A.S. Pushkin "Eugene Onegin" in English .. . " " -

English Versions of Pushkins Eugene Onegin

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Including many versions of Chapter One, Stanza I

For similar information about The Bronze Horseman [ ] click here

This information is available as a Word document.

Some information about some partial translations (not containing any chapter in its entirety) can be found at partial.htm.

Bonver’s version omits Chapter 8, Stanzas 32–51 inclusive. Cahill translates Chapter 1 only. Unlike all others, Clarke’s translation is in prose. Corré translates Chapters 1 and 2. I have not been able to locate the translation by Harding. Litoshick translates Chapters 1 to 3. Liberson is a paraphrase rather than a translation. Lowenfeld is, strictly speaking, a partial translation as no complete chapter is translated, but it includes a substantial proportion of the whole. Phillipps-Wolley translates Chapter 1 alone (but is of interest because of its early date). Stone is another paraphrase. I have not been able to locate the translation by Turner (the page on partial translations contains some extracts translated elsewhere by Turner). Some biographical information about the translators is available.

    Pushkin: A. S. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, with an introduction and bibliography by A.D.P. Briggs and a vocabulary compiled by Frances F. Sobotka. London: Bristol Classical Press 1993. ISBN 1 85399 396 4. An earlier version of this appeared as A. S. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, with Preface by Ronald Hingley & Vocabulary compiled by Frances F. Sobotka, with Bibliography by A.D.P. Briggs. London: Bristol Classical Press 1991. ISBN 1 85399 247 X. The Russian text is on the web at http://www.rvb.ru/pushkin/01text/04onegin/01onegin/0836.htm?start=0\&length=all
  1. Arndt (1963): Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A novel in verse. The Bollingen prize translation in the Onegin Stanza by Walter Arndt [1916–2011]. Critical Essays by Roman Jakobson, D.J. Richards, J. Thomas Shaw and Sona Stephan Hoisington. New York, NY: Dutton 1963. SBN 0-525-47132-4, LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 63024729.
  2. Arndt (1992): Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A novel in verse (Second Edition, Revised). The Bollingen prize translation in the Onegin Stanza extensively revised by Walter Arndt [1916–2011]. Critical Essays by Roman Jakobson, D.J. Richards, J. Thomas Shaw and Sona Stephan Hoisington. Ann Arbor, MI: Ardis 1992. ISBN 0 87501 106 3.
  3. Beck: Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin. Translated with an introduction and notes by Tom Beck [1941-]. Sawtry, Cambs: Dedalus 2004. ISBN 1 903517 28 1.
  4. Bonver: Evgeny Onegin (A Novel in Verses). 2001–2003; last correction 2004. Translated by Yevgeny Bonver [ ]. On the web at http://www.poetryloverspage.com/yevgeny/pushkin/evgeny_onegin.html
  5. Cahill: Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse by Alexander Pushkin. A Prose Version of Chapter One by Christopher Cahill based on the Literal Translation of Vladimir Nabokov. New York: The Stinehour Press, 1999. Published in an edition of only 31 copies.
  6. Cahill (rev): Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse by Alexander Pushkin. A Prose Version of Chapter One by Christopher Cahill based on the Literal Translation of Vladimir Nabokov. This is an intermediate version which is being revised with a view to publication. 1999 on.
  7. Clarke (2005): Eugene Onégin & Four Tales from Russia’s southern frontier: A prisoner in the Caucusus, The fountain of Bahchisaráy, Gypsies, Poltáva by Alexander Pushkin, Translated into English prose with an Introduction and Commentary by Roger Clarke [1939-]. Ware, Herts: Wordsworth 2005. ISBN 1 84022 136 4. [Translation of Eugene Onegin originally in The Complete Works of Alexander Pushkin, Volume 4, Downham Market, Norfolk: Milner 1999. ISBN 0 90768102 6.]
  8. Clarke (2011): Eugene Onegin: A novel in verse by Alexander Pushkin. Translated and with a commentary by Roger Clarke [1939-] (includes the Russian text on facing pages). Richmond: Oneworld Classics 2011. ISBN 978-1-84749-160-2.
  9. Clough: Pushkins Eugene Onegin. A new version with the text by S.D.P. Clough. Malvern Wells or Oxford: S.D.P. Clough [1988]. ISBN 0947998063.
  10. Corré: Eugene Onegin by A. Pushkin. Translation of Cantos 1 and 2 by Alan D[avid]. Corré. 1999. On the web at https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/corre/www/pushkin/
  11. Deutsch (1936): Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse [translated by Babette Deutsch, 1895–1982] in The Poems, Prose and Plays of Alexander Pushkin. Selected and Edited, with an Introduction by Avraham Yarmolinsky. New York: Random House 1936 and 1943. British Library Shelfmark 2338.e.6. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 37000079.
