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Devils

 Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover;
Flying snow is set alight
By the moon whose form they cover;
Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
On and on our coach advances, Little bell goes din-din-din.
.
.
Round are vast, unknown expanses; Terror, terror is within.
-- Faster, coachman! "Can't, sir, sorry: Horses, sir, are nearly dead.
I am blinded, all is blurry, All snowed up; can't see ahead.
Sir, I tell you on the level: We have strayed, we've lost the trail.
What can WE do, when a devil Drives us, whirls us round the vale? "There, look, there he's playing, jolly! Huffing, puffing in my course; There, you see, into the gully Pushing the hysteric horse; Now in front of me his figure Looms up as a queer mile-mark -- Coming closer, growing bigger, Sparking, melting in the dark.
" Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover; Flying snow is set alight By the moon whose form they cover; Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
We can't whirl so any longer! Suddenly, the bell has ceased, Horses halted.
.
.
-- Hey, what's wrong there? "Who can tell! -- a stump? a beast?.
.
" Blizzard's raging, blizzard's crying, Horses panting, seized by fear; Far away his shape is flying; Still in haze the eyeballs glare; Horses pull us back in motion, Little bell goes din-din-din.
.
.
I behold a strange commotion: Evil spirits gather in -- Sundry, ugly devils, whirling In the moonlight's milky haze: Swaying, flittering and swirling Like the leaves in autumn days.
.
.
What a crowd! Where are they carried? What's the plaintive song I hear? Is a goblin being buried, Or a sorceress married there? Storm-clouds hurtle, storm-clouds hover; Flying snow is set alight By the moon whose form they cover; Blurred the heavens, blurred the night.
Swarms of devils come to rally, Hurtle in the boundless height; Howling fills the whitening valley, Plaintive screeching rends my heart.
.
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Translated by Genia Gurarie July 29, 1995.
Copyright retained by Genia Gurarie.
email: egurarie@princeton.
edu http://www.
princeton.
edu/~egurarie/ For permission to reproduce, write personally to the translator.

by Alexander Pushkin
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