Translation © by Carl Ratner

О если б ты могла хоть на единый миг
Language: Russian (Русский) 
Available translation(s): ENG
О если б ты могла хоть на единый миг
Забыть свою печаль, забыть свои невзгоды, 
О, если бы хоть раз я твой увидел лик,
Каким я знал его в счастливейшие годы!

Когда в [твоих глазах]1 засветится слеза,
О, если б эта грусть могла пройти порывом,
Как в теплую весну пролётная гроза,
Как тень от облаков, бегущая по нивам!

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1 Tchaikovsky: "глазах твоих" (glazakh tvojikh)

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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):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by G. Jorissenne ; composed by Nikolay Vladimirovich Shcherbachyov.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by G. Jorissenne ; composed by Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist , no title ; composed by Max Lippold, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

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

  • ENG English (Carl Ratner) , "Oh, if only you could", copyright © 2010, (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: 8
Word count: 58

Oh, if only you could
Language: English  after the Russian (Русский) 
Oh, if only you could even for a single moment
Forget your sorrow, forget your troubles;
Oh, if only I could see your face just once
As I knew it in happier days!

When a tear glistens in your eye,
O, if only this sadness could quickly pass by,
Like a fleeting storm in the warm spring,
Like the shadow of clouds, running over the cornfields!


  • Translation from Russian (Русский) to English copyright © 2010 by Carl Ratner, (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: 2010-12-02
Line count: 8
Word count: 66