How can I contemplate these days so strange of late, how can I catch my breath? The air is cool before the storm; cool but unbearable What is that melody theyíre chanting to me now that sounds like death? Prophetic birds are singing - as from some parable. The jovial Sirin, she grins at me salaciously - As she tempts me and entices me from nests While on the contrary, so mournfully, so plaintively, Burdens my soul, the uncanny Alkanost. Just as seven sacred strings Begin to ring out each in turn - So sagacious Gamayun Puts all her confidence in those who learn! Belfries tower high to pierce a deep blue sky of lapis lazuli - Ringing copper bells, ringing copper bells - Sheets of roofing felt rejoicing, sheets giving hell... The cupolas in Russia, clad with unalloyed gold - So when the good Lord glances down, heíll mark them well. Here I stand, as in some timeless plan, my life in hand, Before this awe-inspiring land, this dreamlike land - Along the salty strand - this bitter-sour - this honeyed land, Blue water springing forth, rye-bearing - this promised land! This greasy, dirty, rusty, grimy, tarnished land Where horses sink into the mire without number. But still theyíre dragging me along under this trancelike command Though now lethargic and bloated with slumber. Just as seven swollen moons Are pulling me along, each in its turn - So sagacious Gamayun Puts all her confidence in those who learn! A soul thatís bruised and battered, scorned, abused, grown old Has accumulated damage left untold! But if the fabric has been worn right down to the nerve I will patch the cloth thatís torn with unalloyed gold - So when the good Lord glances down, itís fit to serve.
© Tommy Beavitt. Translation, ?
© Tommy Beavitt. Performance, ?