
  And fascination of a poet.
  
  I never tell a lie at heart,
  And to the call of ostentation
  I'll say without hesitation:
   Farewell to squabble, booze and that.
  It's time to stop this rugged trick,
  I've been so stubborn. That's the limit!
  My heart has had a kind of drink
  That sobers up the blood and spirit.
  
   September knocks upon my pane
  With willow branches showing crimson,
  I have to be prepare'd again
  For the arrival of the season.
  I now put up with many things,
  Without loss, or stress or bounds.
  My Russian land has changed, it seems,
  So are the houses 'nd burial grounds.
  I look around, seeing through,
  And here and there and everywhere
  The only one for whom I care,
  Is you, my friend, and sister, too.
  You are the only one whom I,
  Perfecting drawbacks of a sinner,
  Will sing about roads, - oh my!-
  The parting life of misdemeanour.
  
  1923
  
  
  ***
  
  Don't torment me with coldness and stiffness
  And don't ask me my age and so on.
  I have serious falling sickness
  With my soul like a yellow bone.
  
  Years ago I wasn't the same as
  I am now. I was dreamy and all,
  I imagined that I would be famous
  Very wealthy and favoured by all.
  
  I'm excessively rich. I declare!
  There's my hat which I never use.
  All I have is a shirt and a pair
  Of worn out once elegant shoes.
  
  I am famous as well. They know me
  From Moscow to Paris scum.
  And my name will arouse a stormy
  Response, like a curse and damn.
  
  As for love, don't you think it's amusing?
  As I kiss you, your lips are like dead.
  I've got love which I seem to be losing
  Whereas yours hasn't bloomed as yet.
  
  I'm gloomy at times - I don't care,
  For it isn't yet time to be sad.
  The young grass on the hills, like your hair,
  Rustling, looks like a golden pad.
  
  I would like to be there in that vastness
   So I might, to the rustle of grass,
  Fall asleep and drown in darkness
   And daydream like I did in the past.
  
  But the things I now dream about
  Are quite new to the earth and the grass
  For they can't be expressed and spelled out,
  And they cannot be named, alas!
  
   1923
  
  
  ***
  
  Little house with light blue shutters,
  I will never forget you, no way!
  All these years that have gone with the shadows
  Seemed so recent and not far away.
  
  Up to now I've been dreaming about
  Our fields, woods and clouds on high
  Under cover of grey cotton shroud
  Of this poor old northern sky.
  
  Though I cannot admire, however,
  I don't want to get lost at all.
  I suppose, I've got now and for ever
   Dismal warmth of the Russian soul.
  
  I am fond of the silver cranes
  Flying over I don't know where,
  For they haven't seen in these plains
  Ample harvest of grain, as it were.
  
  They have seen the blossom of trees,
  Brittle willows, all curved and bare,
  They have heard the whistles of thieves
  That arouse such terrible scare.
  
  So I cannot help caring about
  You, my land, and it's quite unconscious.
  Under cover of cheap cotton shroud
  I adore you with deepest emotions.
  
  Thus appearing like recent shadows
  Bygone years, they still hover to-day...
  Little house with light blue shutters,
  I will never forget you, no way!
  
  1924
  
  
   A Letter to Mother
  
  Are you still alive, my dear granny?
  I am alive as well. Hello! Hello!
  May there always be above you, honey,
  The amazing stream of evening glow.
  
  I've been told that hiding your disquiet,
  Worrying about me a lot,
  You go out to the roadside every night,
  Wearing your shabby overcoat.
  
  In the evening darkness, very often,
  You conceive the same old scene of blood:
  Kind of in a tavern fight some ruffian
  Plunged a Finnish knife into my heart.
  
  Now calm down, mom! And don't be dreary!
  It's a painful fiction through and through.
  I'm not so bad a drunkard, really,
  As to die without seeing you.
  
  I'm your tender son as ever, dear,
  And the only thing I dream of now
  Is to leave this dismal boredom here
  And return to our little house. And how!
  
  I'll return in spring without warning
  When the garden blossoms, white as snow.
  Please don't wake me early in the morning,
  As you did before, eight years ago.
  
