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... Again I visit.

Alexander Pushkin

                                ... Again I visit

   That corner of the earth where once I passed
   Two unmarked years in solitary exile.
   Already since that time ten years have fled--
   And much in life has changed for me, and I,
   Myself obedient to the common rule,
   Have also changed--yet here the past again
   Embraces me in all its vivid hue,
   And so it seems just yesterday I wandered
   Amidst these groves.

                         Behold the wretched homestead
   Where erstwhile I and my poor nanny dwelt.
   The dear old lady's gone--the next room over
   No longer do I hear her heavy steps,
   Nor does her prudent oversight still reign.

   Behold the wooded hill where many a day
   Quite motionless I sat and fixed my gaze
   Upon the lake, while sadly reminiscing
   On other distant shores, and other waves ...
   Among the golden grain-fields and green pastures
   Its blue profusion shimmers far and wide;
   Across the broad, unfathomable waters
   There sails a fisherman who drags behind him
   A ragged seine. About the sloping banks
   Are scattered villages--and just beyond
   A crooked windmill stands, with effort turning
   Its sails against the wind ...

                               Upon the margin
   That bounds my grandfather's estate, just where
   The road, deep-pitted by spring rains, begins
   Its slow uphill meander, three old pines
   Stand--one aside, aloof; two others closely
   Entangled--here, when of a moonlit night
   My horse would amble past, their soughing summits
   Would greet me with fond murmur. Now along
   That selfsame road I travel, and before me
   Again I see those pines. They're still the same,
   My ear is still accustomed to their murmur--
   But near their ancient mass of branching roots
   (Where once the ground was always bare and barren)
   A youthful grove now vigorously burgeons,
   A family of green; the shrubs crowd in
   Beneath their canopy like children. Yet
   Their sombre comrade stands apart, a lone
   Decrepit bachelor, whilst all around him
   Is barren as before.

                         All hail, new tribe,
   Youthful and undiscovered! I'll not live
   To witness your magnificent full growth,
   When you will overtop these friends of mine,
   And in your turn conceal their aged crowns
   From eyes of passers-by. But may my grandson
   One day take in your murmured salutations
   As he returns from some late cordial jaunt;
   And brimming full of cheerful, pleasant musings,
   May he pass by you in the midnight darkness
   And spare a thought for me.

Translated by Alyssa Dinega Gillespie (2)

Bowdoin College

(1) 1829 is the composition date given for this poem in all Pushkin editions. According to V. D. Rak, however, this date is incorrect, and the poem was in fact composed in 1830. See Michael Wachtel, A Commentary to Pushkin's Lyric Poetry, 1826-1836 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), 161.

(2) An earlier version of this translation was published in New England Review 34, no. 3-4 (2014): 88-89.

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Author:Gillespie, Alyssa Dinega
Publication:Pushkin Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jan 1, 2019
Words:468
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