Есть некий час, в ночи, всемирного молчанья,

И в оный час явлений и чудес

Живая колесница мирозданья

Открыто катится в святилище небес.

Тогда густеет ночь, как хаос на водах;

Беспамятство, как Атлас, давит сушу;

Лишь Музы девственную душу

В пророческих тревожат боги снах!

THE VISION Fyodor Tyutchev

There is a certain hour, in the night, when all the world is silent [lit. of world-wide silence], and in that hour of visions and wonders the living chariot of the universe openly rolls through the sanctuary of the Heavens.

Then the night grows dense, like chaos upon the waters; Oblivion, like Atlas, lies heavy on the earth; Only the Muse’s virgin soul is troubled by the gods in prophetic dreams.


оный - that [previously mentioned]

суша - dry land [as opposed to sea]

В пророческих тревожат боги снах! This sort of playing with word order is particularly common in poetry. Literally: Only of the Muse the virgin soul in prophetic trouble the gods dreams. Deprived of the effect of out word order this makes no sense in English. The cases are the clue in Russian.




Люблю грозу в начале мая,

Когда весенний, первый гром,

Как бы резвяся и играя,

Грохочет в небе голубом.

Гремят раскаты молодые,

Вот дождик брызнул, пыль летит,

Повисли перли дождевые,

И соднце нити золотит.

C горы бежит поток проворный,

В лесу не молкнет птичий гам,

И гам лесной и шум нагорный -

Всё вторит весело громам.

Ты скажешь: ветреная Геба,

Кормя Зевесова орла,

Громокипящий кубок с неба,

Смеясь, на землю пролила.


I love a thunderstorm at the beginning of May, when the first Spring thunder, as if gambolling and playing, rumbles in the blue sky.

The young peals of thunder resound, there was a spatter of rain [a shower spattered], dust is flying, pearls of rain hang [have hung i.e. have started to hang] and the sun gilds the threads.

From the mountain runs a swift stream, in the woods the birds’ clamour does not grow quiet

and the woodland uproar and the mountainside noise - everything cheerfully echoes the peals of thunder.

You will say that scatty Hebe, feeding Zeus’ eagle, laughing, poured from the heavens onto the earth a goblet seething with thunder.

резвяся и играя - gerunds from резвиться / играть

Грохотать грохочу, грохочешь crash / rumble

Греметь to ring out / resound ‘his name resounded throughout Europe’

брызнуть - perfective of брызгать - to splash / spatter / spurt

Повиснуть - to hang; past perfective and therefore ‘have come to hang’

перли - obsolete in literal sense, replaced by жемчуг, but used both are used poetically.

молкнуть - to fall silent [poetic]

птичий - adjective from птича. There are a whole set of adjectives from bird and animal names.

вторить [+dative] - to sing second part to / echo

ветренный - adjective from ветер [wind], meaning windy in literal sense or unstable.

кормя, смеясь - gerunds from кормить [to feed], смеяться

громокипящий - gerund from кипить - to boil / seethe. The prefix, related both to thunder and to громко [loudly] combines with it conjure up a very evocative picture. Russian lends itself to such poetic innovation.



И море и волны качали наш чёлн;

Я, сонный, был предан всей прихоти волн.

Две беспредельности были во мне,

И мной своевольно играли оне.

Вкруг меня, как кимвалы, звучали скалы,

Окликались ветры и пели валы.

Я в хаосе звуков лежал оглушён,

Но над хаосом звуков носился мой сон.

Болезненно-яркий, волшебно-немой,

Он веял легко над гремящею тьмой.

В лучах огневицы развил он свой мир -

Земля зеленела, светился эфир,

Сады-лавирифы, чертоги, столпы,

И сонмы кипели безмолвной толпы.

Я много узнал мне неведомых лиц,

Зрел тварей волшебних, таинственных птиц,

По высям творенья, как бог, я шагал,

И мир подо мною недвижный сиял.