  Don't disturb my dreams that now have flown,
  Don't perturb my vain and futile strife
  For it's much too early that I've known
  Heavy loss and weariness in life.
  
  Please don't teach me how to say my prayers!
  There is no way back to what is gone.
  You're my only joy, support and praise
  And my only flare shining on.
  
  Please forget about your pain and fear,
  Please don't worry over me a lot
  Don't go out to the roadside, dear,
  Wearing your shabby overcoat.
  
  1924
  
  
   ***
  
  Now my grief won't be spilt by the ringing,
  Happy laugh of the bygone last.
  Lime-tree blossom is fading and dimming
  And the nightingale dawns have passed.
  
  All was new to me then, and emotions
  Filled my heart to the brim, so good.
  Whereas now every word, kind and cautious,
  Tastes as bad as a bitter fruit.
  
  The familiar expanses of valleys
  Aren't so nice as they were before.
  Ditches, slopes, stumps and all sorts of gullies
  Have disheartened my land evermore.
  
  All is wretched, decrepit and drear,
  Pond of grey is so hard on the eye...
  Yet to me all is near and dear,
  Sorry vision that makes me cry.
  
  There's a little ramshackle house,
  I can hear the bleat of a sheep,
  And a horse put out to browse
  Waves its tail by the pond, so deep..
  
  This is Motherland, homeland of ours,
  And it makes us sad in a way,
  Here we cry, along with the showers,
  In the hope for a cheerful day.
  
  Thus my grief can't be spilt by the ringing
  Happy laugh of the bygone last.
  Lime-tree blossom is fading and dimming,
  And the nightingale dawns have passed.
  
  1924
  
  
  
  A Letter to the Woman
  
  Yes, you remember,
  You certainly remember
  The way I listened
   Standing at the wall
  As you walked to and fro about the chamber
  Reproving me
  With bitter words and all.
  
  You said
  That it was time we'd parted,
  And that my reckless life,
  For you, was an ordeal,
  And it was time a new life you had started
  While I was fated
  To go rolling downhill.
  
  My love!
  You didn't care for me, no doubt.
  You weren't aware of the fact that I
  Was like a ruined horse, amidst the crowd,
  Spurred by a dashing rider, flashing by.
  
  You didn't know
  That I was all a-smoke,
  And in my life, turned wholly upside-down ,
  I was in misery, downhearted, broke,
  Because I didn't see which way we were bound.
  
  When face to face
  We cannot see the face.
  We should step back for better observation.
  For when the ocean boils and wails
  The ship is in a sorry situation.
  
  The world is but a ship!
  But all at once,
  Someone, in search of better life and glory,
  Has turned it, gracefully, taking his chance,
  Into the hub of storm and flurry.
  
  Well, which of us
  On board a mighty boat
  Has never brawled nor barfed nor fallen down?
  There are not many of them that will not
  Despair when they're about to drown.
  
  Me, too,
  To loud hue and cry,
  But knowing well what I was doing
  Went down to the hold where I
  Might keep away from scenes of spewing.
  
  'Hold' was a Russian pub
  Where I
  Drank, listening to the loud bicker,
   I tried to stop my worries by
  Just drowning myself in liquor.
  
  
  
  My love!
  I worried you, oh my!
  Your tired eyes revealed dejection,
  I didn't hide from you that I
  Had spent my life in altercation.
  
  You didn't know
  That I was all a-smoke,
  And in my life, turned wholly upside-down,
  I was in misery, downhearted, broke,
  Because I didn't see
  Which way we were bound.
  ....................................
  Now many years have passed,
  I'm not so young today.
  I do not feel the same, and I have new ideas,
  And here at festive table I will say:
  Long live the one who's at the steers!
  
  Today I,
  Seized by tender feelings so,
  Recall your wistfulness, and now I'm happy
  To tell you straight for you to know
  About what I was
  And what has happened!
  
  My love,
  I'm glad to tell you that
  I have escaped a bad descent, an'
  Today I'm in the Soviet land
  A staunch supporter and defender.
  
