by MIKHAIL LERMONTOV (1814-1841)
In noon’s heat, in a dale of Dagestan
With lead inside my breast, stirless I lay;
The deep wound still smoked on; my blood
Kept trickling drop by drop away.
On the dale’s sand alone I lay. The cliffs
Crowded around in ledges steep,
And the sun scorched their tawny tops
And scorched me— but I slept death’s sleep.
And in a dream I saw an evening feast
That in my native land with bright lights shone;
Among young women crowned with flowers,
A merry talk concerning me went on.
But in the merry talk not joining,
One of them sat there lost in thought,
And in a melancholy dream
Her young soul was immersed—
God knows by what.
And of a dale in Dagestan she dreamt;
In that dale lay the corpse of one she knew;
Within his breast a smoking wound showed black,
And blood ran in a stream that colder grew.
Mikhail Lermontov was a freedom-loving Russian Romantic poet. He wrote the novel GEROI NASHEGO VREMENI (1840, Hero of Our Time), which had a deep influence on later Russian writers. Lermontov was exiled twice to the Caucasus because of his libertarian verses. He died in a duel like his great contemporary and fellow poet Aleksandr Pushkin