Сказки на английском языке с переводом

Сказки на английском языке с переводом Английский

Сказка о царе салтане

русские сказки для изучения английского 18
Three fair maidens, late one night,

Sat and spun by candlelight.

«Were our tsar to marry me,»

Said the eldest of the three,

«I would cook and I would bake —

Oh, what royal feasts I’d make.»

Said the second of the three:

«Were our tsar to marry me,

I would weave a cloth of gold

Fair and wondrous to behold.»

But the youngest of the three

Murmured: «If he married me —

I would give our tsar an heir

Handsome, brave, beyond compare.»

At these words their chamber door

Gently creaked-and lo, before

These three maidens’ very eyes

Stood their tsar, to their surprise.

He had listened by their gate

Whither he’d been led by fate,

And the words that he heard last

Made his heart with love beat fast.

«Greetings, maiden fair,» said he —

«My tsaritsa you shall be,

And, ere next September’s done,

See that you bear me a son.

As for you, fair sisters two,

Leave your home without ado;

Leave your home and follow me

And my bride that is to be.

Royal weaver, YOU I’ll make,

YOU as royal cook I’ll take.»

Then the tsar strode forth, and they

Palacewards all made their way.

There, he lost no time nor tarried

That same evening he was married;

Tsar Saltan and his young bride

At the feast sat side by side.

Then the guests, with solemn air,

Led the newly wedded pair

To their iv’ry couch, snow-white,

Where they left them for the night.

Bitterly, the weaver sighed,

And the cook in passion cried,

Full of jealousy and hate

Of their sister’s happy fate.

But, by love and duty fired,

She conceived, ere night expired,

In her royal husband’s arms.

These were days of war’s alarms.

Ere he rode forth for the strife,

Tsar Saltan embraced his wife,

Bidding her to take good care

Of herself and coming heir;

While he battled on the field,

Forcing countless foes to yield,

God gave unto her an heir —

Lusty, large of limb, and fair.

Like a mother eagle, she

Guarded him most jealously;

Sent the news of God’s glad gift

To the tsar, by rider swift.

But the royal cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver,

Sought to ruin her, so they

Had him kidnapped on the way,

Sent another in his stead.

Word for word, his message read:

«Your tsaritsa, sire, last night

Was delivered of a fright —

Neither son nor daughter, nor

Have we seen its like before.»

At these words, the royal sire

Raved and raged in furious ire,

«Hang that messenger!» roared he,

«Hang him on the nearest tree!»

But, relenting, spared him, and

Sent him back with this command:

«From all hasty steps refrain

Till the tsar comes home again.»

Back the messenger rode fast,

Reached the city gates at last.

But the royal cook, and weaver,

With their mother, sly deceiver,

Made him drunk; and in his sleep

Stole the message from his keep

And, before he could recover,

They replaced it by another.

So, with feet unsteady, he

Reached the court with this decree:

«Have the queen and have her spawn

Drowned in secret ere the dawn.»

Grieving for their monarch’s heir,

For the mother young and fair,

Solemnly the tsar’s boyards

Told the queen of this ukaz,

Of the cruel doom which fate

So unkindly had in wait.

This unpleasant duty done,

Put the queen and put her son

In a cask, and sealed it fast;

Tarred it well, and then they cast

Cask and burden in the sea —

Such, forsooth, the tsar’s decree.

Stars gleam in the dark blue sky,

Dark blue billows heave and sigh.

Storm clouds o’er the blue sky creep,

While the cask rides o’er the deep.

Like a widowed bride distressed,

Sobbed the queen and beat her breast,

While the babe to manhood grew

As the hours swiftly flew.

Morning dawned, the queen still wailed

But her son the billows hailed:

«O, you wanton waves so blue —

Free to come and go are you,

Dashing when and where you please,

Wearing rocks away with ease —

You, who flood the mountains high,

You, who ships raise to the sky —

Hear my prayer, o waves, and spare us —

Safely onto dry land bear us.»

So the waves, without ado,

Bore the cask and prisoners two

Gently to a sandy shore,

Then, receding, splashed no more.

Son and mother, safe and sound,

Feel that they’re on solid ground.

From their cask, though, who will take them?

Surely God will not forsake them?

Murmuring: «I wonder how

We could break our prison now?»

Up the son stood on his toes,

Stretched himself, and said: «Here goes!» —

Thrust his head against the lid,

Burst it out — and forth he slid.

