Russian Poetry XXIII - Mikhail Lermontov - From “The Daemon,” Part I, xv

From “The Daemon,” Part I, xv
Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841 AD)

On the sightless seas of ether,
Rudderless, without a sail,
Choirs of stars uplift their voices,
Where the mist-waves rise and fail.

Through the hemless fields of heaven
Wander wide and tracelessly
Clouds, unshepherded, unnumbered,
Pale, ephemeral and free.

Hour of parting, hour of meeting,
Neither gladden them, nor fret;
Theirs no yearning toward the future,
Theirs no haunting of regret.

On the grim day of disaster
These remember, worlds away:
Be beyond earth’s reach as these are,
And indifferent as they.

Translation by Babette Deutsch from
Modern Russian Poetry: An Anthology