The Mermaid

The Mermaid
M. Iu. Lermontov

The mermaid swam along the blue river,

Illumined by the full moon;

And tried to splash as far as the moon

The silver foam of the wave.

Both making noise and whirling, the river rocked

The clouds reflected in her;

And the mermaid sang–and the sound of her words

Flew as far as the steep banks.

And the mermaid sang: “At the bottom of my home

Plays the flickering of the day;

There golden herds of fish frolic,

There there are crystal cities.

And there on a pillow of brilliant sands,

Beneath the shade of thick reeds,

Sleeps a hero, the booty of the jealous wave,

Sleeps the hero of a foreign land.

To comb the rings of silky curls

We like in the dark of the nights,

And on his forehead and lips we at midday

Have kissed the handsome one more than once.

But to the passionate kisses, I do not know why,

He remains cold and mute;

He sleeps–and, bending to my fingers,

He does not breathe, does not whisper in sleep..!”

Thus sang the mermaid over the blue river,

Full of incomprehensible sadness;

And, noisily rolling, the river rocked

The clouds reflected in it.