Devils

Poem By Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
On and on our coach advances,
Little bell goes din-din-din...
Round are vast, unknown expanses;
Terror, terror is within.

- Faster, coachman! 'Can't, sir, sorry:
Horses, sir, are nearly dead.
I am blinded, all is blurry,
All snowed up; can't see ahead.
Sir, I tell you on the level:
We have strayed, we've lost the trail.
What can WE do, when a devil
Drives us, whirls us round the vale?

'There, look, there he's playing, jolly!
Huffing, puffing in my course;
There, you see, into the gully
Pushing the hysteric horse;
Now in front of me his figure
Looms up as a queer mile-mark -
Coming closer, growing bigger,
Sparking, melting in the dark.'

Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
We can't whirl so any longer!
Suddenly, the bell has ceased,
Horses halted... - Hey, what's wrong there?
'Who can tell! - a stump? a beast?..'

Blizzard's raging, blizzard's crying,
Horses panting, seized by fear;
Far away his shape is flying;
Still in haze the eyeballs glare;
Horses pull us back in motion,
Little bell goes din-din-din...
I behold a strange commotion:
Evil spirits gather in -

Sundry, ugly devils, whirling
In the moonlight's milky haze:
Swaying, flittering and swirling
Like the leaves in autumn days...
What a crowd! Where are they carried?
What's the plaintive song I hear?
Is a goblin being buried,
Or a sorceress married there?

Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
Swarms of devils come to rally,
Hurtle in the boundless height;
Howling fills the whitening valley,
Plaintive screeching rends my heart...


Translated by Genia Gurarie

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