by Anton Antonovich Delvig (1798 - 1831)
Translation © by Sergey Rybin

Мне минуло шестнадцать лет
Language: Russian (Русский)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Мне минуло шестнадцать лет,
  Но сердце было в воле;
Я думала: весь белый свет –
  Наш бор, поток и поле.

К нам юноша пришёл в село:
  Кто он? отколь? не знаю,
Но всё меня к нему влекло,
  Всё мне твердило: знаю!

Его кудрявые власы
  Вкруг шеи обвивались,
Как мак сияет от росы,
  Сияли, рассыпались.

И взоры пламенны его
  Мне что-то изъясняли;
Мы не сказали ничего,
  Но уж друг друга знали.

Куда пойду – и он за мной.
  На долгую ль разлуку? –
Не знаю! Только он с тоской
  Безмолвно жал мне руку.

«Что хочешь ты? – спросила я.
  Скажи, пастух унылый».
И с жаром [обнял он меня]1
  И тихо назвал милой.

И мне б тогда [его обнять!
  Но рук не поднимала]2,
На [перси]3 потупила взгляд,
  Краснела, трепетала!

Ни слова не сказала я,
  За что ж ему сердиться?
[Зачем]4 покинул он меня?
  И скоро ль возвратится?

A. Dargomyzhsky sets stanzas 1-2, 5-8

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Note: this translation lines up with the original French stanzas 1-3, 5-9. It is not missing a stanza, but stanza 4 was not translated.

1 Dargomyzhsky: "он сказал: «Люблю люблю тебя!»" ("on skazal: «Ljublju, ljublju tebja!»"
2 Dargomyzhsky: "«люблю» сказать ! / Но слов найти не знала" ("«ljublju» skazat'! / No slov najti ne znala")
3 Dargomyzhsky: "землю" ("zemlju")
4 Dargomyzhsky: "За что" ("Za chto")

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Note on Transliterations


Based on

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 (Sergey Rybin) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-08-30
Line count: 32
Word count: 145

I had turned sixteen
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
I had turned sixteen,
But my heart was carefree;
I thought: the entire world
Is our forest, stream and field.

A youth came to our village:
Who is he? Where from? I didn't know -
But everything attracted me to him,
Everything was telling me: I know him!



Anywhere I went he would follow me.
Is it before a long parting, I don't know -
But without saying a word, anxiously,
He squeezed my hand tightly.

"What do you wish?" - I asked, -
"Tell me, melancholy shepherd."
He said with passion: "I love you, love you!"
And quietly called me sweetheart.

I wish I'd also said then "I love you!"
But I couldn't find the words,
I lowered my gaze to the ground,
Blushing and trembling!

I didn't say a word;
What could have made him angry?
Why did he abandon me?
And how soon will he return?

About the headline (FAQ)

Note: this is a translation of Dargomyzhsky's version.

Translation of title "Шестнадцать лет" = "Sixteen years".


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2020 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: 2020-09-16
Line count: 32
Word count: 157