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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 Prisoner
By Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841)
 
Translation of A. E. Staley

AWAY from the prison shade!
  Give me the broad daylight;
Bring me a black-eyed maid,
  A steed dark-maned as night.
First the maiden fair        5
  Will I kiss on her ruddy lips,
Then the dark steed shall bear
  Me, like the wind, to the steppes.
 
But the heavy door hath a bar,
  The prison window is high;        10
The black-eyed maiden afar
  In her own soft bed doth lie;
In meadow green the horse,
  Unbridled, alone, at ease,
Gallops a playful course        15
  And tosses his tail to the breeze.
 
Lonely am I, unjoying
  Amid bare prison walls;
The light in the lamp is dying,
  Dimmer the shadow falls;        20
And only, without my room,
  I hear the measured ring
Of the sentry’s steps in the gloom,
  As he treads unanswering.
 
 
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