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Ruslan and Ludmila - poem by Alexander Pushkin. For you, queens of my soul, my treasured Young beauties, for your sake did I Devote my golden hours of leisure To writing down, I'll not deny, With faithful hand of long past ages The whispered fables.. Take them, pray, Accept these playful lines, these pages For which I ask no praise..
For other uses, see Ruslan and Ludmila (disambiguation). The poem was the basis of an opera of the same name composed by Mikhail Glinka between 18. Pushkin dedicates the poem to unnamed young beauties, the “queens. By Alexander Pushkin, originally in poetic form, here adapted. In days long since past, Prince Vladimir of Kiev held a magnificent feast in honor of the marriage of his daughter Ludmila and the knight Ruslan. Ruslan and Lyudmila, opera in 5 acts, G. Ludmila, dear, Lel' promised me joy 6. Ruslan and Lyudmila, opera in 5 acts, G. Who is wandering here? Ruslan and Lyudmila, romantic narrative poem by Aleksandr Pushkin, published in Russian in 1820 as Ruslan i Lyudmila. The mock-heroic folk epic was influenced by the style of Ludovico Ariosto and Voltaire. The hero of the poem.
For my reward- I need not seek it- Is hope: Oh, that some girl should scan, As only one who's lovesick can, These naughty songs of mine in secret! PROLOGUE On seashore far a green oak towers. And to it with a gold chain bound. A . learned cat whiles away the hours.
By walking slowly round and round. A mermaid sitting High in a tree, a sprite, a trail Where unknown beasts move never seen by Man's eyes, a hut on chicken feet, Without a door, without a wdndow, An evil witch's lone retreat; The woods and valleys there are teeming With strange things.. Dawn brings waves that, gleaming, Over the sandy beaches creep, And from the clear and shining water Step thirty goodly knights escorted By their Old Guardian, of the deep An ancient dweller.. There a dreaded And hated tsar is captive ta'en; There, as all watch, for cloud banks headed, Across the sea and o'er a plain, A warlock bears a knight. There, weeping, A princess sits locked in a cell, And Grey Wolf serves her very well; There, in a mortar, onward sweeping All of itself, beneath the skies The wicked Baba- Yaga flies; There pines Koshchei and lusts for gold.. All breathes of Russ, the Russ of old There once was I, friends, and the . With pleasure One that I liked do I recall And here and now will share with all..
CANTO THE FIRST The ways and deeds of days gone by. A narrative on legend founded.. In princely banquet chamber high, By doughty sons and guests surrounded, Vladimir- Bright Sun holds a fete; His daughter is the chosen mate Of Prince Ruslan, and these two linking In marriage, old Vladimir's drinking Their health, a handsome cup and great To his lips held and fond thoughts thinking. Our fathers ate 'thout haste- indeed, Passed slowly round the groaning tables The silver beakers were and ladles With frothing ale filled and with mead. Into the heart cheer poured they, truly..
The bearers, bowing, solemn- faced, Before the feasters tankards placed; High rose the foam and hissed, unruly.. The hum of talk is loud, unceasing; Abuzz the guests: a merry round. Then through the hubbub, all ears pleasing, There comes the gusli's rippling sound. In dulcet song and ringing Bayan, the bard- all hark him well- Of bride and groom the praise is singing; He lauds their union, gift of Lel.* - -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Lel - the Slavic god of love.- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- . Ruslan, o'ercome by fiery feeling.
Of food partakes not; from Ludmila. He cannot tear away his eyes. He flames with love, he frowns, he sighs. At his moustache plucks, filled with torme. And, all impatience, counts each moment.
In doleful mood. They sit there, their great tankards empty. With downcast eyes, the fare, though tempting. Untouched; the goblets past them sail.
They do not seem to hear the tale. Of wisdom chanted by Bayan.. The first of these. Is bold Rogdai of battle fame. Twas he who Kiev's boundaries. Stretched with his blade); the next, the vain. Loud- voiced Farlaf, by none defeated.
At festal board, but tame, most tame. Mid flashing swords and tempers heated. The last, the Khazar Khan Ratmir.
A reckless spirit, aye, and ardent. It's over, and the teasiers rise And flock together.
All eyes Are smiling, all are on the two Younff newlv- weds.. Now do the shades anew Embrace the earth, e'er nearer creeping, The murk of midnight veils the dome.. Ruslan's all rapture, all elation.. In his imagination His bride caresses he.
But there Is sadness in the warmth of feeling With which, their happy union sealing,The old prince blesses our young pair. The bridal couch has long been ready; The maid is led to it.. The torches dim, but Lei already His own bright lamp has set alight. Love offers- see—its gifts most tender, Its fondest wish at last comes true, On carpets of Byzantine splendour The jealous covers fall.. Do you The sound of kisses, love's sweet token. And its soft, whispered words not hear? Does not- come, say- the murmur broken Of shy reluctance reach your ear?
Anticipation fires the spirit, O'erjoyed the groom.. But lo!- the air Is rent by thunder, ever nearer It comes. A flash' The lamp goes out, The room sw^ays, darkness all about, Smoke pours.. Fear grips Ruslan, defeating His native pluck: his heart stops beating.. All's silence, grim and threatening. An eerie voice sounds twice.