Son and mother, free again,

Saw a hillock on a plain;

On its crest, an oak tree grew;

Round them flowed the ocean blue.

Quoth the son: «Some food and drink

Wouldn’t come amiss, I think.»

From the oak, a branch he rent

And a sturdy bow he bent.

With the silken cord that hung

Round his neck, the bow he strung.

From a slender reed and light,

Shaped an arrow, true in flight.

Then explored the isle for game,

Till he to the sea-shore came.

Just as he approached the beach,

Our young hunter heard a screech…

Of distress at sea it told.

He looked round him, and, behold,

Saw a swan in evil plight;

Circling over it — a kite,

Talons spread, and bloodstained beak

Poised, prepared her death to wreak,

While the helpless bird was splashing,

With her wings the waters lashing.

But his shaft, with baneful note,

Struck the kite full in the throat.

Bleeding, in the sea it fell,

Screeching like a soul in hell.

He, with lowered bow, looked on

As, with beak and wings, the swan,

Dealing ruthless blow on blow

On the cruel kite, her foe,

Sped its death, till finally

Lifeless it sank in the sea.

Then, in Russian accents, she

Murmured plain as plain could be:

«O, tsarevich, champion peerless,

My deliverer so fearless —

Grieve not that because of me

Your good shaft is in the sea;

That you’ll have to fast three morrows —

This is but the least of sorrows.

Your kind deed I will repay —

I will serve you too, one day;

Tis no swan that you set free,

But a maiden charmed, you see;

Twas a wizard, not a kite,

That you slew, O noble knight;

I shall ne’er forget your deed —

I’ll be with you in your need.

Now go back and take your rest —

All will turn out for the best.»

Then the swan-bird flew from view

While, perforce, the luckless two,

Famished, laid them down to sleep,

Praying God their souls to keep.

Driving slumber from his eyes

As the sun rose in the skies,

Our tsarevich, much amazed,

At a spacious city gazed,

Girdled by a wide and tall,

Strong-embattled snow-white wall.

Churches golden-domed stood there,

Holy cloisters, mansions fair.

«Mother mine, awake!» cried he —

«Oh!» she gasped; he said: «I see

Things have only just begun —

My white swan is having fun.»

Citywards their steps they bent,

Through the city gates they went.

Belfries thundered overhead

Loud enough to wake the dead.

Round them poured a mighty throng,

Choir boys praised the Lord in song;

Nobles, splendidly arrayed,

Came in coaches, gold inlaid.

All the people cheered them madly,

As their prince acclaimed him gladly.

With his mother’s blessing, he,

Acquiescing graciously,

That same day began to reign

In his newly-found domain,

Sat in state upon the throne

And was crowned as Prince Guidon.

Breezes o’er the ocean play,

Speed a barque upon its way;

Sails all spread, it skims the seas,

Running swiftly ‘fore the breeze.

Sailors, merchants, crowd the decks,

Marvel loud and crane their necks.

Wondrous changes meet their view

On an island which they knew!

There, a golden city grand

Newly built, and fortress stand.

Cannons with a mighty roar

Bid the merchants put to shore.

When the merchants land, Guidon

Bids them be his guests anon;

Feasts them first with meats and wine,

Then he says: «Now, masters mine —

Tell me what you have for sale,

Whither bound, and whence you hail?»

Said the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas;

Costly furs, prince, were our ware,

Silver fox and sables rare.

Now our time is overstayed,

East-due East-our course is laid,

Past the island of Buyan,

Back to gracious Tsar Saltan.»

«Gentles,» murmured Prince Guidon —

«May fair breezes speed you on,

And, when Tsar Saltan you see

Bow down low to him for me.»

Here the merchants made their bows,

And the prince, with pensive brows,

Watched their ship put out from shore

Till it could be seen no more.

Suddenly, before Guidon

Swam the graceful snow-white swan.

«Greetings, my fair prince,» said she —

«Why are you so sad, tell me?

Why are you so dismal, say,

Like a gloomy, cloudy day?»

«Grief is gnawing at my breast,»

Answered Prince Guidon, distressed.

«I have only one desire-

I should like to see my sire.»

«Is that all?» was her reply —

«Listen-would you like to fly,

Overtake that ship at sea?

Why, then-a mosquito be!»