  I'm not the man
  I used to be.
  I wouldn't hurt you now
  The way I did. So silly!
  And I would follow Labour, feeling free,
  As far as English Channel, really.
  
  Forgive me please,
  I know that you have changed.
  You live with an intelligent,
  Good husband;
  You don't need all this fuss and all this pledge,
  And you don't need me either, such a hazard.
  
  
  Live as you do
  Lead by your lucky star
  Under the tent of fern, if there's any.
  My best regards,
  You're always on my mind, you are,
  Yours, faithfully,
   S e r g e y Y e s e n i n.
  1924
  
  
  
   * * *
  The golden birch-tree grove has fallen silent
  Its merry chatter having stopped afore,
  The cranes up there flying over, sullen,
  Have nobody to pity any more.
  
  Whom should they pity? Each is just a trotter.
   One comes and goes and leaves for good again.
  The moon and hempen bush above the water
   Remember all those perished, filled with pain.
  
  I'm standing on the plain all on my own,
  The cranes, the wind is taking them away,
  I think about my boyhood which has flown,
  And I do not regret my bygones anyway.
  
  I don't regret the days that I discarded,
  I don't feel sorry for the lilac of my soul.
  The purple rowan burning in the garden
  Can't warm and comfort anyone at all.
  
  The rowan will maintain its coloration.
  The grass exposed to heat will not decease,
  I drop my words of sorrow and vexation
  The way a tree drops quietly its leaves.
  
  And if some day the wind of time intended
  To rake them all up in a useless roll...
  You ought to say: the golden grove has ended
   Its lovely chatter in the prime of fall.
  
  1924
  
  
   ***
  
  Now my grief won't be spilt by the ringing,
  Happy laugh of the bygone last.
  Lime-tree blossom is fading and dimming
  And the nightingale dawns have passed.
  
  All was new to me then, and emotions
  Filled my heart to the brim, so good.
  Whereas now every word, kind and cautious,
  Tastes as bad as a bitter fruit.
  
  The familiar expanses of valleys
  Aren't so nice as they were before.
  Ditches, slopes, stumps and all sorts of gullies
  Have disheartened my land evermore.
  
  All is wretched, decrepit and drear,
  Pond of grey is so hard on the eye...
  Yet to me all is near and dear,
  Sorry vision that makes me cry.
  
  There's a little ramshackle house,
  I can hear the bleat of a sheep,
  And a horse put out to browse
  Waves its tail by the pond, so deep..
  
  This is Motherland, homeland of ours,
  And it makes us sad in a way,
  Here we cry, along with the showers,
  In the hope for a cheerful day.
  
  Thus my grief can't be spilt by the ringing
  Happy laugh of the bygone last.
  Lime-tree blossom is fading and dimming,
  And the nightingale dawns have passed.
  
  1924
  
  ***
  Blue is the night and the moon is glancing
  There was a time, was young and handsome.
  
  So irretrievable and so persistent
  All has gone by...all is past ...and distant...
  
  Cold is my heart and so dim is my sight...
  Blue is my happiness! Moonlit the night!
  
  October 1925
  
  
  
   ***
  
  The snowstorm is crying like a Romany violin.
   Sweet is the girl. She is wicked when smiling.
  
  Blue are her eyes, don't they give me a scare?
  I need quite a lot, and I don't really care.
  
  We're so much alike and so much contrasted
  You're young. I am old. And my life has all rusted.
  
  The young ones are happy while I am all wizened
  Recalling the past, in this terrible blizzard.
  
  Imnot mollycoddled. The storm is my violin.
  My heart is snow-clad when I see you smiling.
  
  1925
  
  
   * * *
  
  Oh my dear maple, frozen stiff and bare,
  Why do you stand bending in the blizzard there?
  
  Have you seen a vision? Have you heard a babble?
  Just like you are out for an idle ramble.
  
  Like a tipsy warden, walking on the roadside,
  You have stuck in snowdrift, hit by burning frost-bite.
  
  I myself quite often lose my whereabouts,
  Cannot find my house after drinking bouts.
  
  Now I see a willow, now some other trees, and
  Sing them songs about summer in a blizzard.
  
