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Три Пальмы

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    Перевод Три Пальмы Лермонтова на английский

              Three Palms

          (An eastern legend)

In the waterless plains of Arabian land
Three palm trees rose tall and grand.                         
And there a spring from the fruitless earth,
Purling amid them, used to come forth,
Harbored under the shade of the plants
From burning rays and flying sands. 

And many long years quietly went;
But a weary traveler from a far-away land
Had not yet bent his sweltered bosom
To the cool water  beneath the trees' blossom,                                          
And the resonant brook and the luscious leaves 
Started to dry from the scorching sunbeams.

And started the palms to murmur to God,
"Wherefore have we grown to dry in this sand?
Uselessly we in the desert were born,                                               
Scorched by the heat and swung by the storm,    
Pleasing no one's benevolent eye?..
Unjust is your verdict, oh, gracious sky!" 

By the moment they finished - on the horizon
Golden clouds of sand had already been rising;
Inharmonious sounds of bells were heard,
Motley carpeted bales in the distance emerged 
And swaying like boats, in single file went
A camel after the camel, ploughing the sand. 

Dangling hang down the tracery laps
Of the travelling tents between the stiff humps;
Tanned little hands raised them at times,                
And from within sparkled black eyes...   
And bending the slender waist to the steed,
An Arab whipped it up to full speed.

And now and then the black stallion pranced,
And, like a wounded jaguar, danced;
And the white cloth of the rider's array 
Streamed down his shoulders in a beautiful sway;
With a shout and whistle he galloped aside, 
Lanced his spear and caught it in flight.                   

Here the caravan came to the trees:
And merrily camped in the shade of the leaves.
Jugs were filled in the sounding brook,
And the palms their heads proudly shook,
Greeting the guests upon the arrival,
While the brook contributed to their revival.

But the moment the country fell into dusk,                       
Axes were set to work their task, 
And down the nurslings of centuries went!
By the infants their attire was rent,
Their bodies were hewn later on,
And slowly they were burned until dawn.                      

When nightly mists were blown away, 
The caravan was again on its way;
And the cold and grey ashes were left as a trace                        
Faintly marking the barren surface;                 
And after the sun had burned up the remains,
Wind scattered them in the boundless plains.

Today it is all wild and empty around - 
The leaves with the rattling spring pass no sound:
In vain for a shade it appeals to the god -                         
Being covered only with fervent sand,
And a falcon of desert alone could be seen   
Tearing and pecking its prey by the spring.     

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