by Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov (1821 - 1897)
Translation © by Lyle Neff

В темном аде, под землею
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
В темном аде, под [землею],
Тени грешные томятся;
Стонут девы, плачут жены,
И тоскуют, и крушатся...
Всё о том, что не доходят
Вести в адские пределы -2
Есть ли небо голубое?
Есть ли свет ещё там белый?
[И на]3 свете -- церкви божьи
И иконы золотые,
И как прежде, за станками,
Ткут ли девы молодые?

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Tchaikovsky: "zemlej"
2 Tchaikovsky adds the line: "Zheny plachut, stonut: "
3 Tchaikovsky: "Jest' li v"

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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 (Lyle Neff) , "Neo-Greek Song", copyright © 2005, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2016, (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: 54

Neo‑Greek Song
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
In dark hell, under the earth, 
ghosts of sinners are languishing;
maidens are moaning, wives are weeping 
and pining, and are afflicted...
all about the fact that news does not reach 
into the boundaries of hell --
[the wives are weeping, moaning]:  is there a pale-blue sky?
Does the wide world still exist there?
Are there in the world churches of God
and golden icons,
and do young maidens 
weave at looms as before?


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2005 by Lyle Neff, (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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2005-05-01
Line count: 12
Word count: 73