In Prison: VIII A Spring Evening

Translated by Honore Ewach

Close by the house the cherries flower,
Above the orchard the beetles hum,
Still singing, the girls homeward come,
The tired plowmen’s steps grow slower,
And mothers with supper wait at home.

Close by the house they eat their supper;
Just then the evening-star appears;
As daughter serves. Her mother cares
To teach to do things in ways proper.
The nightingale’s song interferes.

Close to the wall on the clay-benches
The mother lulls her Nell and Bill,
And falls asleep against her will.
All fall asleep... But the sweet wenches
And nightingales are singing still.

                           1847, St. Petersburg