A Monument

By Alexander Pushkin (1799Ė1837)

 

 

IíVE raised myself no statue made with hands,ó

  The peopleís path to it no weeds will hide.

Rising with no submissive head, it stands

  Above the pillar of Napoleonís pride.

No! I shall never die: in sacred strains

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  My soul survives my dust and flees decay;

And famous shall I be, while there remains

  A single poet íneath the light of day.

Through all great Russia will go forth my fame,

And every tongue in it will name my name;

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And by the nation long shall I be loved,

Because my lyre their nobler feelings moved:

Because I strove to serve them with my song,

And called forth mercy for the fallen throng.

Hear Godís command, O Muse, obediently,

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  Nor dread reproach, nor claim the poetís bay;

To praise and blame alike indifferent be,

      And let fools say their say!

 

The monument Iíve built is not in chiseled stone,
The peopleís path to it will neíer be overgrown,
Its disobedient head in bold defiance has risen
Above the Alexandian column.

No, I will not all die: my soul in the secret lyre
Will well escape decay, outliving my remains,
My fame will last while in the sublunary sphere
At least one poet remains.

Word of me will traverse the holy land of Rus,
And every living tongue in it will sing my praise:
The Slavsí proud heir, the Finn, the still savage Tungus,
The Kalmyk, friend of prairiesÖ

I daresay that a fact that folk will cherish long
Is that bright liberty served as my lyreís true calling,
That I, in my cruel age, evoked kindness with song
And mercy for the fallen.

Remain obedient to Godís injunction, Muse,
Fear no hurt, crave no crown, retain your calm and cool,
Treat flattery and slander with indifference,
Argue not with the fool.