If poetry comes not so naturally as leaves to a tree it had better not come at all. - Keats

The reed

            

A fisherman sat humming
  Beside a stream one day
And watched the wind of morning
  The reeds and grasses sway.
He cut a reed, and, making
  A hole in it or two,
To one end held a finger
  And in the other blew.

The reed to life was wakened,
  It spoke up with a sigh.
Was't voice of wind or maiden,
  Its gentle voice and shy?
"0 fisherman," it begged him,
  "Do not torment me so.
0 fisherman, I pray you,
  Hear out my tale of woe.
  
  
"A fair and lovely maiden
  But motherless I was.
I bloomed, but bloomed unwanted,
  By no one loved, alas!
My father he remarried
  And took a witch to wife.
I called on death to claim me
  So wretched was my life.

"The witch she had a dearly
  Beloved son, had she,
A worthless rogue and scapegrace
  Who fooled young maids was he.
I went with him one evening
  To walk beside the stream
And watch its waters mirror
  The sun's last dying gleam.

"My love in vain he begged forž
  Him and his pleas i spurned.
Gold coins to me he offeredž
  In ire from him I turned.
Then with his knife he struck me.
  He struck me in the breast.
A grave he dug and put me
  There on the bank to rest.

"And o'er my grave soon after
  There grew a slender reed,
And in it live the sorrows
  That made my young heart bleed.
0 fisherman, pray leave me,
  Do not disturb my sleep.
Alack, you cannot help me
  And have not learnt to weep!..."


                         *****

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]
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Apukhtin A. N.
Baratynsky E.A.
Batyushkov K.N.
Benediktov V.
Del'vig A.
Fet A.
Grebeonka E.
Griboedov A.
Grigoriev A.A.
Koltsov A.
Krylov I.
Kuyhelbeker V.
Lermontov M.
Maykov A.
Mey L.
Nekrasov N.
Ogarev N.
Pavlova K.
Pleshcheev A.
Polonsky Y.
Pushkin A.
Rostopchina E.
Soloviev V.S.
Surikov I.
Tolstoy A.
Tyutchev F.
Yazykov N.M.
Zhukovsky V.
Zhemchuzhnikov A.