The Boat

Translated by Vera Rich

The wind blows, speaking with the grove,
It whispers in the reeds,
Down the river glides the boat,
Lone upon the stream.
On it glides, swamped by the tide,—
No one checks its course;
For who is there? The fisher-lad
Dwells in this life no more.
It glided down to the blue sea,
Which tossed it, unrestrained ...
The mountain-waves had sport with it—
And not a chip remained.

It’s no long path—as when a boat
Drifts to the blue sea,—
An orphan takes to foreign parts,
And then — to misery.
There good folk have sport with him,
Like the chilly waves;
Afterwards they gaze their fill
How the orphan weeps;
Ask: “Where is the orphan now?”
—“I’ve neither heard nor seen!”

                         1841, St. Petersburg