Eugene Onegin, Capítulo II


     So she was called Tatyana. Truly
     she lacked her sister's beauty, lacked
     the rosy bloom that glowed so newly
     to catch the eye and to attract.
     Shy as a savage, silent, tearful,
     wild as a forest deer, and fearful,
     Tatyana had a changeling look
     in her own home. She never took
     to kissing or caressing father
     or mother; and in all the play
     of children, though as young as they,
     she never joined, or skipped, but rather
     in silence all day she'd remain
     ensconced beside the window-pane.


     Reflection was her friend and pleasure
     right from the cradle of her days;
     it touched with reverie her leisure,
     adorning all its country ways.
     Her tender touch had never fingered
     the needle, never had she lingered
     to liven with a silk atour
     the linen stretched on the tambour.
     Sign of the urge for domination:
     in play with her obedient doll
     the child prepares for protocol --
     that corps of social legislation --
     and to it, with a grave import,
     repeats what her mama has taught.


     Tatyana had no dolls to dandle,
     not even in her earliest age;
     she'd never tell them news or scandal
     or novelties from fashion's page.
     Tatyana never knew the attraction
     of childish pranks: a chilled reaction
     to horror-stories told at night
     in winter was her heart's delight.
     Whenever nyanya had collected
     for Olga, on the spreading lawn,
     her little friends, Tatyana'd yawn,
     she'd never join the game selected,
     for she was bored by laughs and noise
     and by the sound of silly joys.

     She loved the balcony, the session
     of waiting for the dawn to blush,
     when, in pale sky, the stars' procession
     fades from the view, and in the hush
     earth's rim grows light, and a forewarning
     whisper of breeze announces morning,
     and slowly day begins to climb.
     In winter, when for longer time
     the shades of night within their keeping
     hold half the world still unreleased,
     and when, by misty moon, the east
     is softly, indolently sleeping,
     wakened at the same hour of night
     Tatyana'd rise by candlelight.


     From early on she loved romances,
     they were her only food... and so
     she fell in love with all the fancies
     of Richardson and of Rousseau.
     Her father, kindly, well-regarded,
     but in an earlier age retarded,
     could see no harm in books; himself
     he never took one from the shelf,
     thought them a pointless peccadillo;
     and cared not what his daughter kept
     by way of secret tome that slept
     until the dawn beneath her pillow.
     His wife, just like Tatyana, had
     on Richardson gone raving mad.

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