Surely The Time Has Come

Translated by Herbert Marshall

Surely the time has come, my friend,
Poor neighbour of mine, now to end
Our versifying of useless verse,
And instead, our waggon-hearse
For that last long ride prepare—
To that world, friend, to God repair:
To that rest be our own waggoners.
With age we're worn, with labour tired,
A little wisdom we've acquired,
Let it suffice! Now sleep will do,
Let's to our home return and rest...
A happy home, if you but knew!...
Oh let's not go, no, let us stay,
It's too early, friend, too early;
Let us walk, let's sit and talk—
And at this world's wonder gaze.
Oh let us wonder still, my fate...
See how vast and wide it is,
How high it soars, how glad it is,
How clear and oh, how deep it is...
We'll walk together still, my star!
We'll climb up that high mountain far —
Take our rest, and by that time
Your sister-stars will high have climbed,
Those ageless ones, and through the skies
Will glide with shining eyes...
Oh, wait a little, sister, wait,
Holy wife of mine and mate!
Then we, with lips unsullied,
Our prayers to God will make,
Then quietly, unhurried,
That last long ride we'll take...
Over Lethe’s turbid waters
Black and bottomless
With your sacred glory
Bless me, dear friend, bless!...

                   February 14-26, 1861, St. Petersburg