There rises Up through the haze a menacing Black figure.. Coiling smoke disguises Its shape..
Now our Poor groom, on his brow drops of sweat, Starts up. On emptiness he seizes, she Has by some strange and evil power Been borne away.. Ah, if to be love's martyr some Unfortunate young swain is fated, His days may well be filled with gloom, But life can still be tolerated. But if in your arms, after years Of longing, of desire, of tears, Your bride of but one minute lies And then becomes another's prize, 'Tis much too much.. Quite frankly, I, Were such my case, would choose to die!
But poor Ruslan's alive and tortured In mind and heart.. O'erwhelmed by news, Just then arrived, of the misfortune, The Prince, enraged, turns on the youth. The whole court summoning, .
Ruslan does not respond. Your merits past high hold I.. Free, I beg, my daughter from the clutches Of evil. I am helpless; such is Old age's piteous frailty. But though I am too old to do it, Not so are you. Go forth and save My poor Ludmila, you'll not rue it: He who succeeds, shall- writhe, you knave! Wby did you not, wretch, base tormentor, Know how to guard your young wife better?
Shall have Ludmila for a bride And half my fathers' realm beside!. From your daughter parted Not long will you be, never fear.
All four the palace leave together; Ruslan is ashen- faced, half- dead. Thoughts of his kidnapped bride, of whether He'll ever find the maid, with dread And pain his heart fill. Now the foursome Get on their restless, chafing horses, And leaving dust clouds in their wake, Away along the Dnieper make.. They're lost to sight, but Prince Vladimir Stands gazing at the road and tries To span the distance ever- dimming As after them in thought he flies. Ruslan, his mind and memory hazy, Is mute, lost in a kind of trance; Behind him, o'er his shoulder gazing, The picture of young arrogance, Farlaf rides, hand on hip, defiant. The taste is sweet Of freedom, friends..
When will we meet- The prospect likes me w^ell- a giant? Then will blood pour as passions seethe And victims offer to the sabre. Rejoice, my steed, And lightly, freely prance and caper! The light of hope is in his eye, Now. Now. 7 forces him, the good steed teasing, To rear, now gallops him uphill, Now lets him prance about at will. Rogdai is silent; with increasing Unease his heart fills; dark thoughts chill And burden him; he is tormented By jealousy, and, all calm gone, With hate- glazed eye, like one demented, Stares sullenlv at Prince Ruslan.
Along a single road the rivals Rode on all through the day until From east poured shades that night's arrival Bespoke.. The Dnieper, cold and still, Is wrapt in folds of mist.. The horses Have need of rest.. Not far away A track lies that another crosses. What do you in the hush of desert Alone, Ruslan? Was't all a dream—the bride you treasured, The terrors of your wedding night? Your helmet pushed down to your brow Your strong hands limp, the reins let loose, O'er woods and fields astride your steed You ride, while faith and hope recede And leave you well- nigh dead of spirit.
A cave shows Tore the knight; he nears And sees a light there. His feet lead Him straight inside. The dark and broo Vaults seem as old as nature. Moody, Distraught Ruslan is.. In the cave A bearded ancient, his mien grave And quiet, sits.
A lamp is burning Near him, a book lies on his knee; Engrossed in it, its pages he With careful hand is slowly turning. But now has come the day. For which, foreseeing it, I waited. To meet, we two, my son, were fated, Now sit and hear me out, I pray.. Ludmila from you has been taken; You flag, you droop, by hope forsaken And faith itself.. For brief With evil and its partner, grief, Will be, I promise, your encounter. Take heart; with strong, sound spirit counter The blows of fortune, banish woe, And, sword aloft held, northward go!
A wizard, he is known to carry Young maids off to the hills. None has ever His castle seen, but through its door You'll pass, I know, and end forever The villain's rule; by your hand he Will perish- so 'tis meant to be!. I may not yield to indiscretion And say aught more; your destiny Yourself from this day on you fashion.'' Our knight falls at the elder's feet And in delight his hand he kisses. The world a bright place seems, and sweeet Life is again; forgot distress is.. But then the sudden joyful glow His face leaves, and it pales and darkens. Be calm The truth is, O my youthful hero, That he can do the maid no harm. From sky the stars he'll pluck, I'll wager, Or shift the moon that sails on high, But change the law of time and aging He cannot, hard as he may try.
Though he lets none her chamber enter And jealous watch keeps at her door, He is the impotent tormentor Of his fair captive, nothing more. While never far from her, he curses His lot, and soundly—but, my knight, 'Tis time for you to rest: the earth is Enclosed in shadow; it is night. He yearns For soothing sleep, he twists and turns And flings about- but no, 'tis plain That sleep won't come. He heaves a sigh And says: . Talk to me, do; With godly speech, I beg of you, Relieve my heart: it aches, it's weary..
I make too bold to ask you this; You, who befriend me, I importune- Speak! Tell me, confidant of fortune: Wby came you to this wilderness?