Snakes shed their skins, and only,
That for soul to get rape in growth.
We’re not similar to snakes, although,
We change our souls, not the bodies.
Memory – you as a hand of Giant
Takes us, as a horse by bridle,
Would you tell for me and all about
Those lived in body before time?
One, the first – was so slim, unbeautiful,
Who loved dark of groves, the fallen leaves,
In a whole, he was child, some woodoo,
Who stopped rain with spell, at least.
And the tree and red dog were his friends then.
Memory, oh memory, how could you find
Any sign or any mark – that moment
Really was? How world could that define?
And the second one… He loved the south wind,
Every boom replaced with sounds of lyre.
Life as a lovely girlfriend he considered,
World was under feet like a small carpet.
I don’t like him, he was trying
To be king and god in one attempt.
He hang over the door of my house
A signboard, that he was real poet.
But I like that true elect of freedom,
Navigator, shooter in one team.
How waters sang for him, were ringing,
How clouds were begrudging him!
His tent was so high, his mules were
Frolic and quite strong in pace.
As a sweet wine, he drank an air draught
Of the unknown country to white man.
Memory, you are becoming weaker,
Year after year goes fast.
Was it me or other man, who freedom
Changed for so long-waited, sacred fight?
He knew torments of the thirst and hunger,
And the restless dream, eternal way.
Once his breast was touched by Saint George twicely,
Never pierced by any bullet breast.
I’m the gloomy and quite stubborn architect
Of the Temple, which is rising far
There from the darkness, I’m envious
To the Father’s glory, earthly, skyey.
My heart will be burned entirely
Till the day, when there’ll rise ahead
Walls of New Jerusalem, and finely
You’ll see them on our country’s land.
And there’ll be the strange breeze on the other day,
From the heavens there’ll fall the light –
That is sudden blossom of the Milky Way
As the garden of the dazzling stars.
There’ll appear a Stranger, such unknown,
Hiding face from me, but I’ll plead for sure,
Looking at the lion, after following,
Looking at the eagle, flying to.
I shall cry… But who could help me, rather,
In the deal of soul’s death escaping?
Only snakes shed their skins, but we are
Changing our souls, bodies – never.
Nikolay Stepanovich Gumilyov
Никола́й Степа́нович Гумилёв
Translation by Lyudmila Purgina