From splendid feasts I bid farewell,
From maidens' dance, from sense unbound,
And thither fled where darkness swelled,
Where hate would reign on unrich ground.
Alone I wandered wild and free,
And melted in the ancient gloom;
As cliffs called out and greeted me
And eagles in my nearness loomed.
My savage visions marked each day,
Impressions that I still recall,
As wingéd faces, joyous, fey,
Beheld me from the ancient walls.
And wilderness was home for years,
As I obeyed my lonely dream.
But then my voice repelled my fears,
Words' sound and fury then redeemed.
Anew was I in purple gear,
My locks were oiled in tranquil scent,
And hardly had my pride appeared,
When feasting voices me Tsardom lent!
Among the queens in gleeful sway
I could but choose a single form:
Affection's air shall drift this way
With weaknesses of springtime's norm!
And you my valley rose, my sprite,
Just like a stem your closeness gleamed.
And I grew you to fable's height,
You in the flesh, you in my dream.
But if in fatal moment's course
I heard my trumpet's last commands,
I'd wake and send my answer forth,
And fall from your uneasy hands!