W. H. Auden. Translations by Shlomo Krol and Ian Probstein.

Also in Translations:

W. H. Auden. Translations by Shlomo Krol and Ian Probstein.
W. H. Auden. Translations by Shlomo Krol and Ian Probstein.

 
 
OUR BIAS

The hour-glass whispers to the lion’s roar,
The clock-towers tell the gardens day and night
How many errors Time has patience for,
How wrong they are in being always right.

Yet Time, however loud its chimes or deep,
However fast its falling torrent flows,
Has never put one lion off his leap
Nor shaken the assurance of a rose.

For they, it seems, care only for success:
While we choose words according to their sound
And judge a problem by its awkwardness;

And Time with us was always popular.
When have we not preferred some going round
To going straight to where we are?

1939
 

НАШЕ ПРИСТРАСТИЕ

Песок в часах шуршит под львиный рев,
Часы на башне мерят саду дни.
Как терпит Время промахи часов?
Как ложны в правоте своей они!

Но Время, хоть быстра его река
И колокол его громкоголос,
Льва удержать не сможет от броска
И не смутит уверенности роз.

Как видно, им успех всего важней,
Мы ж, выбирая слово, ценим звук,
Вопрос нам чем нелепей, тем сложней.

А Время у людей всегда в чести:
Когда мы предпочли не делать круг,
А к цели напрямик идти?

Translated by Shlomo Krol
 

НАШИ ПРЕДУБЕЖДЕНИЯ

Под львиный рев в часах песок шуршит,
На башнях день и ночь твердят садам:
Ошибок сколько Время вам простит?
И как неправы те, кто прав всегда.

Пусть Времени стремителен поток,
Пусть громок Времени на башнях звон —
Оно не усмирило льва прыжок,
И розы гордый нрав не усмирён.

Ибо им важен только их успех,
Мы ж подбираем все слова на слух
И сложно судим о проблемах всех.

И потому чтим Время. Без потерь,
Когда б не путь кружной избрав из двух,
Шли напрямик, где были бы теперь?

Translated by Ian Probstein
 
 

* * *
 
ANOTHER TIME

For us like any other fugitive,
Like the numberless flowers that cannot number
And all the beasts that need not remember,
It is today in which we live.

So many try to say Not Now,
So many have forgotten how
To say I Am, and would be
Lost, if they could, in history.

Bowing, for instance, with such old-world grace
To a proper flag in a proper place,
Muttering like ancients as they stump upstairs
Of Mine and His or Ours and Theirs.

Just as if time were what they used to will
When it was gifted with possession still,
Just as if they were wrong
In no more wishing to belong.

No wonder then so many die of grief,
So many are so lonely as they die;
No one has yet believed or liked a lie,
Another time has other lives to live.

1939
 

В ДРУГОЕ ВРЕМЯ

Нам, как и всяким прочим беглецам,
Как не умеющим считать цветам бессчетным,
Нам память не нужна, как всем животным, –
Жить ныне и сегодня нам.

Сказать пытаясь «Не Сейчас»,
Забыли многие из нас,
Как вымолвить «Я Есмь», – когда бы
В веках исчезли, были б рады.

По-старомодному склоняясь вместе
Пред нужным флагом в нужном месте,
С трибун, как древние, талдычут речи
О Нашей, Вашей, Общечеловечьей.

Как будто будет время, и желанье
Сумеет превратиться в обладанье,
Как будто легче жить опять,
Чем заблуждения признать.

От горя умереть не мудрено,
И всякий, умирая, одинок, –
Ложь полюбить еще никто не смог, –
В другое время жить другим дано. *

Translated by Ian Probstein
 
 

* * *

AUGUST 1968*

The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master Speech.
About a subjugated plain,
Among the desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips.
 

АВГУСТ 1968*

Все орки славны силой лап,
И род людской пред ними слаб.
Однако, орку все равно
Владеть словами не дано.
Средь окровавленных равнин,
Меж горя, смерти и руин,
Торчит он, кулаком трясет,
И чушь нелепую несет.
 
Translated by Shlomo Krol
 
* Auden’s response to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the brutal suppression of the Prague Spring
 

About the Author:

W.H. Аudеn
W.H. Аudеn
UK/US

W.H. Аudеn (1907 – 1973) was an Anglo-American poet. He was born in Great Britain, and in 1939 moved to the United States and became an American citizen. Aiden is considered one of the greatest poets of the English language.

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W.H. Аudеn. У.Х.Оден
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