  I would think myself to be a sort of maple,
  Not a bare maple, - verdant as in April.
  
  And forgetting virtue, drunk as drowned mouse,
  I would hug a birch-tree like somebody's spouse.
  
  1925
  
  
  
  ***
  
  Blue is the fog, the expanse is snow-bound,
  Fine is the beam of the moon that shines.
  Isn't it nice to be sitting around,
  Thinking about the bygone times?!
  
  Down by the porch is the snow thawing out.
  Just like to-night, by the moonlight, alone,
  Putting my cap on, the wrong way about,
  I ran away, on the sly, from my home.
  
  Now I am back in my land, oh so dear,
  Some have forgotten me? Others have not?
   Just like a man in disgrace I am here
  Outside my house with a garden plot.
  
  Squeezing my fur cap, a dismal newcomer,
  Somehow I don't like this sable at all.
  Now I remember my granddad and grandma,
  Friable snow in the graveyard and all.
  
  All had calmed down , for 'we all would be there',
  And no use to try to put back the clock.
  That is the reason so much I care
  So much I love them, my country folk.
  
  I nearly burst out crying. I pondered.
  And , forcing a smile, I stood in a fog,
  Was it the very last time, I wondered
  That I saw this house, this porch, and this dog?
  
  1925
  
  
  
   ***
  
  
  Snow-clad is the plain, and the moon is white
  Covered with a shroud is my country side.
  Birches dressed in white are crying, as I see.
  Who is dead, I wonder? Is it really me?
  
  1925
  
  
  
  ***
  
  Snowdrift, piled up, is now brittle and callous,
  Cold is the moon that shines from the height.
  Now I am back at my dear old house,
  And through the blizzard I see the light.
  
  Well, we are homeless but we do not suffer.
  I laud what I've got, without complain.
  Here I am back at my home having supper,
  Happy to see my old mother again.
  
  She looks, and I see that her eyes are in tears,
  Silently crying, as if all was right.
  Then, as she touches the cup, it appears
  Stubborn, about to slip and slide.
  
  Dear old mommy, my best and my tenderest,
  Get grievous reflection out of your head.
  Listen to me, to the song of the tempest
  I'll tell you about my life instead.
  
  Much have I seen and much have I travelled,
  Much have I loved, and suffered, too.
  I have caroused, stirred up trouble and revelled,
  And haven't seen anyone as worthy as you.
  
  Now having slipped off my shoes and my jacket,
  Warming myself by the bedside again,
   I have revived and, like in my childhood,
  I wish for good life, and I hope, not vain.
  
  Meanwhile the blizzard is gasping and sobbing
  Whirling in clouds of snow, through the night.
  And I imagine, the leaves are a-falling
  Those of the lime-trees that grow outside.
  
  1925
  I haven't forgotten you, dearie,
  The shine of your hair and all.
  It wasn't so easy and cheery
  To leave you, as I recall.
  
  I haven't forgotten the autumn,
  The rustle of birches, the night;
  And though the days were shorter
  The moonlight was long and bright.
  
  You whispered these words in my ear:
  'The years and the dreams will be gone,
  You'll go with another, my dear,
  And leave me all on my own'.
  
  That lime standing there, in flower,
  Reminds my emotion anew
  The way I would tenderly shower
  Those beautiful flowers on you.
  
  My heart will be warm, sad and sorry,
  In love, remembering well
  You, friend, as a fanciful story
  Of love with another girl.
  
  1925
  
   * * *
  
  Life is tricky with enchanting pathos
  That is why it is so powerful, and
  It composes its pernicious letters
  With its outrageous, rugged hand.
  
  When I close my eyes I tacitly declare:
  Touch your heart and you will plainly see,
  Life is fraudulent, but here and there
  It embellishes deceit with trickery.
  
  Now look up and face the silver heaven,
  Read your fortune by the moon and plead,
  Just calm down, mortal man, don't raven
  The eternal truth you do not need.
  
  Well, it's nice to think in spring so crowned,
  That this life has been the righteous way.
  Let your easy girlfriends get around,
  Let the boys delude you and betray.
  
