To The Goddess Of Fame

Translated by A. J. Hunter

Hail, thou barmaid slovenly,
Stagg'ring like fish-wife drunkenly;
Where the dickens dost thou stay,
With thy stock of haloes, pray?
Was it on credit thou gavest one
To the thief of Versailles, that Corsican?
Perhaps now thou'rt whispering in some fellow's ear;
And all because of boredom or beer.

Come then awhile with me to lodge,
Fondly, together, trouble we'll dodge.
With a smack and a kiss
          This dreary weather,
Let's make a bargain
          to live together.
Thou'rt a painted queen
          with manners free,
Yet in thy company
          I'd gladly be.

What though thou holdest
          thy nose in air,
Dancest in barrooms
          with kings at a fair;
And most with that chap
          they call the Tsar;
[in Sevastopol-]
Still that's no bother,
          thy stock's still at par.

Come, my dear, make haste to me,
Let me have a look at thee;
Bestow on me a little smile,
'Neath thy bright wings
I'd rest a while.

                   1858, Nizhny Novgorod