Then she flapped her pinions two,

Loudly thrashed the waters blue,

Drenching him from head to toe

Ere he could say yes or no.

And he hovered, then and there,

A mosquito, in the air.

Buzzed, and flying rapidly,

Overtook the ship at sea,

Settled noiselessly, and stole

Out of sight, into a hole.

Merrily the breeze is singing,

O’er the waves a ship is winging

Past the Island of Buyan

To the realm of Tsar Saltan. Now his longed-for land so dear

Stands out in the distance, clear.

Now the ship at anchor rests

And the merchants, honoured guests,

Palacewards their footsteps make

With our gallant in their wake.

There, in regal raiments, sate

Tsar Saltan in royal state.

On his head — his jewelled crown;

On his face — a pensive frown,

While the royal cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver,

Sitting on his left and right,

Stared at him with all their might.

Tsar Saltan, with royal grace,

Gave the merchants each his place,

Then he said: «Now, masters mine,

Sailed you far across the brine?

Are things well where you have been?

What strange wonders have you seen?»

Quoth the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas;

Peace reigns overseas, serene.

There, we saw this wondrous scene:

There’s an island in the sea,

Shores as steep as steep can be;

Cheerless once, deserted, bare —

Nothing but an oak grew there.

Now it has a new-built city,

Stately mansions, gardens pretty,

Churches tall with domes of gold,

Fair and wondrous to behold.

Prince Guidon reigns there, and he

Sends his compliments to thee.»

Here the tsar said, in amaze:

«If but God prolong my days,

I shall visit this strange isle,

Guest with this Guidon a while.»

But the royal cook, and weaver,

With their mother, sly deceiver,

Did not wish to let their tsar

See this wondrous isle so far.

«What a wonder,» quoth the cook,

Winking at the others-«Look:

There’s city by the shore!

Have you heard the like before?

Here’s a wonder, though, worth telling —

There’s a little squirrel dwelling

In a fir tree; all day long,

Cracking nuts, it sings a song.

Nuts-most wondrous to behold!

Every shell is solid gold;

Kernels — each an emerald pure!

That’s a wonder, to be sure.»

Tsar Saltan thought this most curious,

Our mosquito waxed most furious

And, with his mosquito might,

Stung his aunt’s right eye, in spite.

Turning pale, she swooned from pain —

But her eye ne’er saw again.

Sister, serving maids and mother

Chased him, tripping one another,

Screamed: «You cursed insect, you!

Only wait!» But he just flew

Through a casement, o’er the main,

Swiftly to his own domain.

Pensively Guidon once more

Gazes seaward from the shore.

Suddenly, before his sight

Swam the graceful swan, snow-white.

«Greetings, my fair prince,» said she —

«Why are you so sad, tell me?

Why are you so dismal, say,

Like a gloomy, cloudy day?»

«Grief is gnawing at my breast,»

Answered Prince Guidon, distressed —

«There’s a wonder, I confess,

That I’m burning to possess.

Tis a wonder well worth telling —

Somewhere, there’s a squirrel dwelling

In a fir tree; all day long,

Cracking nuts, it sings a song.

Nuts, most wondrous, I am told;

Every shell is solid gold,

Kernels — each an emerald pure.

But can I of this be sure?»

Here the swan said in reply:

«Yes — this rumour does not lie;

Marvel — not-though this may be

Strange for you, ’tis not for me.

Grieve not — I will gladly do

This slight service, prince, for you.»

Home he sped with cheerful stride,

Gained his palace courtyard wide.

There, beneath a fir-behold! —

Cracking nuts all made of gold,

Emeralds left and right a-flinging,

Sat that wonder-squirrel, singing:

«Through the garden there she goes,

Tripping on her dainty toes.»

With its tail the squirrel sweeps

Shells and stones in tidy heaps,

While a charmed and happy throng

Listened to the squirrel’s song.

Struck with wonder, Prince Guidon

Whispered softly: «Thank you, swan!

God grant you felicity

And such joy as you gave me.»

Then a squirrel’s house he built,

Crystal, glass, and silver gilt;

Set a guard, a scribe as well,

Who recorded every shell.

Thus the prince’s treasures grew,

And the squirrel’s glory too.

Breezes o’er the ocean play,

Speed a barque upon its way;

Sails all spread, it skims the seas,

Running swiftly ‘fore the breeze

Past a craggy island, where

Stands a city, proud and fair.

