Лермонтов-Прощай, немытая Россия - In English

Прощай, немытая Россия,            Farewell! - unwashed, indigent Russia,
Страна рабов, страна господ,       The land of slaves, the state of lords,
И вы, мундиры голубые,             And you, its navy-coated marshals,
И ты, им преданный народ.          And you, their dedicated herds. 

Быть может, за стеной Кавказа      Perhaps, behind Caucasian ridges
Укроюсь от твоих пашей,            I will be safe from your emirs,
От их всевидящего глаза,           From their all-overseeing preachers, 
От их всеслышащих ушей.            From their all-overhearing ears.

I am uneasy about your using different words for страна, it produces the impression of a contrast, "land of slaves" but "state of lords", which I do not think was Lermontov's intent. It was rather the land of slaves and at the same time the land of lords. So it would be better to repeat "land".

Next, I would say "the" navy-coated marshals, not "its". Sounds more natural to me.

Finally, the word "Caucasian" is too much tainted, at least in modern American English; it takes therefore some effort to associate "Caucasian ridges" with the ridges of Caucasus. Also emirs' preachers are not the same as their spies. Let me make a bold suggestion here:

Perhaps behind the wall of Caucus'
I will be safe from your emirs,
From their all-overseeing office
From their all-overhearing ears.

I do not mean criticism here or editorializing. Just a dialogue. I am generally very impressed by your magnificent translations!


Clittary Hilton   28.04.2013 21:24     Заявить о нарушении правил

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