by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)
Translation by Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov (1829 - 1865)

Beside the ungathered rice he lay
Language: English 
Beside the ungathered rice he lay,
   His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matted hair
   Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,
   He saw his Native Land.

Wide through the landscape of his dreams
   The lordly Niger flowed;
Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
   Once more a king he strode;
And heard the tinkling caravans
   Descend the mountain-road.

He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
   Among her children stand;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,
   They held him by the hand!--
A tear burst from the sleeper's lids
   And fell into the sand.

And then at furious [speed]1 he rode
   Along the Niger's bank;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,
   And, with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel
   Smiting his stallion's flank.

Before him, like a blood-red flag,
   The bright flamingoes flew;
From morn till night he followed their flight,
   O'er plains where the tamarind grew,
Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,
   And the ocean rose to view.

At night he heard the lion roar,
   And the hyena scream,
And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds
   Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums,
   Through the triumph of his dream.

The forests, with their myriad tongues,
   Shouted of liberty;
And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,
   With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled
   At their tempestuous glee.

He did not feel the driver's whip,
   Nor the burning heat of day;
For Death had illumined the Land of Sleep,
   And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul
   Had broken and thrown away!

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1: Coleridge-Taylor: "pace"


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Swedish (Svenska), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist , "Slavens dröm" ; composed by Emil Sjögren.

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

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2010-04-12
Line count: 48
Word count: 288

Son nevol`nika
Language: Russian (Русский)  after the English 
Istomlenny'j, na risovoj nive on spal.
Grud` otkry'tuyu zheg emu znoj;
Serp ostalsya v ruke, — i v goryachem peske
On kurchavoj tonul golovoj.
Pod tumanom i ten`yu glubokogo sna
Snova videl on kraj svoj rodnoj.

Tixo czarstvenny'j Niger katilsya pred nim,
Uxodya v bezgranichny'j prostor.
On czarem by'l opyat`, i na pal`max rodny'x
Otdy'xal sred` polej ego vzor.
I zvenya i gremya opuskalisya v dol
Karavany' s siyayushhix gor.

I opyat` chernookoj czarice svoej
S nezhnoj laskoj glyadel on v glaza,
I detej obnimal, — i opyat` usly'xal
I rodny'x i druzej golosa.
Tixo drognuli sonny'e veki ego, —
I s licza pokatilas` sleza.

I na borzom kone vdol` reki on skakal
Po znakomy'm, rodny'm beregam…
V serebre povoda, — zolotaya uzda…
Gromkij topot zvuchal po polyam
Sred` gluxoj tishiny', — i stuchali nozhny'
Dlinnoj sabli konyu po bokam.

Vperedi slovno krasny'j krovavy'j platok,
Yarkokry'ly'j flamingo letel.
Vsled za nim on do nochi skakal po lugam,
Gde krugom tamarind zelenel.
Pokazalisya xizhiny' kafrov,— i vot
Okean pered nim zasinel.

Noch`yu sly'shal on rev i ry'kanie l`va,
I gieny' pronzitel`ny'j voj;
Sly'shal on, kak v pusty'nnoj reke begemot
Myal trostnik svoej tyazhkoj stopoj…
I nad sonny'm pronessya torzhestvenny'j gul,
Slovno radostny'j klik` boevoj.

Miriadoj nemolchny'x svoix yazy'kov
O svobode glasili lesa;
Klichem voli v dy'xanii pusty'ni neslis`
I zemli i nebes golosa…
I uly'bka i trepet proshli po liczu,
I smezhilisya krepche glaza.

On ne chuvstvoval znoya; ne sly'shal, kak bich
Provizzhal u nego nad spinoj…
Czarstvo sna ozarila siyaniem smert`,
I na nive ostalsya — nemoj
I bezzhiznenny'j trup: peretertaya cep`,
Sokrushennaya vol`noj dushoj.

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Based on:

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

    [ None yet in the database ]

Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-07-16
Line count: 48
Word count: 265