  Let the girls caress me, I'll abide it,
  Let the vicious tongues be sharp and thin, -
  I have long been living all provided,
  I've got mercilessly used to everything.
  
  Highness chills my heart. I'm feeling daunted.
  And the stars are cold , unlike they used to be.
  Those I used to love are disappointed,
  Those I worshiped have forgotten me.
  
  
  Though I'm ostracised and censured here,
  Yet I keep on smiling, not depressed at all..
  Living in this world, so near and dear,
  I am grateful to my life for all.
  
  August 1925
  
   ***
  
  Don't Fall, my little star, keep shining,
  Keep dropping chilly beams of light.
  There is no living heart abiding
  Up there beyond the grave-yard site.
  
  And from you beam you bring us summer
  And fill the fields with rye and hay
  And with a thrilling wistful clamour
  Of cranes that haven't flown away.
  
  I raise my head and I can hear
  Beyond the wood across the hill
  A lovely song about the near
  And dear homeland, such a thrill!
  
  The autumn, turning gold, appears
  To squeeze the juice from trees and plants;
  It's shedding pensive leaves of tears
  For the beloved and loving ones.
  
  I know, I know, the time is near,
  Through no one's fault, with no offence,
   I, too, will rest in peace right here
  Beneath the mournful little fence.
  
  The tender flame will soon die out,
  My heart will turn to dust, for worse,
  My fiends will put a stone, no doubt.
  With words of merriment, in verse.
  
  But, feeling grief and seeing proper,
  I 'd put it in the following way:
  He loved his homeland like a toper
  Adores a bar and a buffet.
  
  August 1925
  
  
  ***
  Leaves are falling here and yonder.
  And the wind is
  drawling and low.
  Who will gladden my heart I wonder?
  Who will soothe it, my friend, do you know?
  
  I'm staring at the moon, and I'm trying
  Not to sleep keeping drowse away.
  There again the rosters are crying
  At the break of the autumn day.
  
  Early hours of dawn, blue as ever...
  Blissful joy of the flying stars...
  I could now make wishes. However,
  I don't know what to wish, alas!
  
  What is there to wish for, I wonder,
  Cursing home and my fate and all?
  What I want is to see over yonder,
  By my window, a beautiful girl.
  
  I should like her,
  as an exception,
  To convey that she needs me sole,
  And I want her, with words of affection,
  To console my heart and my soul.
  
  So that I, accepting my lessons,
  On this wonderful moonlit night
  Might not melt and faint from delight
  And with jubilant adolescence
  Might be pleased with my youth all right.
  August 1925
  
   * * *
  
  The flowers say good-bye to me
  They bend their heads and bow low down
  Which means that I will never see
  Her lovely face and my home town.
  
  Well, that's the way it is, my love!
  I saw them all in habitation,
  I take this deathly trepidation
  For tender feeling, still alive.
  
  I've learnt my life day after day,
  I have been living with a smile, and
  Thus I invariably say:
  In our world all is recurrent.
  
  Well, some one else will come along,
  No grief will sooth the past. The new one,
  Perchance, will sing a better song
  For the beloved forsaken woman.
  
  And listening to the song , maybe,
  Caressing her endeared lover,
  She'll probably remember me
  As a unique and cherished flower.
  
  October, 1925
  
  
  
   * * *
  
  
  Don't you force a smile, girl, tensely, like you do,
  The one I'm in love with isn't really you.
  
  I suppose you know it, and you know it well,-
  I'm not here to see you but another girl.
  
  I was passing by, and, well, I didn't care,
  I saw you and wanted just to stop and stare.
  
  October 1925
  
  
   * * *
  
  
  The snow is whirling lively and strong
  A three horse sleigh is dashing along.
  
  Some young ones are in the sleigh. Oh Boy!
  Where is my happiness? Where is my joy?
  
  All has slipped by through the storm in this way, -
  Dashing like mad in a three horse sleigh.
  
  October 1925
  
  
  
   ***
  
  Oh, what a night! I cannot sleep.
  The sky is moonlit. Well, I never!
  It seems that I in my heart I keep
  The youth that has been gone for ever.
  