Cannons with a mighty roar

Bid the merchants put to shore;

When the merchants land, Guidon

Bids them be his guests anon;

Feasts them first with meats and wine,

Then he says: «Now, masters mine —

Tell me what you have for sale,

Whither bound, and whence you hail?»

Said the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas,

Selling horses, Prince Guidon-

Stallions from the steppes of Don.

We are overdue, you know,

And we still have far to go —

Past the Island of Buyan,

Back to gracious Tsar Saltan.»

«Gentles,» murmured Prince Guidon —

«May fair breezes speed you on

O’er the ocean, o’er the main,

Back to Tsar Saltan again.

When your gracious tsar you see,

Give him compliments from me.»

Bowing low before him, they

Left Guidon and sailed away.

He, though, hastened to the shore,

Where he met the swan once more,

Told her that his heart was burning,

For his sire, his soul was yearning. ..

In the twinkling of an eye

He became a tiny fly,

And he flew across the sea

Where, ‘twixt sky and ocean, he

Settled on the deck and stole

Out of sight into a hole.

Merrily the breeze is singing.

O’er the waves a ship is winging,

Past the Island of Buyan,

To the realm of Tsar Saltan.

Now his longed-for land so dear,

Stands out in the distance, clear,

Now the ship at anchor rests,

And the merchants, honoured guests,

Palacewards their footsteps make

With our gallant in their wake.

There, in regal raiments, sate

Tsar Saltan in royal state.

On his head-his jewelled crown,

On his face-a pensive frown,

While the one-eyed cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver,

Sit around the Tsar and stare

At him with a toad-like glare.

Tsar Saltan, with royal grace,

Gave the merchants each his place,

Then he said: «Now, masters mine —

Sailed you far across the brine?

Are things well where you have been?

What strange wonders you have seen?»

Quoth the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas;

Peace reigns overseas, serene.

There, we saw this wondrous scene:

On an island, far away,

Stands a city, grand and gay —

Churches tall, with golden domes,

Gardens green and stately homes;

By the palace grows a fir

In whose shade, O royal sir,

Stands a crystal cage; and there

Dwells a squirrel, strange and rare-

Full of frolic; all day long,

Cracking nuts, it sings a song,

Nuts, most wondrous to behold —

Every shell is solid gold,

Kernels — each an emerald bright;

Sentries guard it day and night.

It has slaves, like any lord,

Yes, and scribes each nut record.

Troops in passing give salute

With the martial drum and flute.

Maidens store these gems away

Under lock and key each day;

Coins are minted from each shell,

Coins with which they buy and sell.

People live in plenty there,

Not in huts, but mansions fair.

Prince Guidon reigns there, and he

Sends his compliments to thee.»

Here the tsar said, in amaze:

«If but God prolong my days,

I shall visit this strange isle

Guest with this Guidon a while.»

But the cook, and royal weaver,

With their mother, sly deceiver,

Did not wish to let the tsar

See this wondrous isle so far.

And the weaver, smiling wryly,

Thus addressed the tsar, most slyly:

«Wherein lies this wonder, pray?

Squirrels cracking nuts all day —

Heaping emeralds, we’re told,

Left and right a-throwing gold!

Nothing strange in this see I!

Be this true, or but a lie,

I know of a better wonder.

Lo! The ocean swells in thunder,

Surges with a mighty roar,

Overflows a barren shore,

Leaving, wonderful to see,

Thirty stalwart knights and three,

All in mail a-gleaming bright,

Marching proudly left and right;

Each one brave beyond compare,

Tall of stature, young and fair,

All alike beyond belief,

Led by Chernomor, their chief.

That’s a wonder, now, for you,

Marvellously strange, but true.»

Wisely, though, the guests were mute —

They with her did not dispute.

But the tsar waxed very curious,

And Guidon waxed very furious.

Fiercely buzzed and settled right

On his aunt’s left eye, in spite.

Turning pale, she gave a cry —

She was blinded in her eye.

Screams of anger filled the air —

«Catch it! Kill that insect there!

O you nasty insect, you!»

But Guidon just calmly flew

Through the casement, o’er the main,

Swiftly to his own domain.

By the blue sea he is pacing,

On the blue sea he is gazing:

And once more, before his sight

Swam the graceful swan, snow-white.

«Greetings, my fair prince,» said she,

«Why are you so sad, tell me?