  12. Deutsch (1943): Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse, by Alexander Puskin; a new translation by Babette Deutsch [1895–1982]; edited, with a special introduction, by Avrahm Yarmolinsky; illustrated with lithographs by Fritz Eichenberg, New York: Heritage Press 1943. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 43012373.
  13. Deutsch (1964): Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A novel in verse. Translated by Babette Deutsch [1895–1982]. London, etc.: Penguin 1964. ISBN 0 14044151 4.
  14. Elton: Alexander Pushkin, Evgeny Onegin by A.S. Pushkin; translated by Oliver Elton [1861–1945] and illustrated by M.V. Dobujinsky; with a foreword by Desmond MacCarthy. London: The Pushkin Press, 1937, reprinted 1943. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 38011103.
  15. Elton/Briggs: Alexander Pushkin, Yevgeny Onegin. Edited with revised translation by A[nthony]. D[avid]. P[each]. Briggs based on a translation by Oliver Elton [1861–1945]. Illustrated by M. V. Dobujinsky. London: J. M. Dent and Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle 1995. ISBN 0 460 87595 7.
  16. Emmet & Makourenkova: A.S. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin. Translated by Olivia Emmet, Svetlana Makourenkova [ ]. : [Moscow: Reka Vremen] 2009. ISBN 978-5-85319-124-2.
  17. Falen: Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse. Translated and with an introduction by James E. Falen [1935-]. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press 1995. ISBN 0 19 282491 0. Audio version read by Stephen Fry available on the web at http://fryreadsonegin.com/
  18. Harding: Eugene Onegin. Translated by R.C.E. Harding. Wellington, 1967. Typewritten copy. Mentioned in the bibliography by Leighton referred to below, but nothing is known about it apart from this mention.
  19. Hobson .. : . / Evgenii Onegin: A novel in verse by Alexandr Pushkin. Translated by Mary Hobson [1926– ]. : 2011 [Moscow: Russkaya shkola (Russian school) 2011]. ISBN 978-5-91696-012-9. Available as a Naxos Audiobook. Not in British Library or Library of Congress. See http://www.rusterra.com/2009/02/12/meri-hobson/ and http://www.newmillennium.ru/
  20. Hofstadter Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. A Novel Versification by Douglas Hofstadter [1945– ]. New York, NY: Basic Books 1999. ISBN 0 465 02093 3.
  21. Hoyt: Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A novel in verse. In the original Russian and in English Translation by Henry M. Hoyt [1914-2012]. Indianapolis IN: Dog Ear Publishing 2008. ISBN 978 159858 340 3.
  22. Johnston (1977): Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin. Translated by [Sir] Charles [Hepburn-]Johnston [1912–1986]. London: Scolar Press 1977. British Library Shelfmark X.989/52100. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 79309650. This version with minor revisions is on the web at http://lib.ru/LITRA/PUSHKIN/ENGLISH/onegin_j.txt
  23. Johnston (2003): Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin. Translated by [Sir] Charles [Hepburn-]Johnston [1912–1986] (revised edition with a preface by John Bayley). London: Penguin 2003, ISBN 978-0140448030.
  24. Kayden: Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse. Translated from the Russian by Eugene M[ark]. Kayden [1886–1977]. Yellow Springs, OH: The Antioch Press 1964. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 62021072
  25. Kline: Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin. Translated by A. S. Kline 2009. On the web at http://www.poetryintranslation.com/klineaspushkin.htm
  26. Kozlov (1994): Pushkin A.S. Eugene Onegin: Novel in verse. Translated by Kozlov S[ergej]. N[ikolaevich]. [ ] [, ; Professor, Moscow State Social University]. : - [Moscow: Soyuz] 1994. ISBN 5-7139-0031-2. Not in British Library or Library of Congress.
  27. Kozlov (1998): Pushkin A.S. Eugenij Onegin: novel in verse. Translated by S[ergej]. N[ikolaevich]. Kozlov [ ] [, ; Professor, Moscow State Social University]. : “” [Moscow: Rif “Roj”] 1998. ISBN 5-89956-108-4. Rare in the West; British Library Shelfmark YA.2003.a.40485.
  28. Ledger: Pushkins Yevgeny Onegin. A dual language version. English translation by G[erard]. R. Ledger. Oxford: Oxquarry Books 2001. ISBN 0 9540272 0 5. On the web at http://www.pushkins-poems.com/
  29. Liberson (1975): Eugene Onegin revisited: Love poetry of Alexander Pushkin and Charles Baudelaire translated by Wladimir T. Liberson [1904–1994]. New York, NY: Sage 1975. ISBN 0-89360-004-0.
  30. Liberson (1987): Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin revisited by Wladimir T. Liberson [1904–1994], Abridged free translation, Second edition. Norfolk, VA: W. T. Liberson 1987. No ISBN; not in British Library or Library of Congress.
