by Aleksandr Mikhailovich Glikberg (1880 - 1932), as Sasha Chyorny
Translation © by Leonard Lehrman

Пробуждение весны
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
Вчера мой кот взглянул на календарь
И хвост трубою поднял моментально,
Потом подрал [на лестницу]1, как встарь,
И завопил тепло и вакханально:
  «Весенний брак! Гражданский брак!
  Спешите, кошки, на чердак...»

И кактус мой — о, чудо из чудес! —
Залитый чаем и кофейной гущей,
Как новый Лазарь, взял да и воскрес
И с каждым днем прет из земли всё пуще.
  Зеленый шум... Я поражен:
  «Как много дум наводит он!»

Уже с панелей смерзшуюся грязь,
Ругаясь, скалывают дворники лихие,
Уже ко мне забрел сегодня «князь»,
Взял теплый шарф и лыжи беговые...
  «Весна, весна! — пою, как бард,—
  Несите зимний хлам в ломбард».

Сияет солнышко. Ей-богу, ничего!
Весенняя лазурь спугнула дым и копоть,
Мороз уже не щиплет никого,
Но многим нечего, как и зимою, лопать...
  Деревья ждут... Гниет вода,
  И пьяных больше, чем всегда.

Создатель мой! Спасибо за весну! —
Я думал, что она не возвратится,—
Но... дай сбежать в лесную тишину
От злобы дня, холеры и столицы!
  Весенний ветер за дверьми...
  В кого б влюбиться, черт возьми!

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Shostakovich: "по лестнице"

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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)

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

  • ENG English [singable] (Leonard Lehrman) , "The awakening of spring", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le réveil du printemps", copyright © 2015, (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: 30
Word count: 166

The awakening of spring
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
My tomcat's looking at my calendar 
and all of a sudden he starts meowing "Golly!"
His tail just stands straight up, and all his fur; 
he jumps upstairs and wails out bacchanally:
  "The mating season's here you know!  
  Hey girls, hey cats, come on, let's go!"

And then my cactus, what a wonder this! – 
though tea and coffee stain its prickly torso, 
it's risen from the dead, like Lazarus, 
and ev'ry day is growing ever more so. 
  The forest's sounds have me in thrall. 
  How many mem'ries they recall!

The workmen hack the dirt to pieces since
It still is frozen, though it's falling from the molding, 
And now my neighbor struts in like a prince. 
He takes the skis and all the winter clothing. 
  "It's spring," he sings with voice so clear, 
  "Let's get this garbage out of here!"

The spring has scared off all the smoke and all the soot. 
Now ev'rything seems right – the dear old sun is shining. 
The frost no longer bites you head to foot, 
though there are people still who don't have much for dining...
  The trees await... the water rots. 
  The world is full of drunken sots. 

I thank you god for letting spring come back!
But let me go seek the forest's quiet
Away from all the noise and yack-yack-yack, 
the capital, and cholera and riot!
  The wind of spring now gently blows...
  Whom shall I love?  The devil knows!  


  • Singable translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2017 by Leonard Lehrman, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., please ask the copyright-holder(s) directly.

    Leonard Lehrman.  Contact: ljlehrman (AT) nassaulibrary (DOT) org

    If the copyright-holder(s) are unreachable for three business days, please write to:

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2017-10-15
Line count: 30
Word count: 241