The faded mirth of care-less years I've known
Weighs dully now, like a great leaden crown.
So too as wine, the sorrows of that past
Ferment with time within this soul outcast.
My path is dark. The restless seas ahead
Portend of only toil and grief to dread.
I do not want to die, I don't, oh friends;
I want to live, I want life's dreams, I want its pains.
'Tis true, amidst this sorrow, worry and fear,
I know I'll yet enjoy some pleasures dear:
Bask openly in harmony's sweet strains,
Weep tides of tears at some imagined bane,
And perhaps - in this sad final while,
Bathe warmly in the glow of love's last smile.
Translated from the Russian by Malcolm Macdonald