Why are you so dismal, say,

Like a gloomy, cloudy day?»

«Grief is gnawing at my breast,»

Answered Prince Guidon, distressed-

«There’s a wonder, I confess,

That I’m longing to possess.»

«Tell me then, what is this wonder?»

«Somewhere swells the sea in thunder,

Breakers surge, and with a roar,

Sweeping o’er a barren shore,

Leave behind, for all to see

Thirty stalwart knights and three,

All in mail a-gleaming bright,

Marching proudly left and right;

Each one brave beyond compare,

Tall of stature, young and fair.

All alike beyond belief,

Led by Chernomor, their chief.»

In reply, the snow-white swan

Murmured: «Is this all, Guidon?

Wonder not-though this may be’

Strange for you, ’tis not for me,

For these sea-knights, prince, are none

But my brothers, every one.

Do not grieve; go home and wait,

Meet my brothers at your gate.»

He obeyed her cheerfully,

Climbed his tower and scanned the sea:

Lo! The waters, with a roar,

Seethed and swept the barren shore,

Leaving, wonderful to see,

Thirty stalwart knights and three,

All in mail a-gleaming bright,

Marching proudly left and right,

Two by two; and Chernomor,

Hoary-headed, went before,

Leading them in martial state

Right up to the city gate.

Prince Guidon, with flying feet,

Ran in haste his guests to greet;

Crowds pressed round in unbelief

«Prince,» proclaimed the hoary chief —

«It is by the swan’s request

And, at her express behest,

We have come from out the sea

Your fair city’s guards to be.

Henceforth, from the ocean blue,

We will always come to you,

Every day, on guard to stand

By your lofty walls so grand.

Now, however, we must go —

We’re not used to land, you know;

We’ll return, I promise you.»

And they disappeared from view.

Breezes o’er the ocean play,

Speed a barque upon its way;

Sails all spread, it skims the seas,

Running swiftly ‘fore the breeze,

Past a craggy island, where

Stands a city, proud and fair.

Cannons with a mighty roar

Bid the merchants put to shore;

When the merchants land, Guidon

Bids them be his guests anon;

Feasts them first with meats and wine,

Then he says: «Now, masters mine —

Tell me what you have for sale,

Whither bound, and whence you hail?»

Said the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas;

Swords of Damask steel we’ve sold,

Virgin silver, too, and gold.

Now we’re overdue, you know,

And we still have far to go-

Past the Island of Buyan,

Back to gracious Tsar Saltan.»

«Gentles,» murmured Prince Guidon —

«My fair breezes speed you on,

O’er the ocean, o’er the main,

Back to Tsar Saltan again.

Yes, and when your tsar you see,

Give him compliments from me.»

Bowing low before him, they

Left the prince and sailed away.

He, though, hastened to the shore

Where he met the swan once more;

Told her that his heart was burning,

For his sire, his soul was yearning..

So she drenched him, head to toe.

In a trice, he shrank, and lo!

Ere he could even gasp,

He had turned into a wasp.

Then he buzzed, and rapidly

Overtook the ship at sea;

Gently settled aft, and stole

Out of sight, into a hole.

Merrily the breeze is singing,

O’er the waves a ship is winging

Past the Island of Buyan

To the realm of Tsar Saltan.

Now his longed-for land so dear

Stands out in the distance, clear.

Now the ship at anchor rests,

And the merchants, honoured guests,

Palacewards their footsteps make

With our gallant in their wake.

There, in regal raiments, sate

Tsar Saltan in royal state.

On his head-his jewelled crown,

On his face — a pensive frown,

Near him-royal cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver.

With four eyes, though they be three,

Stare at him voraciously.

Tsar Saltan, with royal grace,

Gave the merchants each his place.

Then he said: «Now, masters mine —

Sailed you far across the brine?

Are things well where you have been?

What strange wonders have you seen?»

Quoth the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas;

Peace reigns overseas, serene,

There we saw this wondrous scene:

There’s an island far away-

On this isle — a city gay;

There, each dawn brings in new wonders:

There, the ocean swells and thunders,

Breakers, with a mighty roar,

Foaming, flood its barren shore,

Leaving, wonderful to see,

Thirty stalwart knights and three,

All in mail a-gleaming bright,

Marching proudly left and right;

Each one brave beyond compare,

Tall of stature, young and fair,

All alike beyond belief;

Hoary Chernomor, their chief,

Marches with them from the deep,

Counts them off, by twos, to keep

Guard of this fair isle; and they

Cease patrol nor night nor day.

