Nikolai Zabolotsky: The Will

When at the years` decline my life will run its course
And, having dimmed the light, I will again disperse
Into the unseen world of foggy transformations,
When millions of newborn generations
Will fill this world with glimmerings of wonder
And will complete the nature’s full design,
My pity ashes may this waters line,
May I be sheltered in the forest yonder.

I shall not die, my friend. In flowers` exhale,
I shall again my earthly self become.
The centuries old oak in stern and morbid calm,
Within its roots my spirit shall enveil.
Inside its spacious leaves be shelter for my mind,
My growing thought will through its branches flower,
And from the forest dark above you hover,
So you akin my consciousness would find.

Above your head, my great-grandson, I’ll pass,
Across the sky, a bird in slow flight,
I’ll flash in summer storms with pale light,
With summer’s rain I’ll fall and glimmer in the grass.
Nothing more grand than being can there be.
The graveyard’s silent gloom is dull and wasting.
I’ve lived my life in full, I saw no resting:
No place to rest on earth, it’s full of life and me.

I wasn’t born when, from the cradle’s fold
My eyes began to look into the world,
On this my earth my thinking first occurred,
When sense of living in a lifeless crystal stirred,
When drops of rain were for the first time streaming,
Into it, in the light rays steaming.

Oh I have not in vain lived underneath the sun,
And it is sweet to be into the light extended,
So that, with me in hand
My far away descendent,
You finish that which I have left undone.


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