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Poems

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MY RUBICUND CRITIC

My rubicund critic, my full-bellied mocker,
Ever ready to rail at my desolate muse,
Come here, and sit beside me for a while,
Let's see if we can find a bit of pleasure. . .
Look before you: a few squalid hovels,
Beyond, the black earth, a sloping plain,
And over all a thick line of grey clouds.
Where are the bright cornfields, forests, brooks?
Near the low fence in our yard
Two puny saplings stand to charm the gaze.
Only two. And one of them was stripped bare
By the autumn rain, and the other's leaves, sodden
And yellow, will pile up in a puddle with the first gust.
That's all. Not even a dog prowls in the road.
Oh, here comes a peasant, with two women behind him:
Bareheaded, a child's coffin under his arm;
From afar he shouts out to the priest's lazy son
To call his father and open up the church.
"Hurry up! We haven't got all day!"

~ ALEKSÁNDR SERGÉYEVICH PÚSHKIN