Nor can you find guards so true,

Vigilant and fearless, too.

Prince Guidon reigns there, and he

Sends his compliments to thee.»

Here the tsar said, in amaze:

«If but God prolong my days,

I shall visit this strange isle,

Guest with this Guidon a while.»

Silent were the cook and weaver.

But their mother, sly deceiver,

Said, as she smiled crookedly:

«You may think this strange — not we!

Fancy! Idle mermen play

Sentry-go on land all day!

Be this true, or but a lie,

Nothing strange in this see I —

Stranger things exist, mark you —

This report, though, is quite true:

There’s a young princess, they say,

That she charms all hearts away.

Brighter than the sun at noon,

She outshines the midnight moon,

In her braids a crescent beams,

On her brow, a bright star gleams.

She herself is sweet of face,

Full of majesty and grace.

When she speaks, her voice doth seem

Like the music of a stream.

That’s a wonder, now, for you —

Marvellously strange, but true.»

Wisely, though, the guests prefer

Not to bandy words with her.

Tsar Saltan, he waxed most curious,

Our tsarevich waxed most furious,

But decided that he’d spare

Granny’s eyes for her grey hair.

Buzzing like a bumble-bee,

Round his granny circled he,

Stung her nose with all his might,

Raising blisters red and white.

Panic once more filled the air:

«Murder! Catch that insect there!

Help! O don’t you let it go!

Catch it! — Hold it! — Kill it!- O!

O you nasty insect, you!

Just you wait!» Guidon, though, flew

Through the casement, o’er the main,

Back to his domain again.

By the sea, the prince now paces,

On the blue sea now he gazes.

Suddenly, before Guidon

Swam the graceful snow-white swan.

«Greetings, my fair prince,» said she —

«Why are you so sad, tell me?

Why are you so dismal, say,

Like a gloomy, cloudy day?»

«Grief is gnawing at my breast,»

Answered Prince Guidon, distressed —

«Every youth has his own bride —

Only I unmarried bide.»

«Who is she you wish to wed?

Tell me, now.» Guidon then said:

«There’s a fair princess; they say

That she charms all hearts away —

Brighter than the sun at noon,

She outshines the midnight moon;

In her braids, a crescent beams,

On her brow, a bright star gleams.

She herself is sweet of face,

Full of majesty and grace.

When she speaks, her sweet voice seems

Like the flow of tinkling streams.

Is this true, though, or a lie?»

Anxiously, he waits reply.

Silently, the snow-white swan

Pondered; then she said: «Guidon —

Yes-this maiden I can find;

But a wife’s no mitten, mind,

From your lily hand to cast,

Or unto your belt make fast;

Listen now to my advice:

Weigh this matter well — think twice,

So that on your marriage morrow

You do not repent in sorrow.»

Here Guidon with ardour swore

That he’d thought of this before;

That ’twas high time he was married,

Too long single had he tarried;

That for this princess so fair

He would any perils dare,

Sacrifice his very soul,

Barefoot, walk right to the pole.

Sighing thoughtfully, the swan

Murmured: «Why so far, Guidon?

Know, your future bride is here —

I am that princess, my dear.»

Then she spread her wings, to soar

O’er the waves towards the shore.

There, amid a clump of trees,

Folded them with graceful ease,

Shook herself, and then and there

Turned into a maiden fair —

In her braids, a crescent beamed,

On her brow, a bright star gleamed;

She was sweet in form and face,

Full of majesty and grace.

When she spoke, her sweet voice seemed

Like the flow of tinkling streams.

He embraced the fair princess,

Folded her unto his breast.

Hand in hand with her he sped

To his mother dear, and said,

Falling on his bended knees:

«Mother darling — if you please,

I have chosen me a bride —

She will be your love and pride.

Your consent we crave to wed,

And your blessing, too,» he said —

«Bless our marriage, so that we

Live in love and harmony.»

O’er the kneeling pair, she stands,

Holy icon in her hands,

Smiling through her happy tears,

Saying: «God bless you, my dears.»

Prince Guidon did not delay —

They were married that same day,

Settled down, a happy pair,

Lacking nothing but an heir.

