by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Страшная минута
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Ты внимаешь, вниз склонив головку,
очи опустив и тихо вздыхая!
Ты не знаешь, как мгновенья
эти страшны для меня
и полны значенья,
как меня смущает
это молчанье.
Я приговор твой жду,
я жду решенья - 
иль нож ты мне в сердце вонзишь,
иль рай мне откроешь.

Ах, не терзай меня,
скажи лишь слово!
От чего же робкое признанье
в сердце так тебе запало глубоко?
Ты вздыхаешь, ты дрожишь и плачешь;
иль слова любви в устах твоих
немеют, или ты меня жалеешь, не любишь?
Я приговор твой жду, я жду решенья -
иль нож ты мне в сердце вонзишь,
иль рай мне откроешь.

Ах, внемнли же мольбе моей,
отвечай, отвечай скорей!
я приговор твой жду, я жду решенья!

Notes (provided by Laura Prichard):
Lines 10 and 11 of the first two stanzas: "или… или" is more common in modern Russian, meaning “either … or”


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Authorship

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) , "Fearful minute", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Instant effrayant", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2016-10-23 14:20:12
Line count: 24
Word count: 117

Fearful minute
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
You listen, with bowed head,
eyes lowered and softly sighing!
You don’t know,   
these [moments] are terrible for me
and full of meaning,
just like I am disturbed by
this silence itself.
I await your judgment,
I await [my] doom - 
Either you’ll take a knife and plunge it into my heart,
or you’ll open heaven to me.

Аh, don’t torment me,
speak just one word!
What timid declaration of mine could have
Sunk so deeply into your heart?
You sigh, you tremble and cry;
either words of love sit numbly on your lips
or you feel sorry for me, in not loving me?
I await your judgment, I await [my] doom -
either you’ll take a knife and plunge it into my heart,
or you’ll open heaven to me.

Ah, hear my prayer,
answer, answer right now!
I await your judgment, I await [my] doom!

Translator's notes:

Line 1-9: If the tone of the poet weren’t so stressed, you could translate “решенья” as solutions, decision, or outcome, but in this case, the author suspects the worst.

Line 3-2: modern Russians use “скорей!” when impatient; it can now mean “Get on the ball!” or “Hop to it!” or “Now then!"


Authorship

  • 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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Text added to the website: 2016-10-23 00:00:00
Last modified: 2016-10-23 14:21:49
Line count: 24
Word count: 146