On yonder Georgian hills…

I wrote a first draft of this translation of Pushkin’s poem “На холмах Грузии” in fall 2015 while living in Moscow, quite enamored of the original, dreaming of visiting distant Sakartvelo (I ended up going to Crimea instead) and unsatisfied with other translations I had come across.

On yonder Georgian hills lies calm a nightly mist;
    Aragva murmurs low before me.
I feel both sad and light; my sorrow’s bright as bliss;
      My sorrow filled with thee so sorely,
Oh thee, and only thee… My listless, pining gloom
      Here nothing pierces, nothing rankles,
And now anew my heart does burn and love — forsooth,
    For not to love, it is not able.

На холмах Грузии лежит ночная мгла;
     Шумит Арагва предо мною.
Мне грустно и легко; печаль моя светла;
     Печаль моя полна тобою,
Тобой, одной тобой… Унынья моего
     Ничто не мучит, не тревожит,
И сердце вновь горит и любит — оттого,
     Что не любить оно не может.

Confluence of the Aragvi and Kura (Mtkhvari) Rivers. Adapted from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Confluence_of_the_Aragvi_and_Kura_(Mtkvari)_rivers.jpg
Confluence of the Aragvi and Kura (Mtkhvari) Rivers. Adapted from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Confluence_of_the_Aragvi_and_Kura_(Mtkvari)_rivers.jpg
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