In bygone days when life’s array –
The sweet song of the nightingale
And maidens’ eyes, the rustling woods –
Still left a fresh impression on me,
When loftiness of feeling,
And freedom, glory, love
So deeply stirred my blood,
My times of hope were cast in shade
And pleasure dimmed by longing,
For it was then an evil genius
Began to pay me secret visits.
Our meetings were quite dolorous:
His smile, his glance mysterious,
His venom-filled and caustic sermons
Poured frozen poison in my soul.
With endless slandering remarks
He tempted Providence;
He claimed that beauty’s but a dream;
Felt scorn for inspiration;
He had no faith in love or freedom;
He looked on life with ridicule-
And in the whole of nature
He did not wish to praise a single thing.
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin