I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. — Og Mandino

Vasily Andreyevich Zhukovsky (February 9, 1783 – April 24,1852) was the foremost Russian poet of the 1810s and a leading figure in Russian literature in the first half of the 19th century.

Zhukovsky is credited with introducing the Romantic Movement into Russia. The main body of his literary output consists of free translations covering an impressively wide range of poets, from ancients like Ferdowsi and Homer to his contemporaries Goethe, Schiller, Byron, and others. Many of his translations have become classics of Russian literature, better-written and more enduring in Russian than in their original languages.

TO A FAMILIAR GENIUS FLYING BY
Vasily Zhukovsky

Reveal yourself, anonymous enchanter!
What heaven hastens you to me?
Why draw me to that promised land again
That I gave up so long ago?

Was it not you who in my youth
Enchanted me with such sweet dreams,
Did you not whisper, long ago,
Dear hopes of a guests ethereal?

Was it not you through whom all lived
In golden days, in happy lands
Of fragrant meadows, waters bright,
Where days were merry ?neath clear skies?

Was it not you who breathed into my vernal breast
Some melancholy mysteries
Tormenting it with keen desire
Exciting it to anxious joy?

Was it not you who bore my soul aloft
Upon the inspiration of your sacred verse,
Who flamed before me like a holy vision,
Initiating me into life’s beauty?

In hours lost, hours of secret grief,
Did you not always murmur to my heart,
With happy comfort soothe it
And nurture it with quiet hope?

Did not my soul forever heed you
In all the purest moments of my life
When’ere it glimpsed fate’s sacred essence
With only God to witness it?

What news bring you, O, my enchantress?
Or will you once more call in dreams
Awaken futile thoughts of old,
Whisper of joy and then fall silent?

O spirit, bide with me awhile;
O, faithful friend, haste not away;
Stay, please become my earthly life,
O, Guardian angel of my soul.

=========

THE MYSTERIOUS VISITOR
Vasily Zhukovsky

Spirit, lovely guest, who are you?
Whence have you flown down to us?
Taciturn and without a sound
Why have you abandoned us?
Where are you? Where is your dwelling?
What are you, where did you go?
Why did you appear,
Heavenly, upon the Earth?

Mayhap you are youthful Hope,
Who arrives from time to time
Cloaked in magic
From a land unknown?
Merciless as Hope,
Sweetest joy you show us
For a moment, then
Take it back and fly away.

Was it Love that you enacted
For us all in mystery? . . .
Days of love, when one beloved
Rendered this world beautiful
Ah! then, sighted through the veil
Earth did seem unearthly…
Now the veil has lifted; Love is gone;
Life is empty, joy – a dream.

Was it Thought, enchanting
You embodied for us here?
Far removed from every worry,
With a dreamy finger pointing
To her lips, she sallies forth
Just like you, from time to time,
Ushers us without a sound
Back to bygone days.

Or within you dwells the sacred spirit
Of Dame Poetry? . . .
Just like you, she came from Heaven
Veiling us twofold:
Using azure for the skies,
And clear white for earth;
What lies near is lovely through her;
All that’s distant – known.

Or perhaps ’twas premonition
That descended in your guise
And to us with clarity described
All that’s sacred and divine?
Thus it often happens in this life:
Something brilliant flies to meet us,
Raises up the veil
And then beckons us beyond.

==========

TO A FAMILIAR GENIUS FLYING BY
Vasily Zhukovsky

Reveal yourself, anonymous enchanter!
What heaven hastens you to me?
Why draw me to that promised land again
That I gave up so long ago?

Was it not you who in my youth
Enchanted me with such sweet dreams,
Did you not whisper, long ago,
Dear hopes of a guests ethereal?

Was it not you through whom all lived
In golden days, in happy lands
Of fragrant meadows, waters bright,
Where days were merry ?neath clear skies?

Was it not you who breathed into my vernal breast
Some melancholy mysteries
Tormenting it with keen desire
Exciting it to anxious joy?

Was it not you who bore my soul aloft
Upon the inspiration of your sacred verse,
Who flamed before me like a holy vision,
Initiating me into life’s beauty?

In hours lost, hours of secret grief,
Did you not always murmur to my heart,
With happy comfort soothe it
And nurture it with quiet hope?

Did not my soul forever heed you
In all the purest moments of my life
When’ere it glimpsed fate’s sacred essence
With only God to witness it?

What news bring you, O, my enchantress?
Or will you once more call in dreams
Awaken futile thoughts of old,
Whisper of joy and then fall silent?

O spirit, bide with me awhile;
O, faithful friend, haste not away;
Stay, please become my earthly life,
O, Guardian angel of my soul.