Page:Poems, Alexander Pushkin, 1888.djvu/15

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Preface: Bibliographical.

1. The text I have used for the following translations is that of the edition of the complete works of Pushkin in ten volumes, 16mo., by Suvorin, St. Petersburg, 1887. The poems form Volumes III. and IV. of that edition. Accordingly, I have designated after each heading, volume, and page where the poem is to be found in the original. Thus, for example, "My Muse, iv. 1," means that this poem is found in Volume IV. of the above edition, page 1.

2. I have translated Pushkin literally word for word, line for line. I do not believe there are as many as five examples of deviation from the literalness of the text. Once only, I believe, have I transposed two lines for convenience of translation; the other deviations are (if they are such) a substitution of an and for a comma in order to make now and then the reading of a line musical. With these exceptions, I have sacrified everything to faithfulness of rendering. My object was to make Pushkin himself, without a prompter, speak to English readers. To make him thus speak in a foreign tongue was indeed to place him at a disadvantage; and music and rhythm and harmony are indeed fine things, but truth is finer still. I wished to present not what Pushkin would have said, or