Page:Poems, Alexander Pushkin, 1888.djvu/39

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Introduction: Critical.

"He alas, the changing lodgings,
And the pranks of days of yore
Has forgot for rural comforts
And for the quiet of a home."

15. And this too when these same "rural comforts" he now regrets to have taken in exchange for his wanderings were the very circumstances he sighed for when he did lead the free life he now envies the gypsies for. For this is what he then had been singing:

"Mayhap not long am destined I
In exile peaceful to remain,
Of dear days of yore to sigh
And rustic muse in quiet
With spirit calm to pursue.

"But even far, in a foreign land
In thought forever roam I shall
Around Trimountain mine:
By meadows, river, by its hills,
By garden, linden, nigh the house."

16. No wonder, therefore, that the demon, having unsettled the poet's soul with restlessness, should now unsettle his reasoning powers with regrets. For regret is at bottom a disease, an inability to perceive that the best way to mend harm once done is not in lamenting the past, but in struggling for a future; in which future much of the past could be undone; or if it could not be undone, at least it could be