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FAIR SPRING (ECHOES OF WAR, OP. 66 NO. 4) (TEXT)

TEXT (English translation of N. Maiashkin poem by Philip Taylor):
A wandering pilgrim once encountered
a fair maiden in the pine forest.
She was sitting all alone
in the forest depths, in sad reflection,
The pilgrim began to question her:
‘Why are you so thoughtful,
why so sad, why so melancholy?
Look about you, look around:
God’s world
is awakening and smiling,
the snow has melted on the hillocks,
turbid streams have gone rushing to the gully,
the black-feathered rooks have returned,
and so have the migratory grey ducks,
the buds have burst on the osiers.
From its icy chains young life
is breaking loose, forcing through
in the full heat of the sun.
So why are you alone, fair maiden,
why are you sad at this feast of joy?
Have the rays of the sun
not warmed your youthful breast through?
Or have the winter blizzards and snowstorms
withered and frozen your maiden’s heart?
Do you not feel
that spring, the fair and clear spring has come?’
And the fair maiden replies:
‘Wandering pilgrim, I can feel, I can see
that fair spring has favoured us
and has brought warmth to God’s world,
that the pine forest has awoken from its icy slumber,
that the feathered guests have returned
from distant warmer climes,
that flowers have begun to blossom in the glades.
But it would be better that blizzards and snowstorms
were raging over the lifeless earth!’
‘What do you mean, fair maiden?’
said the wandering pilgrim:
‘Why do you grieve about spring,
why do you grieve and complain?’
And the fair maiden replies:
‘Do you not know, do you not realize
wandering pilgrim,
that the bloodthirsty Baba-Yaga,
and the hoarder Kashchey the Immortal
have awoken the monstrous idol
with this vernal warmth.
For five hundred years it has slept
the deep slumber of the dead
fattened up on the blood of people,
lulled by the groans of wives and orphans.
But from its sleep of five hundred years
the monstrous idol has awoken,
it carouses and brags about gobbling up
the rest of the Christian World!
It was against him, the gardon Gorinich,
and his satanic power,
that our father sent
his seven sons, my brothers,
and that kind-hearted lad
who was my beloved.
That is why, wandering pilgrim, the vernal abundance
does not warm, does not bring joy to my poor breast.
I feat that our own scarlet blood
Will water damp Mother Earth
Instead of the sparkling dew of spring.’