‘I Go Outside To Find The Way…’ by Mikhail Lermontov

I go outside to find the way.

Through broken mist I glimpse a flinty path.

I am alone. This empty place hears God;

and stars converse with stars.

 

The heavens are a miracle

and pale blue sleep lies over all the earth.

What’s wrong with me? Why does life seem so hard?

Do I still cherish hope? Or hurt?

 

No, no, I have no expectations.

I’ve said goodbye to my past joys and griefs.

Freedom and peace are all I wish for now;

I seek oblivion and sleep.

 

But not the cold sleep of the grave –

my dream is of a sweeter sleep that will

allow life’s force to rest within a breast

that breathes, that still can rise and fall.

 

I wish a voice to sing all day

and night to me of love, and a dark tree,

an oak with spreading boughs, to still my sleep

with the green rustle of its leaves.

 

by Михаил Юрьевич Лермонтов (Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov)

(1841)

translated by Robert Chandler

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Invasion On The Farm by R. S. Thomas

I am Prytherch. Forgive me. I don’t know

What you  are talking about; your thoughts flow

Too swiftly for me; I cannot dawdle

Along their banks and fish in their quick stream

With crude fingers. I am alone, exposed

In my own fields with no place to run

From your sharp eyes. I, who a moment back

Paddled in the bright grass, the old farm

Warm as a sack about me, feel the cold

Winds of the world blowing. The patching gate

You left open will never be shut again.

 

by R. S. Thomas

from Song At The Year’s Turning (1955)