  31. Litoshick: A.S.Pushkin. Eugeny Onegin (1–3 chapter). English translation Dennis Litoshick. Last modified 2001. On the web at http://lib.mediaring.ru/LITRA/PUSHKIN/ENGLISH/litoshik.txt
  32. Lowenfeld From Julian Henry Lowenfeld, My Talisman, The poetry and life of Alexander Pushkin: Translated with Commentary, and a Biography of Pushkin, New York, NY: Green Lamp Press 2010. Chapter One, I-XI, XXIX, XXX-XXXIV, XLVI-L, LV-LVIII, Chapter Two, VII-XXI, XXIII, XXV-XXXI, Chapter Three, XV-XXI, XXV-XXVI, XXXI, Tatiana’s Letter, Chapter Four, VII-XXII, Chapter Five, XXV, XXVIII-XXXII, XXXIV, XLI, XLIV-XLV, Chapter Six, XIX-XL, Chapter Seven, XXXIII-XXXVIII, LI-LV.2, Chapter Eight, X-XIV, XVII-XIX, XXVII-XXXII, Onegin's Letter, XXXIII-LI.
  33. Mitchell: Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse Translated with an introduction and notes by Stanley Mitchell [1932–2011]. London, etc.: Penguin Books 2008. ISBN 978 0 140 44810 8.
  34. Nabokov (1964): Eugene Onegin. A novel in verse by Aleksandr Pushkin. Translated from the Russian with a Commentary by Vladimir [Vladimirovich] Nabokov [ ] [1899–1977]. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1964. British Library Shelfmark X.908/4018. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 63010708
  35. Nabokov (1975): Eugene Onegin. A novel in verse by Aleksandr Pushkin. Translated from the Russian with a Commentary by Vladimir [Vladmirovich] Nabokov [ ] [1899–1977] (revised edition). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1975. ISBN 0 691 01905 3.
  36. Phillipps-Wolley: “A Russian Rake”. Being a paraphrase of the first book of Pushkins “Eugene Onegin,” in something like the metre of the original. 1883. This rough translation [by Clive Phillipps-Wolley, 1853–1918] first appeared in the Proceedings of the Anglo-Russian Literary Society and was reprinted in Songs from a Young Mans Land, Toronto: Thomas Allen 1917. LCCN (Library of Congess Control Number): 39006985. On the web at
    http://www.archive.org/stream/songsfromyoungma00philuoft/songsfromyoungma00philuoft_djvu.txt
  37. Radin & Patrick: Eugene Onegin. Translated from the Russian of Alexander Pushkin by Dorothea Prall Radin [1889–1948] and George Z[inovei]. Patrick [1886–1946]. Berkeley, CF: University of California Press 1937. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 37027746. British Library Shelfmark 20030.bb.36.
  38. Sharer: Michael Sharer [Michael Shuwarger] [1913– ], A Rendition of Alexander Pushkins “Eugene Onegin”: A Novel in Verse. Los Angeles: Beamish Publishers 1996. LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number): 96222888.
  39. Simmons: Evgenie Onegin: A Romance in Verses. Done into English verse by Bayard Simmons. Typewritten (134 pp.) [London] 1950. British Library Shelfmark Cup.504.gg.5.
  40. Spalding: Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onéguine: A romance of Russian life. Translated from the Russian by Lieut.-Col. [Henry] Spalding, London: Macmillan and Co. 1881. British Library Shelfmark 11585.i.28. [Since this is now rare, it may be worth knowing that there there are two modern reprints: one by Gloucester: Dodo Press, 2009, ISBN 1409906701, and the other, entitled Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse (and with no indication of the original date of publication of the translation) by Seven Treasures Publications, 2008, ISBN 9781440496875.] On the web at http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/23997 or at http://rt.com/Russia_Now/Russian_literature/Alexander_Pushkin_1799-1837.html
  41. Stone: Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse, by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (translated by Marilyn K. Stone) (Unpublished manuscript, 2005). Referred to on the web at http://www.cogsci.indiana.edu/EugeneOnegin.html
  42. Thomas: Onegin, by Alexander Pushkin, translated by D[onald] M[ichael] Thomas [1935-], London: Francis Boutle Publishers 2011 ISBN 978 1903427 64 4. Extract (Chapter 8, XXXIX-XLVII) in Modern Poetry in Translation: Polyphony Series 3 No. 14 (2011) and at http://www.mptmagazine.com/poem/extract-from-yevgeni-onegin-160
  43. Turner: Eugene Onyégin by A. S. Poushkin, translated by C[harles]. E[dward]. Turner [1831–1903]. St. Petersburg: K. L. Ricker. n.d. Not in the British Library or in the Library of Congress. Mentioned in A List of Works by and about Pushkin. Compiled by the Slavonic Division. Edited, with an Introduction by Avrahm Yarmolinsky, New York: The New York Public Library 1937. The Yarmolinsky bibliography quotes the authority of W. S. Sonnenschein, The best books, 3rd edn, part 5, p. 2831. Also referred to in L Leighton, ‘A new Onegin’, The Slavic and East European Journal 41 (4) (1997), 661–666; Leighton, however, says that “no one seems to have seen” this translation. (The page on partial translations contains some extracts translated elsewhere by Turner.)

