Mikhail Lermontov: Farewell, farewell, unwashed Russia
Farewell, farewell, unwashed Russia,
The land of slaves, the land of lords,
And you, blue uniforms of gendarmes,
And you, obedient to them folks.
Perhaps beyond Caucasian mountains
I’ll hide myself from your pashas,
From their eyes that are all-seeing,
From their ever hearing ears.
<1840 or 1841>
translated by Dmitri Smirnov
The poem was written between 1840 and 1841 in connection with his exile to the Caucasus. A literal translation is as follows: “Farewell, unwashed Russia, / land of slaves, land of lords, / and you, blue uniforms, / and you, people, obedient to them. / Perhaps beyond the ridge of Caucasus / I will hide from your pashas, / from their all-seeing eye, / from their all-hearing ears.” The following translation (see below) is an attempt to preserve the rhythm of the original.