.

To ***

The wondrous moment of our meeting…
I well remember you appear
Before me like a vision fleeting,
A beauty’s angel pure and clear.

In hopeless ennui surrounding
The worldly bustle, to my ear
For long your tender voice kept sounding,
For long in dreams came features dear.

Time passed. Unruly storms confounded
Old dreams, and I from year to year
Forgot how tender you had sounded,
Your heavenly features once so dear.

My backwoods days dragged slow and quiet –
Dull fence around, dark vault above –
Devoid of God and uninspired,
Devoid of tears, of fire, of love.

Sleep from my soul began retreating,
And here you once again appear
Before me like a vision fleeting,
A beauty’s angel pure and clear.

In ecstasy the heart is beating,
Old joys for it anew revive;
Inspired and God-filled, it is greeting
The fire, and tears, and love alive.

Translated by Genia Gurarie

Alexander Pushkin ( 6 June 1799 – 10 February 1837) was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.

Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow. His father, Sergey Pushkin, belonged to Pushkin noble families. His maternal great-grandfather was African-born general Abram Gannibal.

He published his first poem at the age of 15, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation. Upon graduation from the Lycee, Pushkin recited his controversial poem „Ode to Liberty“, one of several that led to his exile by Tsar Alexander I of Russia.

While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar’s political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832.

Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel with his brother-in-law, Dantes-Gekkern, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment, who attempted to seduce the poet’s wife, Natalia Pushkina.