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PUSHKIN The Gypsies (1)
Но вот она;
за нею следом
Останься до утра
Он будет мой:
A noisy multitudinous throng
The crowd of gypsies streams along
The plains of Bessarabia.
Their camp by the riverside today
Is pitched and set for their nighttime stay.
In ragged tents spread far and wide
Like freedom is their sojourn there,
Under the skies in the midnight air.
Between the wheels of the drawn up carts,
Half covered with carpets thrown across
The bonfire glimmers. The family starts
To prepare a meal. On the steppe nearby
The horses pasture; behind the tents
The tame bear sleeps with an open eye.
In the vasty steppes all is noisy and lively:
The gypsy family's anxiety
Since the early morn on their short planned journey,
The children's cries and the women's singing,
And the sound of the travelling anvil's ringing.
But now upon their nomadic camp
Descends a sleepy silentness
And the only sounds in the steppe's quietness
Are the barking of dogs and the horses' neighs.
The fires everywhere are all put out,
All is at peace, the solitary moon
Shines from the summit of the skies
And brightens the encampment with its rays.
In one of the tents an old man is awake,
He sits in front of the dying fire
Warmed by the heat that the ashes make
And in the distant fields he looks afar
Where the nighttime mists have strewed them over.
He awaits the return of his young daughter
Who in the empty steppes has gone to wander,
She is used to have her freedom there,
And she will return, but it's already dark
And from the distant clouds the moon
Its station will abandon soon, -
But of Zemfira no trace, no sound,
And the old man's supper is growing cold.
At last she comes and following her
Across the steppe speeds a young man hurriedly.
To the gypsy entirely he is a stanger,
But the daughter speaks out openly:
"Father, a guest, I met him recently
Behind the mounds in the open plain
And invited him to stay with us.
And as a gypsy he wishes to live with us;
But the law pursues him relentlessly.
Now I will be his friend for ever.
His name is Aleko and he will never
Abandon me, nor will his faith swerve ever.
I am glad. Till morning stay
Beneath our tent's welcoming canopy,
Or yet rest longer in our company,
Just as you wish, for I am ready
To share with you our hospitality.
Be one of us, get to know our ways,
Our nomadic poverty in the steppes,
And tomorrow at the early dawn
Together in the cart we'll journey on.
Take up whatever trade you please,
Either forge the iron, or sing our songs,
And take the bear on its performing rounds.
I will stay with you.
He'll live with me:
And who would drive him away from me?
But now it's late, and the stripling moon
Has set, and the fields all around
Are quite covered over with a hoary gloom,
And reluctant sleep presses my eyelids down.
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