I Must Not Tell How Dear You Are To Me (Vita Sackville-West)

Я не должна сказать, как дорог ты.
Это загадка даже для меня,
Кто должен лучше знать. И тайны той
Открыть я не посмею глубины.

Когда был май, любила я тебя;
Казалось мне, мы вечность обрели.
Я там была в миг дивной чистоты,
В объятиях твоих, совсем дитя.

Ты был любим и летнею порой,
А дерзкой юности прекрасные мечты
Опасны были и полуясны, – как поцелуй,
Что царь делил с печальною луной.

Теперь же осень листья золотит,
И вот смотри, как, тридцать лет спустя,
Богат, надежен, крепок наш амбар,
Что верно урожай любви хранит!

Russian translation © Julia Shuvalova 2008

I must not tell how dear you are to me.
It is unknown, a secret from myself
Who should know best. I would not if I could
Expose the meaning of such mystery.

I loved you then, when love was Spring, and May,
Eternity is here and now, I thought;
The pure and perfect moment briefly caught
As in your arms, but still a child, I lay.

Loved you when summer deepened into June
And those fair, wild, ideal dreams of youth
Were true yet dangerous and half unreal
As when Endymion kissed the mateless moon.

But now when autumn yellows all the leaves
And thirty seasons mellow our long love,
How rooted, how secure, how strong, how rich,
How full the barn that holds our gardened sheaves!

Quoted from Portrait of a Marriage by Nigel Nicolson.


One thought on “I Must Not Tell How Dear You Are To Me (Vita Sackville-West)”

  1. Julia,

    I very much enjoyed visiting your website. Thank you – especially for having Vita Sackville-West's poem and its Russian translation.



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