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

The Quadroon Girl
Language: English 
The Slaver in the broad lagoon
  Lay moored with idle sail;
He waited for the rising moon,
  And for the evening gale. 

Under the shore his boat was tied,
  And all her listless crew
Watched the gray alligator slide
  Into the still bayou. 

Odors of orange-flowers, and spice,
  Reached them from time to time,
Like airs that breathe from Paradise
  Upon a world of crime. 

The Planter, under his roof of thatch,
  Smoked thoughtfully and slow;
The Slaver's thumb was on the latch,
  He seemed in haste to go. 

He said, "My ship at anchor rides
  In yonder broad lagoon;
I only wait the evening tides,
  And the rising of the moon."

Before them, with her face upraised,
  In timid attitude,
Like one half curious, half amazed,
  A Quadroon maiden stood. 

Her eyes were large, and full of light,
  Her arms and neck were bare;
No garment she wore save a kirtle bright,
  And her own long, raven hair. 

And on her lips there played a smile
  As holy, meek, and faint,
As lights in some cathedral aisle
  The features of a saint. 

"The soil is barren, -- the farm is old,"
  The thoughtful planter said;
Then looked upon the Slaver's gold,
  And then upon the maid. 

His heart within him was at strife
  With such accursèd gains:
For he knew whose passions gave her life,
  Whose blood ran in her veins. 

But the voice of nature was too weak;
  He took the glittering gold!
Then pale as death grew the maiden's cheek,
  Her hands as icy cold. 

The Slaver led her from the door,
  He led her by the hand,
To be his slave and paramour
  In a strange and distant land!


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):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-22
Line count: 48
Word count: 282

Language: Russian (Русский)  after the English 
Повесив праздно паруса,
Корабль в заливе ждал,
Чтоб месяц вышел в небеса
И вздулся темный вал.

Причалив к берегу в челне,
Рабочий люд следил,
Как аллигатор полз на дне
Улечься в мягкий ил.

А воздух вкруг благоухал
От трав и от цветов,
Как будто рай порой дышал
На этот мир грехов.

Плантатор в шалаше своем
Задумчиво курил.
Купец, прибывший с кораблем,
Окончить торг спешил.

Он молвил: «Не гостить привел
Я свой корабль в залив.
Я жду, чтоб месяц лишь взошел,
Да начался прилив».

В лице с предчувствием немым,
Робка и хороша,
Кватронка-девушка пред ним
Стояла чуть дыша.

Большие искрились глаза;
По груди молодой
Спускалась черная коса
До юбочки цветной.

Улыбки свет в лице у нее
Мерцал так свят и тих,
Как свет лампад в углу церквей
На лике у святых.

Плантатор думал: «Стар мой дом,
И проку нет в земле!»
Взглянул на девушку — потом
На деньги на столе.

В душе смущенной верх брала
То жадность, то любовь:
Он знал, чья страсть ей жизнь дала
И чья текла в ней кровь.

Но глубь души была черна:
Он не осилил зла —
И деньги взял. Тут вся она
Застыла, замерла.

И жертву новую свою
Купец повел с собой,
Чтоб быть ему в чужом краю
Наложницей, рабой.

Confirmed with Михайлов М. Л.. Сочинения в трёх томах / Под общей редакцией Б. П. Козьмина — М.: Государственное издательство художественной литературы, 1958. — Т. 1. — pages 189—191.

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

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

This text was added to the website: 2019-07-16
Line count: 48
Word count: 205