Bibliography

A List of Works by and about Pushkin. Compiled by the Slavonic Division. Edited, with an Introduction by Avrahm Yarmolinsky, New York: The New York Public Library 1937. On the web at http://feb-web.ru/feb/pushkin/biblio/pie/pie-001-.htm; Microsoft Word version available here.

The section on translations of Eugene Onegin in A Bibliography of Alexander Pushkin in English: Studies and Translations, compiled by Lauren G. Leighton. Lewiston, NY and Lampeter : Edwin Mellen Press c. 1999, [ISBN 978-0773481701] pp. 258–264, can be seen here.

Encyclopedia of Literary Translation Into English, Volume 2: M–Z, edited by O. Classe, Routledge 2000. The entry on Pushkin, taken from http://www.books.google.co.uk, is available here in Word.

Microsoft Word Versions of the Original and Some Translations

Except in the cases of Cahill, Kozlov (1994) and Simmons these have been adapted from web sites quoted above.

Chronological Order

  1. Spalding 1881
  2. Phillipps-Wolley 1883
  3. Turner n.d.
  4. Deutsch 1936
  5. Elton 1937
  6. Radin & Patrick 1937
  7. Deutsch (revised) 1943
  8. Simmons 1950
  9. Arndt 1963
  10. Deutsch (re-revised) 1964
  11. Kayden 1964
  12. Nabokov 1964
  13. Harding 1967
  14. Liberson 1975
  15. Nabokov (revised) 1975
  16. Johnston 1977
  17. Liberson (revised) 1987
  18. Clough 1988
  19. Arndt (revised) 1992
  20. Kozlov 1994
  21. Elton/Briggs 1995
  22. Falen 1995
  23. Sharer 1996
  24. Kozlov (revised) 1998
  25. Cahill 1999
  26. Cahill (rev) 1999 on (in progress)
  27. Clarke 1999
  28. Corré 1999
  29. Hofstadter 1999
  30. Ledger 2001
  31. Litoshick 2001
  32. Johnston (revised) 2003
  33. Beck 2004
  34. Bonver 2004, reprinted 2005
  35. Stone 2005
  36. Hoyt 2008
  37. Mitchell 2008
  38. Kline 2009
  39. Emmet & Makourenkova 2009
  40. Lowenfeld 2010
  41. Thomas 2011
  42. Clarke (revised) 2011
  43. Hobson 2011

The Overall Structure of the Novel

Eugene Onegin consists of eight chapters of roughly equal length together with fragments of Onegins Journey and various authorial notes. (There are also some fragments of a projected “Chapter Ten”.) It consists of 5541 lines, 5523 of which are iambic (and the other 18, in “The Song of the Girls” are in trochaic trimeter with long terminals). Most of it is written in the Onegin stanza.

The Onegin Stanza

The Onegin stanza consists of rhymed iambic tetrameters with the following rhyme scheme, where capital letters indicate double (feminine) rhymes:
A     b     A     b     C     C     d     d     E     f     f     E     g     g
The lines with double rhymes have an extra unstressed syllable. Some of the translations, namely those by Arndt, Beck, Deutsch, Elton, Falen, Hofstadter, Johnston, Mitchell and Sharer, use the Onegin stanza. It is used in English by Vikram Seth in his 1986 novel The Golden Gate and by Diana Lewis Burgin in Richard Burgin: A Life in Verse. It is also used by Jon Stallworthy in ‘The Nutcracker’, London Review of Books 9 (16) (1987), by John Fuller in The Illusionists, London: Secker and Warburg 1980 and by Matt Rubinstein in ‘Equinox’ (originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald). H R F Keating in his detective story Jack the Lady Killer writes in an approximation to the Onegin stanza. A shorter example is ‘On Translating Eugene Onegin’, Vladimir Nabokov, The New Yorker (1955 January 8). Samples from all of these and a few others by Ben Borek, Andy Croft and W N Herbert can be found in the Word file samples.doc.

Original and Translations of Chapter One, Stanza I

    Pushkin

    ,
    ,

    .
    ;
    , ,
    ,
    !

    ,
    ,
    ,
    :
    !

