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Мой Гамлет

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Я только малость объясню в стихе –
На все я не имею полномочий...
Я был зачат, как нужно, во грехе –
В поту и нервах первой брачной ночи.

Я знал, что, отрываясь от земли,-
Чем выше мы, тем жестче и суровей;
Я шел спокойно прямо в короли
И вел себя наследным принцем крови.

Я знал - все будет так, как я хочу,
Я не бывал внакладе и в уроне,
Мои друзья по школе и мечу
Служили мне, как их отцы - короне.

Не думал я над тем, что говорю,
И с легкостью слова бросал на ветер –
Мне верили и так, как главарю,
Все высокопоставленные дети.

Пугались нас ночные сторожа,
Как оспою, болело время нами.
Я спал на кожах, мясо ел с ножа
И злую лошадь мучил стременами.

Я знал - мне будет сказано: "Царуй!" –
Клеймо на лбу мне рок с рожденья выжег.
И я пьянел среди чеканных сбруй,
Был терпелив к насилью слов и книжек.

Я улыбаться мог одним лишь ртом,
А тайный взгляд, когда он зол и горек,
Умел скрывать, воспитанный шутом,-
Шут мертв теперь: "Аминь!" Бедняга Йорик!..
 
Но отказался я от дележа
Наград, добычи, славы, привилегий:
Вдруг стало жаль мне мертвого пажа,
Я объезжал зеленые побеги...

Я позабыл охотничий азарт,
Возненавидел и борзых, и гончих,
Я от подранка гнал коня назад
И плетью бил загонщиков и ловчих.

Я видел - наши игры с каждым днем
Все больше походили на бесчинства,-
В проточных водах по ночам, тайком
Я отмывался от дневного свинства.

Я прозревал, глупея с каждым днем,
Я прозевал домашние интриги.
Не нравился мне век, и люди в нем
Не нравились,- и я зарылся в книги.

Мой мозг, до знаний жадный, как паук,
Все постигал: недвижность и движенье,-
Но толка нет от мыслей и наук,
Когда повсюду им опроверженье.

С друзьями детства перетерлась нить,
Нить Ариадны оказалась схемой.
Я бился над словами "быть, не быть",
Как над неразрешимою дилеммой.

Но вечно, вечно плещет море бед,-
В него мы стрелы мечем - в сито просо,
Отсеивая призрачный ответ
От вычурного этого вопроса.

Зов предков слыша сквозь затихший гул,
Пошел на зов,- сомненья крались с тылу,
Груз тяжких дум наверх меня тянул,
А крылья плоти вниз влекли, в могилу.

В непрочный сплав меня спаяли дни –
Едва застыв, он начал расползаться.
Я пролил кровь, как все,- и, как они,
Я не сумел от мести отказаться.

А мой подъем пред смертью - есть провал.
Офелия! Я тленья не приемлю.
Но я себя убийством уравнял
С тем, с кем я лег в одну и ту же землю.

Я Гамлет, я насилье презирал,
Я наплевал на датскую корону,-
Но в их глазах - за трон я глотку рвал
И убивал соперника по трону.

Но гениальный всплеск похож на бред,
В рожденьи смерть проглядывает косо.
А мы все ставим каверзный ответ
И не находим нужного вопроса.

1972

My Hamlet - Slava Chetin


I'll just explain a thing or two in verse:
Alas, with full account, I'm not invested...
I was conceived in sin, as you would guess, -
In sweat and jitters of the night of wedding.

I was aware that taking off the ground,
As we ascend, we grow thick-skinned and cruel.
I strode forth, calm and upright, to be crowned
And, born in wedlock, acted as Prince Royal.

I knew that all would be the way I wished.
I never lost and always had a fair chunk.
My school and fencing mates obeyed my will
Like fathers theirs obeyed the Crown of Denmark.

I didn't care about the things I said,
And carelessly squandered my avowals --
All noble kids believed me all the same,
Assenting to my primacy of power.

We startled watchmen on a beat at night,
The time was ailing with us, like with smallpox.
I slept on skins, ate, picking meat off knife,
And harrowed an unruly horse with stirrups .

I knew, one day, I would be prompted 'Reign!' --
My brow was branded by my lot on birthday.
Beside chased harnesses, I felt like crazed,
And stoically endured duress of learning.

I mastered smiling only with my mouth,
Whereas a covert look was cross and choleric
For I'd been fostered by my father's clown.
Alas, that jester's dead. Amen! Poor Yorick!

Yet I refused to have a share in takes
Of glory, privileges, plunders, tributes.
I pitied suddenly a page, who'd passed away...
I tried to do no harm to tender green shoots.

