Page:The Russian Review Volume 1.djvu/35

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The Sea.

By W. A. Zhukovsky.

Translated for "The Russian Review".

Sea, calm and silent! O Sea of clear azure!
I stand here enraptured, before thy abyss.
Thou livest, thou breathest, with love never quiet,
With life never placid thy bosom is full.
Sea, calm and silent! O Sea of clear azure!
Come, tell me thy secret, so wondrous, so deep.
What is is that moves to and fro thy vast surface,
What fills thy broad bosom with quickening breath?
Perhaps the blue Heavens so distant attract thee
Away to their heights from the bonds of the earth?
When bright are the Heavens, thou too, shin'st in brightness,
Shin'st here, full of life, so mysterious, yet sweet;
Thou roll'st Heaven's azure upon thy light ripples,
Thou burn'st with the light of the dawn and the eve,
In tender caresses their gold clouds embracest,
And merrily twinklest with their golden stars.
And when the dark clouds gather sombre and threatening,
To steal from thy sight the clear stretch of the sky,
In rage thou dost roar, and, uplifting great billows,
Thou tearest and rendest the gathering gloom.
The dark doth soon vanish, away speed the clouds,
Yet still thou retainest the storm that is past,
Thy billows, in fright, are still rising and falling;
Thy peace comes not wholly when clear is the sky,
Once more when it shines with its radiant azure.
Deceptive, uncertain, thy soft-stirring calmĀ :
Within its abyss storms and tempests are hidden,
Caressing the sky, thou still dreadest its doom.