  1. Arndt (1963)

    “Now that he is in grave condition,
    My uncle, decorous old prune,
    Has earned himself my recognition;
    What could have been more opportune?
    May his idea inspire others;
    But what a bore, I ask you, brothers,
    To tend a patient night and day
    And venture not a step away:
    Is there hypocrisy more glaring
    Than to amuse one all but dead,
    Shake up the pillow for his head,
    Dose him with melancholy bearing,
    And think behind a stifled cough:
    ‘When will the Devil haul you off?’”

  2. Arndt (1992)

    “Now that he is in grave condition,
    My uncle, decorous old dunce,
    Has won respectful recognition;
    And done the perfect thing for once.
    His action be a guide to others;
    But what a bore, I ask you, brothers,
    To tend a patient night and day
    And venture not a step away:
    Is there hypocrisy more glaring
    Than to amuse one all but dead,
    Shake up the pillow for his head,
    Dose him with melancholy bearing,
    And think behind a public sigh:
    ‘Deuce take you, step on it and die!’”

  3. Beck

    “My uncle’s acted very wisely,
    to seek his bed when he’s so sick;
    his family’s reacted nicely
    and he’s most happy with his trick.
    He’s set the world a good example,
    which others really ought to sample,
    but it’s a bore, when night and day
    the sick man forces you to stay!
    To keep him sweet, as if he’s dying,
    give him his daily medicine
    and make quite sure that it goes in,
    adjust the pillows while one’s sighing:
    ‘Dont even think of getting well,
    the devil take you, go to hell!’”

  4. Bonver

    “My uncle, of the best traditions,
    When being almost deceased,
    Forced men to treat him with distinction,
    Which was the best of his ideas.
    Yes, his example – to us for learning,
    But, Heavens, how it is boring
    To sit with him all day and night,
    Not having right to step aside!
    What a deplorable deception
    To entertain the man, half-dead,
    To fix a pillow in his bed,
    To give him drugs with sad attention,
    To sigh and think in deeps of heart:
    When will the deuce take you apart?”

  5. Cahill

    “My uncle is a man of honest principles; when he became ill, he forced us to respect him for the first time, as if wed never been able to find a reason to before. Hes an example to others; but, good God, what a bore to sit by the sick day and night, not wandering a step away! How deceitful to amuse a half-dead man, fluff his pillows for him, give him his medicine, sigh – all the while thinking, When will the devil take you?”
  6. Cahill (rev)

    “My uncle’s a man of honest principles: when he got ill, he forced us to respect him for the first time — his best trick ever. He’s an example to others; but, good God, what a bore to sit by a sick man day and night, never wandering a step away! How deceitful to amuse a half-dead man, fluff his pillows, give him his medicine, and sigh — all the while thinking, ‘When will the devil take you?’”
  7. Clarke (2005)

    ‘My uncle – man of the highest principles . . . since he fell ill in earnest, he’s won everyones respect – couldn’t have thought of a better way. His example’s a lesson to us all . . .

    ‘But, God! – what a bore to sit by an invalid day and night, never moving one step away! What base hypocrisy to keep amused someone half-dead, straighten his pillows, solemnly bring him his medicine, sigh and sigh – and be thinking to oneself “Will the Devil never take you?”!’

  8. Clarke (2011)

    “Man of highest principles, my uncle...
    When he fell ill in earnest,
    he won respect — he couldn’t
    have thought of a better way.
    His example’s a lesson to others...
    But, God! — what a bore
    to sit with an invalid day and night,
    never moving one step away!
    What base hypocrisy
    to try to amuse a man half-dead,
    straighten his pillows,
    solemnly administer medicine,
    keep sighing — and think to oneself,
    ‘Will the Devil never take you?’!”

  9. Clough

    —“When Uncle took to his bed
    it was clearly going to be no joking matter
    (he’s a gentleman of the most punctilious principles).
    O yes, hes made me respect him —
    couldnt have thought of a better way —
    sets an example to the rest of us. . .
    but my God! What a bore it all is!
    Sitting with a sick man day and night,
    not being able to step outside his room
    (the crafty bastard’s arranged it all),
    trying to amuse a near corpse, shaking up its pillows every few minutes,
    bringing it medicine with a suitably long face —
    but inwardly sighing, privately thinking
    ‘When is the Devil coming to collect you?’—”

  10. Corré

    “My uncle, long a prince among
    The upright, got so very ill.
    But honors of the highest rung
    He asked for, and he got his fill.
    His model men came to adore.
    But, oh my goodness! what a bore
    To sit with uncle night and day,
    And never from his bedside stray!
    What an awful, low-down scene
    His half-dead person to amuse,
    Arrange his pillows, and to choose
    Lugubriously his medicine,
    While sighing in sad undertones:
    ‘When will old Nick consume your bones?’”

