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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Black Shawl
By Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837)
 
Translation of Thomas Budd Shaw

LIKE a madman I gaze on a raven-black shawl:
Remorse, fear, and anguish,—this heart knows them all.
 
When believing and fond, in the springtime of youth,
I loved a Greek maiden with tenderest truth.
 
That fair one caressed me—my life! oh, ’twas bright;        5
But it set, that fair day, in a hurricane night.
 
One day I had bidden young guests, a gay crew,
When sudden there knocked at my gate a vile Jew.
 
“With guests thou art feasting,” he whisperingly said,
“And she hath betrayed thee—thy young Grecian maid.”        10
 
I cursed him and gave him good guerdon of gold,
And called me a slave that was trusty and bold.
 
“Ho! my charger—my charger!”—We mount, we depart,
And soft pity whispered in vain at my heart.
 
On the Greek maiden’s threshold in frenzy I stood:        15
I was faint, and the sun seemed as darkened with blood.
 
By the maiden’s low window I listen, and there
I beheld an Armenian caressing the fair.
 
The light darkened round me; then flashed my good blade—
The minion ne’er finished the kiss that betrayed.        20
 
On the corse of the minion in fury I danced,
Then silent and pale at the maiden I glanced.
 
I remember the prayers and the red-bursting stream—
Thus perished the maiden—thus perished my dream.
 
This raven-black shawl from her dead brow I tore—        25
On its fold from my dagger I wiped off the gore.
 
The mists of the evening arose, and my slave
Hurled the corpses of both in the Danube’s dark wave.
 
Since then, I kiss never the maid’s eyes of light,
Since then, I know never the soft joys of night.        30
 
Like a madman I gaze on the raven-black shawl:
Remorse, fear, and anguish,—this heart knows them all.
 
 
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