Tag Archives: Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Lermontov, “Vykhozhu odin ya na dorogu” (Alone I set out on the road)


Михаил Лермонтов

Выхожу один я на дорогу


Выхожу один я на дорогу;

Сквозь туман кремнистый путь блестит;

Ночь тиха. Пустыня внемлет богу,

И звезда с звездою говорит.

В небесах торжественно и чудно!

Спит земля в сиянье голубом…

Что же мне так больно и так трудно?

Жду ль чего? жалею ли о чём?

Уж не жду от жизни ничего я,

И не жаль мне прошлого ничуть;

Я ищу свободы и покоя!

Я б хотел забыться и заснуть!

Но не тем холодным сном могилы…

Я б желал навеки так заснуть,

Чтоб в груди дремали жизни силы,

Чтоб дыша вздымалась тихо грудь;

Чтоб всю ночь, весь день мой слух лелея,

Про любовь мне сладкий голос пел,

Надо мной чтоб вечно зеленея

Тёмный дуб склонялся и шумел.


Mikhail Lermontov

Alone I set out on the road


Alone I set out on the road;

The flinty path is sparkling in the mist;

The night is still. The desert harks to God,

And star with star converses.

The vault is overwhelmed with solemn wonder

The earth in cobalt aura sleeps. . .

Why do I feel so pained and troubled?

What do I harbor: hope, regrets?

I see no hope in years to come,

Have no regrets for things gone by.

All that I seek is peace and freedom!

To lose myself and sleep!

But not the frozen slumber of the grave…

I’d like eternal sleep to leave

My life force dozing in my breast

Gently with my breath to rise and fall;

By night and day, my hearing would be soothed

By voices sweet, singing to me of love.

And over me, forever green,

A dark oak tree would bend and rustle.




This poem is recited from memory by Mikhail Gorbachev at the conclusion of Werner Herzog’s stupendous film Meeting Gorbachev.

– posted by Roger W. Smith

   May 2022

addendum, June 1, 2022

Elisabeth van der Meer, host of the site A Russian Affair, has sent me a translation of Lermontov’s poem (which I regard as a better than the translation I posted) by Michael Longley:


I come out alone onto the boreen,
A flinty path glimmering through mist,
Stilly night, wilderness listening to God,
The constellations in conversation,

Astonishing things up there in the sky,
The earth dozing in pale-blue radiance.
Why, then, am I so downhearted? What
Am I waiting for? What do I regret?

I’ve stopped expecting anything from life,
I don’t feel nostalgic about the past.
I long for freedom and tranquility,
I long for forgetfulness and sleep,

But not the grave’s spine-chilling coma.
I would prefer to fall asleep for ever
With the life force snoozing in my breast
As it rises and falls imperceptibly,

Night and day a kind voice soothing my ears
With affectionate lullabies about love
And over me, green for eternity,
A shadowy oak leaning and rustling.

— translated by Michael Longley

See Elisabeth van der Meer’s post

The most Scottish of the Russian writers – Mikhail Lermontov

The most Scottish of the Russian writers – Mikhail Lermontov