  11. Deutsch (1936)

    “My uncle’s shown his good intentions
    By falling desperately ill;
    His worth is proved; of all intentions
    Where will you find one better still?
    He’s an example, I’m averring;
    But, God, what boredom—there, unstirring,
    By day, by night, thus to be bid
    To sit beside an invalid!
    Low cunning must assist devotion
    To one who is but half-alive:
    You puff his pillow and contrive
    Amusement while you mix his potion;
    You sigh, and think with furrowed brow—
    ‘Why cant the devil take you now?’”

  12. Deutsch (1943)

    “My uncle always was respected;
    But his grave illness, I confess,
    Is more than I could have expected:
    A stroke of genius, nothing less.
    He offers all a grand example;
    But, God, such boredom who would sample?—
    Daylong, nightlong, thus to be bid
    To sit beside an invalid!
    Low cunning must assist devotion
    To one who is but half-alive:
    You smooth his pillow and contrive
    Amusement while you mix his potion;
    You sigh, and think with furrowed brow—
    ‘Why can’t the devil take you now?’”

  13. Deutsch (1964)

    ‘My uncle always was respected,
    But his grave illness, I confess,
    Is more than could have been expected:
    A stroke of genius, nothing less!
    He offers all a fine example.
    But, God, such boredom who would sample
    As day and night to have to sit
    Beside a sick-bed — think of it!
    Low cunning must assist devotion
    To one who is but half-alive;
    You puff his pillow and contrive
    Amusement while you mix his potion;
    You sigh and think with furrowed brow:
    “Why cant the devil take you now?”’

  14. Elton

    ‘When Uncle, in good earnest, sickened
    (His principles were always high),
    My own respect for him was quickened;
    This was his happiest thought,’ said I.
    He was a pattern edifying:
    – Yet, heavens! how boring, and how trying.
    To tend a patient night and day
    And never move a step away!
    And then – how low the craft and gross is! –
    I must amuse a man half-dead,
    Arrange the pillows for his head,
    And bring, with a long face, the doses
    And sigh, and wonder inwardly,
    ‘When will the Devil come for thee?’

  15. Elton/Briggs is unchanged

  16. Emmet & Makourenkova

    “My Uncle based life’s regulation
    “On high ideals; when he fell ill,
    “His bearing forced our admiration,
    “One could not dream of better still,
    “A model posed to tutor others;
    “But God Almighty, what a bother,
    “A bedside watch by night and day,
    “Without a chance to step away!
    “How filled with shame and gross deception
    “To entertain the living dead,
    “To smooth the pillows at his head,
    “While sadly bringing pill and potion,
    “To sigh, and think with hidden woe:
    “When will the devil come for you!”

  17. Falen

    ‘My uncle, man of firm convictions . . .
    By falling gravely ill, he’s won
    A due respect for his afflictions—
    The only clever thing he’s done.
    May his example profit others;
    But God, what deadly boredom, brothers,
    To tend a sick man night and day,
    Not daring once to steal away!
    And, oh, how base to pamper grossly
    And entertain the nearly dead,
    To fluff the pillows for his head,
    And pass him medicines morosely—
    While thinking under every sigh:
    The devil take you, Uncle. Die!’

  18. Harding

    I have not been able to locate the translation by Harding.

  19. Hobson

    My uncle, honest fellow, seeing
    That he was now a dying man,
    Required my last respects, this being
    His best, indeed, his only, plan.
    The plan may be worth imitating;
    The boredom is excruciating.
    Sit by a sick-bed night and day
    And never move a step away.
    With what low cunning one tries madly
    To amuse a man who’s half alive,
    Adjust his pillows, and contrive
    To bring his medicine to him sadly,
    Then sigh while proffering the spoon,
    ‘Let’s hope the devil takes you soon.’

  20. Hofstadter

    “My uncle, matchless moral model,
    When deathly ill, learned how to make
    His friends respect him, bow and coddle —
    Of all his ploys, that takes the cake.
    To others, this might teach a lesson;
    But Lord above, I’d feel such stress in
    Having to sit there night and day,
    Daring not once to step away.
    Plus, I’d say, it’s hypocritical
    To keep the half-dead’s spirit bright,
    To plump his pillows till they’re right,
    Fetch his pills with tears veridical —
    Yet in secret to wish and sigh,
    ‘Hurry, dear Uncle, up and die!’”

  21. Hoyt

    “My uncle’s ruled by utmost honor:
    When taken seriously ill,
    He got himself to be respected,
    And nothing better could devise.
    His case for others is a lesson,
    But God, how boring to be sitting
    With a sick person day and night,
    Not moving even one step off.
    What despicable calculation
    To keep a half-dead man amused,
    Glumly his medicine to serve him,
    To set his pillows straight for him,
    To heave a sigh and to reflect,
    When will the Devil take you off?”