  My friend of frosted bygone years,
  Don't call a game love and affection,
  I'd rather have the moonlight rays
  Flow down upon my habitation.
  
  And looking down from above
  Let it depict my features here, -
  You cannot fall out of love
  Just like you couldn't love me, dear.
  
  We only love just once, you know,
  So you are alien to me, strangely,
  Just like a lime tree, foot in snow,
  Is trying to attract us, vainly.
  
  I know it well, you know it, too,-
  What we can see at this late hour
  Is frost and snow appearing blue
  And not the splendour of a flower.
  
  We've had our love, our time and day
  Each having someone to admire,
  And now we're fated anyway
  To play affection, love, desire.
  
  Come now, caress me, hold me tight,
  Kiss me with hot, pretended fervour,
  And may I dream about the light
  Of spring and love that lasts forever.
  
  November 30th, 1925
  
  
  
   ***
  
  Don't you look at me so reproachfully
  For I don't bear malice to you,
  But I like your appearance awfully
  And your seeming modesty, too
  
  Yes, you seem to be openhearted,
  And I'd rather be glad to see
  How a fox pretending departed
  Catches crows like you want to catch me.
  
  Try to catch me, I won't be daunted
  Mind, you don't have your ardour restrained!
  Many girls of your kind have haunted
  stumbling over my heart that waned.
  
  It's not you that I love, my dearie,
  You're only an echo, a shade,
  I imagine a different girlie,
  Oh so beautiful blue-eyed maid!
  
  Though she isn't so humble-looking
  And appears to be rather cool,
  Her majestic manner of walking
  Has rekindled the depth of my soul.
  
  She's a girl that cannot be cheated,
  Notwithstanding your will she'll entice,
  Whereas you can't be possibly fitted
  In my heart with embellished lies.
  
  Though I scorn you, yet like a layman
  I will shyly and openly say:
  If there weren't any hell and heaven
  They would think something up anyway.
  
  December 1st, 1925
  
  
  
   * * *
  
  You don't love me and don't feel compassion.
  Don't you think that now I look my best?
  Though you look aside you're thrilled with passion
  As you put your arms upon my chest.
  
  You are young, so sensitive and zealous,
  I am neither bad nor very good to you.
  Tell me, did you pet a lot of gentle fellows?
  You remember many arms and lips. You do.
  
  They are gone and haven't touched you any,
  Gone like shadows, leaving you aflame.
  You have sat upon the laps of many,
  You are sitting now on mine, without shame.
  
  Though your eyes are closed, and you are rather
  Thinking of some one you really trust,
  After all, I do not love you either,
  I am lost in thought about my dear past.
  
  Don't you call this zeal predestination?
  Hasty tie is thoughtless and no good, -
  Like I set up this unplanned connection,
  I will smile when leaving you for good.
  
  You will go the pathway of your own
  Just to have your days unwisely spent,
  Don't approach the ones not fully grown,
  Don't entice the ones that never burnt.
  
  When you walk with someone down the alley
  Chatting merrily about love and all
  Maybe, I'll be out, walking round shyly,
  And again, by chance, I'll meet you, poor soul.
  
  Squaring shoulders, ravishing and winning,
  Bending forward, with an air kiss,
  You will utter quietly: Good evening!
  And I will reply: Good evening, miss.
  
  Nothing will disturb my heart and spirit,
  Nothing will perturb me giving pain,-
  He who's been in love will not retrieve it,
  He who's burnt will not be lit again.
  
  December 4th, 1925
  
  
  
  
   ***
  
  Maybe, it's too late or, maybe, early,
  It has not occurred to me for years,
  I resemble now Don Juan, really,
  Like a proper flippant man of verse.
  
  What's the matter? What has happened, really?
  Every day I have some other chick.
  And I lose self-pity, willy-nilly,
  And defy unfaithfulness and trick.
  
  I have always kept my heart from simple,
  Tender feelings, and I wonder what
  I am looking for in oh, so cripple
  Women, so light-headed, and so void.
  
  Hold me back, restrain me, scornful feeling,
  I have always been marked up by you.
  In my heart I have a chilly steaming
  And the rustle of lilac of blue.
  