Breezes o’er the ocean play,

Speed a barque upon its way;

Sails all spread, it skims the seas,

Running swiftly Tore the breeze,

Past a craggy island, where

Stands a city proud and fair.

Cannons with a mighty roar

Bid the merchants put to shore.

When the merchants land, Guidon

Bids them be his guests anon;

Feasts them first with meats and wine,

Then he says: «Now, masters mine —

Tell me what you have for sale,

Whither bound and whence you hail?»

Said the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas,

Contraband, prince, was our ware,

And our profits-rich and rare.

We have far to travel yet —

Homewards — East — our course is set,

Past the Island of Buyan,

Back to gracious Tsar Saltan.»

«Gentles,» murmured Prince Guidon —

«May fair breezes speed you on,

O’er the ocean, o’er the main,

Back to Tsar Saltan again.

Pray remind your tsar from me,

That his gracious majesty

Said he’d visit us some day;

We regret his long delay.

Give him my regards.» Thereon

Off the merchants went. Guidon

This time stayed with his fair bride,

Never more to leave her side.

Merrily the breeze is singing,

O’er the waves a ship is winging

Past the Island of Buyan

To the realm of Tsar Sal tan.

Now his longed-for land, so dear,

Stands out in the distance, clear.

Now each merchant is the guest

Of the tsar, by his behest.

On his royal throne of state,

Crowned in glory, there he sate,

While the royal cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver,

With four eyes, though they be three,

Stared at him voraciously.

Tsar Saltan, with royal grace,

Gave the merchants each his place.

Then he said: «Now, masters mine-

Sailed you far across the brine?

Are things well where you have been?

What strange wonders have you seen?»

Quoth the merchants: «If you please,

We have sailed the seven seas.

Peace reigns overseas, serene.

There, we saw this wondrous scene:

On an island, far away,

Stands a city grand and gay-

Churches tall with golden domes,

Gardens green, and stately homes.

Near its palace grows a fir

In whose shade, O royal sir,

Stands a crystal cage; and there

Dwells a squirrel strange and rare,

Full of frolic; all day long,

Cracking nuts, it sings a song.

Nuts, most wondrous to behold —

Shells of purest yellow gold,

All the kernels — emeralds bright.

Sentries guard it day and night.

There we saw another wonder —

Every morn, the breakers thunder

And the waves, with mighty roar,

Overflow the barren shore,

Leaving, wonderful to see,

Thirty stalwart knights and three.

Each one brave beyond compare,

Tall of stature, young and fair,

All in mail a-gleaming bright,

Marching proudly left and right;

All alike beyond belief,

Led by Chernomor, their chief.

Nor will you find guards so true,

Vigilant and fearless, too.

Prince Guidon reigns there in glory,

He is praised in song and story

And his wife is fair, O sire —

Gaze on her — you’ll never tire.

Brighter than the sun at noon,

She outshines the midnight moon;

In her braids, a crescent beams,

On her brow, a bright star gleams.

Prince Guidon sends his respects,

Bade us say he still expects

You to visit him one day

And regrets your long delay.»

All impatient, Tsar Saltan

Gave command his fleet to man,

But the royal cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver,

Did their best to keep their tsar

From this wondrous isle so far.

He, to their persuasions deaf,

Bade the women hold their breath.

«I’m your tsar and not a child!»

Shouted he in passion wild —

«We will sail today. No more!»

Stamped his foot and slammed the door.

From his casement, silently,

Prince Guidon gazed at the sea.

Scarce a ripple stirred the deep

As it sighed as though in sleep.

On the far horizon blue

Sails came one by one in view.

Tsar Saltan’s fleet, at long last,

O’er the seas was sailing fast.

At this sight, Guidon rushed out,

Uttering a mighty shout:

«Mother dear, come hither, do —

You, my fair princess, come too —

Only look out yonder — there

Sails my father, I declare!»

Through his spyglass, Prince Guidon

Sees the royal fleet sail on;

While on deck, his father stands,

Spyglass also in his hands.

With him are the cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver;

Wonder in their gaze, they stare

At this isle so strange and fair.

In salute the cannons roared,

Carols sweet from belfries soared.

To the shore Guidon then ran,

There to welcome Tsar Saltan,

And the royal cook, and weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver.

Citywards the tsar led he —

Not a single word said he.

Now the palace came in sight,

Sentries, clad in armour bright.

