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)
translated by Robert Chandler