Vasily Zhukovsky

Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky (February 9, 1783 – April 24,1852) was the foremost Russian poet of the 1810s and a leading figure in Russian literature in the first half of the 19th century.

Zhukovsky is credited with introducing the Romantic Movement into Russia. The main body of his literary output consists of free translations covering an impressively wide range of poets, from ancients like Ferdowsi and Homer to his contemporaries Goethe, Schiller, Byron, and others. Many of his translations have become classics of Russian literature, better-written and more enduring in Russian than in their original languages.

TO A FAMILIAR GENIUS FLYING BY
Vasily Zhukovsky

Reveal yourself, anonymous enchanter!
What heaven hastens you to me?
Why draw me to that promised land again
That I gave up so long ago?

Was it not you who in my youth
Enchanted me with such sweet dreams,
Did you not whisper, long ago,
Dear hopes of a guests ethereal?

Was it not you through whom all lived
In golden days, in happy lands
Of fragrant meadows, waters bright,
Where days were merry ?neath clear skies?

Was it not you who breathed into my vernal breast
Some melancholy mysteries
Tormenting it with keen desire
Exciting it to anxious joy?

Was it not you who bore my soul aloft
Upon the inspiration of your sacred verse,
Who flamed before me like a holy vision,
Initiating me into life’s beauty?

In hours lost, hours of secret grief,
Did you not always murmur to my heart,
With happy comfort soothe it
And nurture it with quiet hope?

Did not my soul forever heed you
In all the purest moments of my life
When’ere it glimpsed fate’s sacred essence
With only God to witness it?

What news bring you, O, my enchantress?
Or will you once more call in dreams
Awaken futile thoughts of old,
Whisper of joy and then fall silent?

O spirit, bide with me awhile;
O, faithful friend, haste not away;
Stay, please become my earthly life,
O, Guardian angel of my soul.