by Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov (1821 - 1897)
Translation © by Sergey Rybin

Я знаю, отчего у этих берегов
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FRE
Я знаю, отчего у этих берегов
Раздумье тайное объемлет дух пловцов:
Там нимфа грустная с распущенной косою,
Полузакрытая певучей осокою,
Порою песнь поёт про шелк своих власов,
Лазурь заплаканных очей, жемчуг зубов
И сердце, полное любви неразделенной.
Проедет ли челнок-пловец обвороженный,
Её заслушавшись, перестает грести;
Замолкнет ли она -- но долго на пути
Ему всё чудятся напевы над водою
И нимфа в камышах, с распущенной косою.

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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)

  • by Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 - 1908), "Нимфа", op. 56 (2 романса на слова Майкова для сопрано с сопровождением фортепиано (2 romansa na slova Majkova dlja soprano s soprovozhdeniem fortepiano)) no. 1 (1898). [soprano and piano] [ sung text verified 1 time]

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

  • ENG English (Kyle Gee) , title 1: "The nymph", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "La nymphe", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sergey Rybin) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 65

I know the reason why by these shores
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
I know the reason why by these shores
A mysterious pensive mood seizes the sailors:
A melancholy nymph with flowing tresses, 
Half-hidden by rustling reeds, 
Sometimes sings a song there about the silk of her hair, 
The azure of her tearful eyes, the pearls of her teeth, 
And a heart full of unrequited love. 
Passing by in a boat an enchanted sailor 
Listening to her song stops rowing;
And, even when she falls silent, 
He still imagines for a while the singing above the waters, 
And the nymph in the reeds with flowing tresses.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Нимфа" = "Nymph"


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2017 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: 2017-01-14
Line count: 12
Word count: 94