Page:Poems, Alexander Pushkin, 1888.djvu/38

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Introduction: Critical.

was the solution of the problem of life he indeed discerned but vaguely. It was with him not yet conscious fulfilment. He had not yet formulated to himself the gospel he unconsciously obeyed. Hence the wavering of the "Task:"—

"The longed-for moment here is. Ended is my long-yeared task.
Why then sadness strange me troubles secretly?
My task done, like needless hireling am I to stand,
My wage in hand, to other task a stranger?
Or my task regret I, of night companion silent mine,
Gold Aurora's friend, the friend of my sacred household gods?"

14. And for the same reason, when he had ceased to be a roamer and at last settled down to quiet home-life, the memory of the days of yore still gives him a pang; and at the sight of the gypsies, whose free and easy life once occupied his thoughts seriously, not only to sing of them, but to live with them, only a plaintive note bursts forth from his soul:—

"Thee I greet, О happy race!
I recognize thy blazes,
I myself at other times
These tents would have followed.

"With the early rays to-morrow
Shall disappear your freedom's trace,
Go you will—but not with you
Longer go shall the bard of you.