Translation © by Sergey Rybin

Я видел ночь. Она передо мной
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Я видел ночь. Она передо мной
Вся в черном шла, [прекрасная, живая]1,
Волшебница с поникшей головой,
Зарницами, как взглядами сверкая.

Прозрачен был её воздушный стан;
Но чуял я дыханья знойный трепет,
И в тишине, как ласковый обман
Незримых уст, призывный нёсся лепет.

Казалось мне, [желанная]2 зовёт
Меня с собой к любви и наслажденью.
И я всё шёл, всё шёл за ней вперёд,
Объятый весь огнём её и тенью!

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Confirmed with Арсений Аркадьевич Голенищев-Кутузов, Затишье и буря (1868-1878), С.-Петербург, 1878, page 25. The spelling has been modernized.

1 Musorgsky: "живая, молодая"
2 Musorgsky: "что чудная"

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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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Akhilles Nikolayevich Alferaki.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by G. Löwenthal ; composed by Akhilles Nikolayevich Alferaki, Anton Stepanovich Arensky.

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

  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Johann Winkler

This text was added to the website: 2020-12-07
Line count: 12
Word count: 68

I saw night. She before me
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
I saw night. She before me
Walked, all in black, [lovely, alive]1, 
A sorceress with bowed head
With lightening flashing like glances.
Transparent was her light figure;
But I felt her sultry, tremulous breath.
And in the silence, like a tender illusion, 
Whispering from invisible lips was heard.

It seemed that the [desired]2 one was calling me
After her towards love and pleasure.
And I walked and walked, 
Totally consumed by her fire and shadow. 

About the headline (FAQ)

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Translations of titles
"Летная ночь" = "Summer night"
"Видение" = "Apparition"

1 Musorgsky: "alive, young"
2 Musorgsky: "beautiful"


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2015 by Sergey Rybin, (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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This text was added to the website: 2015-10-26
Line count: 12
Word count: 75