A Literary Interlude: The Monument (Alexander Pushkin)
No hands have wrought my monument; no weeds
will hide the nation's footpath to its site.
Tsar Alexander's column it exceeds
in splendid insubmissive height.
Not all of me is dust. Within my song,
safe from the worm, my spirit will survive,
and my sublunar fame will dwell as long
as there is one last bard alive.
Throughout great Rus' my echoes will extend,
and all will name me, all tongues in her use:
the Slavs' proud heir, the Finn, the Kalmuk, friend
of steppes, the yet untamed Tunguz.
And to the people long shall I be dear
because kind feelings did my lyre extoll,
invoking freedom in an age of fear,
and mercy for the broken soul.
Obey thy God, and never mind, O Muse,
the laurels or the stings: make it thy rule
to be unstirred by praise as by abuse,
and do not contradict the fool.
(translated by Vladimir Nabokov)
Posted on 04/26/2009 10:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald