Mikhalevich’s Speech from Home of the Gentry by Turgenev – turned into a poem

Mikhalevich’s Speech

(from Home of the Gentry, Turgenev, translated by R. Freeborn, Chapter XLI, my version)

Mikhalevich says “What you wanted
Was to know happiness for the second time.
You forget it’s a luxury, an undeserved favor
When it comes to a life even once.
You counteract “it was not full happiness.”
Then tell me what right you have to full happiness.
Look about you and see who is happy.
Look there’s a worker mowing the yards.
Perhaps he’s happy with what the fates have given him.
Do you want to change places with him and take up his burdens?

———————

[This is from a previous Musea Christmas issue - ed. Tom]

 

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