  22. Johnston (1977)

    ‘My uncle – high ideals inspire him;
    but when past joking he fell sick,
    he really forced one to admire him –
    and never played a shrewder trick.
    Let others learn from his example!
    But God, how deadly dull to sample
    sickroom attendance night and day
    and never stir a foot away!
    And the sly baseness, fit to throttle,
    of entertaining the half-dead:
    one smoothes the pillows down in bed,
    and glumly serves the medicine bottle,
    and sighs, and asks oneself all through:
    “When will the devil come for you?”’

  23. Johnston (2003) is unchanged

  24. Kayden

    “My uncle was the soul of honor
    And, when at last he took to bed,
    He had the sense to make his kin
    Respect his smallest wish, in dread
    Before his disapproving gaze.
    But Lord above! what fearful boredom
    To tend the sick all day and night,
    And never move for days and days!
    What pitiful dissimulation
    A dying man to entertain,—
    Arrange the pillows for his head,
    Prepare his medicine, then feign
    A sigh of grief and wonder why
    The devil takes his time to die.”

  25. Kline

    ‘My uncle, what a worthy man,
    Falling ill like that, and dying;
    It summons up respect, one can
    Admire it, as if he were trying.
    Let us all follow his example!
    But, God, what tedium to sample
    That sitting by the bed all day,
    All night, barely a foot away!
    And the hypocrisy, demeaning,
    Of cosseting one whos half alive;
    Puffing the pillows, you contrive
    To bring his medicine unsmiling,
    Thinking with a mournful sigh,
    “Why the devil cant you die?”’

  26. Kozlov (1994)

    ‘My uncle keeps to honest systems:
    By falling ill, yet not in jest,
    He made me love him with insistence
    And couldnt find some better test.
    Well, his example gives a lesson;
    But goodness me, it’s quite distressing
    To sit with him all day and night,
    Not stepping out of his sight.
    And what insidiousness you show
    When you amuse a man half dead
    Arrange the pillows in bed
    Then sadly give him drugs in sadness, though
    You sigh, not speaking of your will,
    When will the devil come for him!

  27. Kozlov (1998)

    “My uncle keeps to honest systems:
    By falling ill, if not in jest,
    He made me love him with insistence
    And couldnt find some better test.
    Well, his example gives a lesson;
    But goodness me, it’s quite distressing
    To sit with him all day and night,
    But staying always in his sight.
    What perfidy you are displaying
    When you amuse a man half-dead
    Arranging pillows in his bed
    Then sadly give him drugs, delaying
    You sigh, not speaking of your dream,
    When will the devil come for him!”

  28. Ledger

    “My uncle, a most worthy gentleman,
    When he fell seriously ill,
    Constrained everyone to respect him,
    Couldnt have done better if he tried.
    His behaviour was a lesson to us all.
    But, God above, what crashing boredom
    To sit with the malingerer all day
    Not moving even one footstep away.
    What demeaning hypocrisy
    To amuse the half-dead codger,
    To fluff up his pillows, and then,
    Mournfully to bring him his medicine;
    To think to oneself, and to sigh:
    When the devil will the old rascal die?”

  29. Liberson (1975)

    “My uncle is a clever man—
    “By getting seriously ill,
    “He knew I’d be his faithful fan,
    “Worthy heir of a worthy will.
    “But what a chore to please a patient,

    “To fix his pillow, smile and sigh,
    “To amuse him, so frail and ancient
    “And yet to think: when will you die?”

  30. Liberson (1987)

    “My uncle was a clever man—
    “By getting seriously ill,
    “He knew I’d be his faithful fan,
    “Worthy heir of a worthy will.
    “But what a chore to please a patient,

    “To fix his pillow, smile and sigh,
    “To amuse him, so frail and ancient
    “And yet to think: when will you die?”

  31. Litoshick

    My uncle was a man of virtue,
    When he became quite old and sick,
    He sought respect and tried to teach me,
    His only heir, verte and weak.
    He had the fun, I had the sore,
    But gracious goodness! what a bore!
    To sit by bedplace day and night,
    Not doing even step aside,
    And what a cheep and cunning thing
    To entertain the sad,
    To serve around, make his bed,
    To fetch the pills, to mourn and grim,
    To sigh outloud, think along:
    God damn old man, why aint you gone?

  32. Lowenfeld

    “ My uncle, man of rules, most honest,
    When he fell ill beyond all joke,
    Respect for himself forced upon us
    (Better than that could not be hoped)
    Let others learn from his example,
    But Lord, how deathly dull to sample
    The patient’s sickbed night and day,
    And never take a step away!
    What execrebly base dissembling
    To keep someone half-dead amused,
    Prop up his pillows, sadly brood,
    With melancholy bring him medicine,
    Sigh — as you ask yourself — all though —
    When will the Devil come for you!”