  In my heart I have a lemon sunset,
  Through the fog I hear someone say:
  For your freedom you will have to answer,
  Well, Don Juan, take the challenge, eh?
  
  As I take the challenge within reason,
  I can see the same old thing I have:
  I must take a storm for blooming season
  And mistake a thrill for real love.
  
  That's the reason That's the way it happened.
  Every day I have some other chick,
  So that I might always smile, be happy
  And defy unfaithfulness and trick.
  
  December 13, 1925
  
  
  ________________________________________
  Sergey Yesenin
  Autobiography
  (translated from the Russian by Alec Vagapov)
   I was born in the village of Konstantinovo, Kuzmin district, Ryazan Region, on October 21st, 1895.
   At the age of two I was sent to be raised in a well off family of my grandfather on my mother's side, who had three grown up unmarried sons, with whom I spent almost all my green years. My uncles were mischievous and daring. When I was three years old they put me on a horse without a saddle and set him running at a gallop. I remember I was scared like crazy and held the withers firm. Then they taught me to swim. One of my uncles (uncle Sasha) took me on a boat, rowed off the shore, undressed me and threw me, like a puppy, into the water. I worked with my hands awkwardly, and while I floundered waving my hands he kept shouting : 'You damned wretch! Good for nothing, you!'. 'Damned wretch' was a tender pet name he used. When I was eight years old my other uncle would use me as a hunting dog making me swim after the ducks he had shot. I was good at climbing trees. Among the boys in the neighbourhood I was known as a horse breeder and a big fighter, for I would always have scratches on my face. My grandmother was the only one who reproached me for being so naughty, while my granddad would sometimes set me on to fisticuffs and often said to grandmother: 'Don't touch him, you, silly woman, he will grow firm and strong that way!'. Grandmother loved me devoutly, and her tenderness was boundless. On Saturdays I would be washed, have my nails cut, and my hair crimped with some oil because my curly hair couldn't be combed in any other way. But the oil would not help much. I would shout like crazy, and up to now I feel some distaste and repugnance for Saturdays.
   That was the way my childhood went on. When I grew up a little they wanted to make a village teacher out of me, so I was sent to the parish teachers training school with an eye towards entering Moscow Teachers Training Institute. Luckily this was not to happen.
   I started writing poems at an early age, maybe at the age of nine or so, but I think deliberate creative work started at 16 or 17. Some of my poems from that period are to be found in 'Radunitsa' magazine.
   When I was eighteen I sent my poems to various magazines and I was surprised at the fact that hey refused to publish them, so I went to Saint Petersburg. I was given a warm welcome there. The first man I saw was Blok the second one was Gorodetsky. When looking at Blok I was sweating all over for it was the first time that I saw a living poet. Gorodetsky acquainted me with Kluyev, the man I had never heard of before. Kluyev and I, despite the seeming discord and lack of agreement between us, made great friends.
   At around this time I entered Shanyavsky University where I spent a year and a half, and then I went back to my village.
   At the University I got acquainted with poets Semyonovsky, Nasedkin, Kolkolov, and Filipchenko.
   Among the poets I liked Blok, Bely and Kluyev best. Bely gave me a lot in the way of form while Blok and Kluyev taught me lyricism.
   In 1919 some of my friends and I published the manifesto of imagism. It was a formal school that we wanted to set up. But it had no foundation and died by itself leaving the truth behind the restricted image.
   I would gladly disown many of my religious poems but they are significant as the way of a poet towards the revolution.
   When I was eight years old my grandmother started taking me to all kinds of monasteries and thanks to her we had all kinds of ramblers and pilgrims. They would sing all sorts of religious songs. Grandfather was the direct opposite. He was a boozer. He would always arrange sorts of unwed marriages.
   After I left my village I had to gain an understanding of my way of life.
   During the revolution I was on the side of the October, but I accepted it in my own peasantry way.
   In the sense of formal development I long for Pushkin more and more.
   As for the rest of my personal data they are in my poems.
  
  Sergey Yesenin
  October 1925
  ________________________________________
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