Eugene Onegin 26


It’s wretched (I trust you’ll agree),

Once scorned by the malicious,

To be condemned impartially,

As affected, strange and vicious,

A melancholy oddity,

A satanic monstrosity,

Or else that Demon of my verse.

Onegin (once more I rehearse

His story) having killed his friend,

Without an aim on which to fix,

Reaching the age of twenty-six,

Bored with leisure in the end,

Found, without rank, career, or wife,

Nothing to occupy his life.


He was pursued by a vexatious

Restlessness, an urge for change

(A feeling tortuous and tenacious:

Though some of us are born to range.)

He left his village and his land,

The fields, the woods, that silent stand,

Where the mute and blood-stained shade

Of Lensky haunted every glade;

Began an aimless wandering,

Stirred by a solitary emotion;

Till travel, with its tedious motion,

Became a bore, it seemed, unending.

From Griboedov took Chatzky’s cue,

Sped back towards the ball, anew.