  33. Mitchell

    My uncle is a man of honour,
    When in good earnest he fell ill,
    He won respect by his demeanour
    And found the role he best could fill.
    Let others profit by his lesson,
    But, oh my God, what desolation
    To tend a sick man day and night
    And not to venture from his sight!
    What shameful cunning to be cheerful
    With someone who is halfway dead,
    To prop up pillows by his head,
    To bring him medicine, looking tearful,
    To sigh – while inwardly you think:
    When will the devil let him sink?

  34. Nabokov (1964)

    “My uncle has most honest principles:
    when he was taken gravely ill,
    he forced one to respect him
    and nothing better could invent.
    To others his example is a lesson;
    but, good God, what a bore to sit
    by a sick person day and night, not stirring
    a step away!
    What base perfidiousness
    To entertain one half-alive,
    adjust for him his pillows,
    sadly serve him his medicine,
    sigh—and think inwardly
    when will the devil take you?”

  35. Nabokov (1975)

    “My uncle has most honest principles:
    when taken ill in earnest,
    he has made one respect him
    and nothing better could invent.
    To others his example is a lesson;
    but, good God, what a bore
    to sit by a sick man day and night,
    without moving a step away!
    What base perfidiousness
    The half-alive one to amuse,
    adjust for him the pillows,
    sadly present him the medicine,
    sigh—and think inwardly
    when will the devil take you?”

  36. Phillipps-Wolley

    A perfect life without a flaw,
    Till sickness laid him on his bed,
    My grandsire lived: himself a law
    By which our lesser lives were led.
    Respect from all (or high or low),
    The best he knew, or cared to know!
    Yet, oh, my God! how slow to spread
    The pillows for the sick mans head:
    What prostitution of ones wit
    To raise a smile on lips half cold,
    With downcast eyes his medicine hold.
    All day, all night, beside him sit,
    And sighing to oneself still muse
    “When will the Devil take his dues?”

  37. Radin & Patrick

    “My uncle’s verse was always upright
    And now that he has fallen ill
    In earnest he makes one respect him:
    He is a pattern for us still.
    One really could not ask for more—
    But heavens, what a fearful bore
    To play the sick-nurse day and night
    And never stir beyond his sight!
    What petty, mean dissimulation
    To entertain a man half-dead,
    To poke his pillows up in bed,
    And carry in some vile potation,
    While all the time one’s thinking, ‘Why
    The devil take so long to die?’”

  38. Sharer

    “My uncle ought to be respected:
    As soon as he was gravely ill,
    He told his kin they were expected
    To be attentive to his will.
    One must obey when fate is calling.
    But, Lord, what can be more appalling
    Than through the day and through the night
    To be the ailing man’s delight?
    How wearisome and unaesthetic
    To have a helpless patient fed,
    To tiptoe softly round his bed,
    Be sensitive and sympathetic,
    And think, while trying to console:
    ‘When will the devil take your soul?’”

  39. Simmons

    “Heigh ho, what a fatigue, and what a bore,
    To sit all day beside a dying man,
    And only steal away when he doth snore,
    And for the half-dead some amusements plan;
    To give him medicine; his brow to fan;
    To think when you his crumpled pillow shake,
    When will the devil this old devil take?
    My uncle lives a life of rectitude,
    An honest man, if ever there were such,
    But given much, I fear, to platitude —
    It seems to me he utters them too much;
    But when this fever his old bones did touch
    Upon his relatives he forced respect;
    On his example others made reflect.”

  40. Spalding

    “My uncle’s goodness is extreme,
    If seriously he hath disease;
    He hath acquired the worlds esteem
    And nothing more important sees;
    A paragon of virtue he!
    But what a nuisance it will be,
    Chained to his bedside night and day
    Without a chance to slip away.
    Ye need dissimulation base
    A dying man with art to soothe,
    Beneath his head the pillow smooth,
    And physic bring with mournful face,
    To sigh and meditate alone:
    When will the devil take his own!”

  41. Stone

    “My uncle makes a big production
    of being ill, and truth be told,
    I’d offer him just one instruction:
    ‘Give up the ghost — youre weak and old!’”

  42. Thomas


    ‘Now that my uncle’s truly dying
    He seems more decent than before.
    You have to praise the way he’s trying
    To keep a grip, if nothing more.
    A fine example to us all, but
    The thought of what I face-appalling!
    Sitting with him by day and night,
    Not venturing as step outside!
    What boredom, what a base betrayal,
    To entertain a man half-dead,
    Plump up the pillows by his bed,
    Sigh, with a spoon held to his frail
    Old lips, while thinking to yourself,
    When will the devil take you off!’

  43. Turner

    I have not been able to locate the translation by Turner.
while on 17 December 2009 http://translate.google.com/ offered

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Onegin and Pushkin
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Revised 22 July 2014 by Peter M Lee (peter.lee@york.ac.uk)