And I gave up the ghost on hunter's zest,
I was grossed out by coursers, hounds and beagles,
From wounded game, I held my horse at length,
Chastising huntsmen, and pursuers, and beaters.

Aware that our pastime, day by day,
Increasingly reminded of mistreatment,
I washed the daily swinishness away
In running water late at night in secret.

It dawned on me that, getting sore in mind,
I failed to note domestic folk intriguing.
I didn't like the age, nor did I like
The people in it. And I took to reading.

As avid as a greedy spider, brains
Grasped everything I studied: rest and motion.
But sciences and thoughts were plainly vain,
Since everything was their controversion.

The ties with playmates came to fray away:
The Ariadne's thread turned out a game plan.
"To be or not to be" -- I tried to weigh
And failed to find the key to this dilemma.

The sea of troubles keeps on raging high.
We're shooting at it, millet at a bolter,
Removing chancy answers thereby,
Apart from this sophisticated poser.

I heard my father's call through dying hum
And followed it, pursued by creeping doubts;
A heavy load of musings tugged me up,
While carnal wings lugged down, into the ground.

The stuff, days welded me from, had been frail
And given at the seams, while indurating,
And I shed blood like others, and, like they,
I turned out weak to waive retaliating.

My last success was, in the end, my fall.
Ophelia! Afterlife is not decayin'.
But I became a murderer, therefore
No better than the one, who I had slain.

It's I, prince Hamlet, I abhorred duress,
I could care less about the Danish Crown, and
Yet they suspected me of breaking necks
Thus getting rid of rivalry for power.

But bright insights are apt to look like craze,
At birth, a fatal end peeps out askance. And
Perplexing are the answers that we raise,
And missing is the question to be answered.


My Hamlet - Andrey Kneller


Just briefly, I’ll explain myself in verse -
I don’t have strength to bring it all to light…
I was conceived, the proper way, in curse -
In sweat and tenseness of the wedding night.

I knew, when separating from the earth, -
The higher up, the harsher still we got;
I walked towards the throne that I deserved
And acted like an heir in line of blood.

I knew that everything would be just as I ruled,
And I was never at a loss and never down,
My mates of sword and those I knew from school
Were loyal, like their fathers to the crown.

I never thought about the words I spoke.
I threw my words into the wind with pleasance-
I was a leader and my rank evoked
Devoted trust from noble adolescents.

We made the guards feel restless in the night,
From us, like from a pox, the time grew worse.
I slept on leather, ate right off the knife,
With stirrups disciplined my livid horse.

“Long live the King!” – I had foreseen this cry, -
The destiny has branded me at birth.
Around chased harnesses, I would get high,
I’d disregard abuse of books and words.

I’d smile with my lips while being pestered.
My mystic stare, when it is sad and mourning,
I’ve learned to hide, raised by a happy jester, -
And now the jester’s dead: “Amen!” Poor Yorick!..

And still I disapproved of any sharing
Of gains, rewards and privileges one has:
Then, suddenly, for life I started caring
And rode around the newly sprouted grass…

I lost the thrill for hunting, lost its aim,
I started to despise greyhounds and beagles,
I sped my horse away from wounded game,
And whipped instead the huntsmen and the beaters.

I watched our games with every single night
Turn more and more into disgrace of time, -
And by the flowing rivers, I would hide
And wash myself from staining filth and slime.

I blossomed, growing dumber as I changed,
I even missed my household’s affair.
And I grew colder to the people of my age,
I hid myself in books and lost all care.

My brain, for wisdom greedy like a spider,
Grasped all: the immobility and motion, -
But what is science if you can't apply it,
When all around it are opposing notions?

I tore the tread with friends and I was free,
The thread of Ariadne was a scheme.
I pondered on the words “to be or not to be,”
A problem with no answer, as it seemed.

The sea of grief was splashing in profusion, -
We stood against it; we were sieving grain,
And filtering the shadowy solution,
Although our inquiry appeared to be inane.
 
As clamor ebbed, my father’s call was sharp,
I walked ahead, while lurking doubts loomed,
The burden of my thoughts would pull me up,
And wings of flesh would drag me to my tomb.

Into a weak alloy, I’ve melted with each day -
And barely cool, it started to diffuse.
Like others, I’ve spilled blood and just like they
The growing vengeance I could not refuse.

The rising before death - was my collapse!
Ophelia! My dear, I won’t decay.
With killing, I have made myself, perhaps,
An equal to the one with whom I lay.

I’m Hamlet, I despised injustice and abuse,
I did not give a damn about the crown, -
But in their eyes, I hungered fame and I’m accused
Of sending rivals to the throne into the ground.

The striking splash appears as an illusion,
And death through birth emerges from the side.
And we’re still stating the deceitful solution
Not knowing how to phrase the question right.