Но все грёзы сквозь, как волшебника вой,

Мне слышался грохот пучины морской,

И в тихую область видений и снов

Врывался пена ревущих валов.

[Both] the sea and the waves were rocking my boat;

I, asleep, was at the mercy of every whim of the waves.

There were two infinities within me, and they played with me as they wished.

Around me the rocks clanged [sounded] like cymbals, the winds called to each other and the waves sang.

In a chaos of sounds I lay deafened, but above the chaos of sounds floated my dream.

Painfully bright, magically mute, it wafted lightly above the thundering dark.

In rays of fire [lit. fever] it unwound [developed] its world, the earth grew green, the ether shone, labyrinthine gardens, palaces, pillars, and the throngs of a silent crowd seethed. I recognised many faces unknown to me, saw magic creatures, mysterious birds,*

On the heights of creation I strode like a god, and below me the world shone motionless.

But through all the reveries, like a magician’s howl, I heard the crashing of the deep [abyss of the sea],

and into the quiet province of visions and dreams burst the foam of the roaring waves.

предать [+ dat.] to commit / hand over to / betray. Adjective also means staunch / committed to. But here предан has the idea of ‘at the mercy of’. It is the short form of the past participle passive.

is actually singular here - ‘to the whole fancy’ but ‘every whim’, fits better in English.

оне - archaic form of они

вкруг = вокруг

окликать - to hail. Here reflexive, hence ‘each other’.

вал -

оглушён short form past participle passive from оглушить - to deafen

носиться - lit: to be carried but has many overtones - to rush, to fly, to speed, but also to drift, to float, to skim.

веять - to blow, wave, flutter

гремящий - present participle passive from греметь - to thunder

огневица - actually dialect word for fever, but actually derives from idea of fiery.

развить - means both to unwind and to develop.

зеленеть - to be, appear or turn green.

сонм - throng [here plural] толпа - crowd [here genitive singular]

Accusative forms of masculine and plural animate nouns are as genitive. Also adjectives.

сквозь - +accusative.

волшебника вой - word order inverted. In Russian it’s the case that counts.

пучины морской - пучина = abyss.

ревущий - present participle active from реветь - to roar



Молчи, скрывайся и таи

И чувства и мечти свои -

Пускай в душевной глубине

Встают и заходят оне.

Безмолвно, как звёзды в ночи

Любуйся ими - и молчи.

Как сердцу высказать себя?

Другому как понять тебя?

Поймёт ли он, чем ты живёшь

Мысль изреченная есть ложь;

Взрывая, возмутишь ключи, -

Питайся ими - и молчи.

Лишь жить в самом себе умеё -

Есть целый мир в душе твоей

Таинственно-волшебных дум;

Их оглушит наружный шум,

Дневные разгонят лучи,-

Внимай их пенью - и молчи! . .

Be silent, hide yourself and keep secret both tour feelings and your dreams -

Let them rise and set in the depths of your soul, silently, like stars in the night; admire them - and be silent.

How can the heart express itself? How can another understand you?

Will he understand what you live by? A thought spoken is a lie;

Stirring, you will muddy the spring[s], - Drink from them - and be silent

Only know how to live within yourself - there is a whole world of secret-magic thoughts in your soul;

they will be stunned [deafened] by the noise outside, daylight will drive them away.

Listen to them and be silent.



Взрывая - gerund from взрывать - to explode


Be silent; hide; conceal the gleams

That might reveal your thoughts and dreams.

Only in the soul’s twilight

Let them , like the stars at night,

Arise and wander, quiet and free -

Look on them and silent be.

How can you to another give

The gift to know by what you live?

Darkly we know an inner truth.

Thought, once spoken, is untruth

And blurs the clear spring’s purity -

Drink thereof - and silent be.

Learn to live in your soul’s recess.

There, secluded from the world’s access,

A myriad magic thoughts abound,

Faery-fragile, stunned by sound,

And dispersed by daylight’s cruelty -

Hark to their song - and silent be.

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