Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lalla Ruk - Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky

Dearest dream, my soul's enchantment
Lovely guest from heav'n above,
Most benevolent attender
To the earthly realm below,
You gave me blissful satisfaction
Momentary but complete:
Bringing with you happy tidings -
Like a herald from the skies.

I dreamed dreams of life eternal
In that Promised Land of peace;
I dreamed dreams of fragrant regions,
Of a tranquil, sweet Kashmir;
I could witness celebrations,
Festivals of roses vernal
Honoring that lovely maiden
From lands strange and far away.

And, with glistening enchantment
Like an angel from above, -
This untainted, youthful vision
Came before my dreaming eyes;
Like a veil, a shining shroud
Screened her lovely face from view,
Tenderly she did incline
Her shy gazes toward the earth.

All her traits - her timid shyness
Underneath her shining crown,
Childlike her animation,
And her face's noble beauty -
Glowing with a depth of feeling,
Sweet serenity and peace -
All of these completely artless
Indescribably sublime!

As I watched, the apparition
(Captivating me in passing)
Never to return, flew by;
I pursued - but it had gone!
T'was a vision merely fleeting,
Transient illumination
Leaving nothing but a legend
Of its passing through my life!

T'is not ours to harbour
Beauty's spirit - Ah, so pure!
It comes nigh but for a moment
From its heavenly abode;
Like a dream, it slips away,
Like an airy dream of morning:
But in sacred reminiscence
It is married with the heart!

Only in the purest instants
Of our life does it appear
Bringing with it revelations
Beneficial to our hearts;
That our hearts may know of heaven
In this earthly shadow realm,
It allows us momentary
Glimpses through the earthly veil.

And through all that here is lovely,
All that animates our lives,
To our souls it speaks a language
Reassuring and distinct;
When it quits our earthly region
It bestows a gift of love
Glowing in our evening heaven:
'Tis a farewell star for all to see.

Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky (1783 - 1852) Russia
Translated by A. Wachtel, I. Kutik and M. Denner

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