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Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok

(28 November 1880 – 7 August 1921 / Saint Petersburg)

A Girl Sang a Song


A girl sang a song in the temple's chorus,
About men, tired in alien lands,
About the ships that left native shores,
And all who forgot their joy to the end.

Thus sang her clean voice, and flew up to the highness,
And sunbeams shined on her shoulder's white --
And everyone saw and heard from the darkness
The white and airy gown, singing in the light.

And all of them were sure, that joy would burst out:
The ships have arrived at their beach,
The people, in the land of the aliens tired,
Regaining their bearing, are happy and reach.

And sweet was her voice and the sun's beams around....
And only, by Caesar's Gates -- high on the vault,
The baby, versed into mysteries, mourned,
Because none of them will be ever returned.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Rookie Andrew Vylinsky (9/25/2007 2:25:00 PM)

    Though I`m not a truly fan of A.A.Block`s poetry, this poem I consider to be one of my favourite ones.
    Lots of people have written on the event the verse is about, But this one is probably the shortest and the deepest one.
    PS. The poem is about Zusima sea battle, which came about during Russian-Japanese War 1904-1906. Russian fleet was almast totally destroyed in it, though the sailors acted very bravely. It`s them who are 'The people, in the land of the aliens tired' and most of them did not come back really. Zusima Battle can be named as 'russian Purl-Harbour '. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Alec Vagapov (8/18/2007 2:34:00 AM)

    Instead of writing a comment I would rather offer my own version of translation of this poem.
    Thank you
    Alec Vagapov


    ***
    The girl was singing in a church choir,
    About the weary abroad, far away,
    About the ships in the sea, so dire,
    And those who'd forgotten their happy day.

    So sweet was her voice flying up into highness
    With shimmering beam on her shoulder of white,
    And every one listened watching from darkness
    The way the white garment was singing in light.

    And every one thought that the joy was there,
    That the ships were all in a quiet bay,
    And the weary people abroad, full of care,
    Were now all blessed with a happy day.

    The voice was sweet, and the beam was shining,
    And only up there at the royal rack
    A child, conversant with secret, was crying
    That nobody, really, would ever come back.

    August, 1905 (Report) Reply

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