“We were together…” – A. Blok

Russian Silver Age poetry translations, 26/?

With the theme of love (it is never that simple), we return to the poems that Dmitri Shostakovich set to music in his Op. 127, “Seven Songs on the Poetry of Alexander Blok.” (See “Music,” part 7, here.) This one was chosen to be the third part of seven, taking the tension down from the previous song, “Gamayun” (of which more later). It has an elegiac quality; it is clearly talking about love from the past that is no longer present. 

* * *

We were together, I recall…
The fiddle sang, the night was flowing…
Those days you were mine above all,
And lovelier by the hour growing.
Through woman’s smiled request to guess,
Through fountains’ murmur soft receding,
Your lips begged for a kissed caress,
The music for heart’s breach was pleading.

Alexander Blok, March 9, 1899; translation by Tamara Vardomskaya, July 2016.

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