All Russians know this poem. We all read it at some point in our lives. But, may be in spite of it, it stays one of the very best poems in the world.
Alexander Pushkin. The greatest Russian poet.
He wrote this poem in 1829 when he was 30 years old.
He dedicated it – and many others, no less beautiful – to Anna Olenina. She was 21.
Here is the poem in Russian:
Я вас любил: любовь еще, быть может,
В душе моей угасла не совсем;
Но пусть она вас больше не тревожит;
Я не хочу печалить вас ничем.
Я вас любил безмолвно, безнадежно,
То робостью, то ревностью томим;
Я вас любил так искренно, так нежно,
Как дай вам бог любимой быть другим.
And here is the translation (though any translation rarely matches the original):
I loved you and my love may still be there,
Deep in my soul remains to stay aglow.
That should not cause you any more despair –
I do not want to hurt you any more.
I loved you unrequited in still wonder
Through bouts of jealousy and diffidence.
I loved you so sincerely and tender –
God bless you with such love of someone else.
The last line always fascinated me.
He loved her so profoundly that his only wish would be – Her – to be loved – so overwhelmingly – even if it would be by not him… So that she would be loved and happy.