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Language: Russian (Русский)

Зачем [ты мне]1 приснилася,
Красавица далёкая,
И вспыхнула, что в полыме,
Подушка одинокая?

Ох, сгинь ты, полуночница!
Глаза твои ленивые
И пепел кос рассыпчатый,
И губы горделивые -

Всё наяву мне снилося,
И всё, что грёза вешняя,
Умчалося, -- и на сердце
Легла потьма кромешная!

Зачем же ты приснилася,
Красавица далёкая,
Коль стынет вместе с грёзою 
Полушка одинокая?

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Tchaikovsky: "же ты" (zhe ty)

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Show a transliteration: Default | DIN | GOST

Note on Transliterations


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "Why?", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Pourquoi ?", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2016-10-23 14:15:55
Line count: 16
Word count: 57

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Language: English after the Russian (Русский)

Why did I dream of you,
Distant beauty,
And why, like a fire, did
My lonely pillow burst into flame?

О, begone, specter of the night!
Your eyes are shiftless
And your decimated ashes crumble easily,
And your lips are haughty -

Everything seemed real that I had dreamed,
And everything, like a superficial daydream,
Whirled away, — and my heart
Rested in the pitch dark!

Why did I dream of you,
Distant beauty,
When alone with my visions,
My lonely pillow grows cold.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in Russian (Русский) by Lev Aleksandrovich Mey (1822 - 1862), "Зачем?", written 1861 FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-10-23.
Last modified: 2016-10-23 14:17:14
Line count: 16
Word count: 84