Alexander Pushkin

I love you, though I rage at it,
Though it is shame and toil misguided,
And to my folly self-derided
Here at your feet I will admit!

It ill befits my years, my station,
Good sense has long been overdue!
And yet, by every indication,
Love's plague has stricken me anew:

You're out of sight, I fall to yawning;
You're here, I suffer and feel blue,
And barely keep myself from owning,
Dear elf, how much I care for you!

Why, when your guileless girlish chatter
Drifts from next door, your airy tread,
Your rustling dress, my senses scatter
And I completely lose my head.

You smile, I flush with exaltation;
You turn away, I'm plunged in gloom;
Your pallid hand is compensation
For a whole day of fancied doom.

When to the frame with artless motion
You bend to cross-stitch, all devotion,
Your eyes and ringlets down-beguiled,
My heart goes out in mute emotion
Rejoicing in you like a child!

Dare I confess to you my sighing,
How jealously I chafe and balk
When you set forth, at times defying
Bad weather, on a lengthy walk?

And then your solitary crying,
Those twosome whispers out of sight,
Your carriage to Opochka plying,
And the piano late at night...

Aline! I ask but to be pitied,
I do not dare to plead for love;
Love, for the sins I have committed,
I am perhaps not worthy of.

But make believe! Your gaze, dear elf,
Is fit to conjure with, believe me!
Ah, it is easy to deceive me...
I long to be deceived myself!

Confession (1826).
Translation: Babette Deutsch.

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