Tsar Saltan looked on to see

Thirty stalwart knights and three —

Each one brave beyond compare,

Tall of stature, young and fair,

All alike beyond belief,

Led by Chernomor, their chief.

Then he reached the courtyard wide,

Where a lofty fir he spied.

In its shadow — lo, behold,

Creacking nuts of solid gold,

Sat a little squirrel, singing,

Emeralds into sacklets flinging.

Golden nutshells lay around

On the spacious courtyard ground.

Further on the guests now press,

Meet the wonderful princess:

In her braids, a crescent beams,

On her brow, a bright star gleams;

She is fair of form and face,

Full of majesty and grace,

Tsar Saltan’s own wife beside her.

He gazed on and recognised her.

And his heart began to leap.

«Am I dreaming in my sleep?»

Gasped the tsar in stark surprise,

Tears a-streaming from his eyes.

He embraced his wife in pride,

Kissed his son, his son’s fair bride;

Then they all sat down to feast

Where their laughter never ceased.

While the cook, and royal weaver,

And their mother, sly deceiver,

Fled and hid beneath the stairs

But were dragged out by their hairs.

Weeping, each her crimes confessed,

Begged forgiveness, beat her breast.

So the tsar, in his great glee

Sent them home across the sea.

Late at night, with tipsy head,

Tsar Saltan was put to bed.

I drank beer and mead there — yet

Only got my whiskers wet.

Царевна-лягушка

русские сказки для изучения английского 15
In days gone by there was a King who had three sons. When his sons came of age the King called them to him and said, «My dear lads, I want you to get married so that I may see your little ones, my grandchildren, before I die.»

And his sons replied, «Very well, Father, give us your blessing. Who do you want us to marry?»

«Each of you must take an arrow, go out into the green meadow and shoot it. Where the arrows fall, there shall your destiny be.»

So the sons bowed to their father, and each of them took an arrow and went out into the green meadow, where they drew their bows and let fly their arrows.

The arrow of the eldest son fell in the courtyard of a nobleman, and the nobleman’s daughter picked it up. The arrow of the middle son fell in the yard of a merchant, and the merchant’s daughter picked it up. But the arrow of the youngest son, Prince Ivan, flew up and away he knew not where.

And the frog replied, «Marry me!»

«How can I marry a frog?»

«Marry me, for it is your destiny.»

Prince Ivan was sadly disappointed, but what could he do? He picked up the frog and brought it home. The King celebrated three weddings: his eldest son was married to the nobleman’s daughter, his middle son to the merchant’s daughter, and poor Prince Ivan to the frog.

One day the King called his sons and said, «I want to see which of your wives is most skilled with her needle. Let them each sew me a shirt by tomorrow morning.»

The sons bowed to their father and went out. Prince Ivan went home and sat in a corner, looking very sad. The frog hopped about on the floor and said to him, «Why are you so sad, Prince Ivan? Are you in trouble?»

«My father wants you to sew him a shirt by tomorrow morning.»

Said the frog, «Don’t be downhearted, Prince Ivan. Go to bed; night is the mother of counsel.» So Prince Ivan went to bed, and the frog hopped out on to the doorstep, cast off her frog skin, and turned into Vasilisa the Wise, a maiden fair beyond compare.

When Prince Ivan awoke the next morning, the frog was hopping about on the floor again, and on the table, wrapped up in a linen towel, the shirt lay. Prince Ivan was delighted. He picked up the shirt and took it to his father. He found the King receiving gifts from his other sons.

When the eldest laid out his shirt, the King said, «This shirt will do for one of my servants.» When the middle son laid out his shirt, the King said, «This one is good only for the bath-house.» Prince Ivan laid out his shirt, handsomely embroidered in gold and silver.

The King took one look at it and said, «Now this is a shirt indeed! I shall wear it on the best occasions.»

The two elder brothers went home and said to each other, «It looks as though we had laughed at Prince Ivan’s wife for nothing — it seems she is not a frog, but a sorceress.»

Again the King called his sons. «Let your wives bake me bread by tomorrow morning,» he said. I want to know which one cooks the best.»

Prince Ivan came home looking very sad again. The frog said to him, «Why are you so sad, Prince?»

«The King wants you to bake bread for him by tomorrow morning,» replied her husband.

«Don’t be downhearted, Prince Ivan. Go to bed; night is the mother of counsel.»

Now those other daughters-in-law had made fun of the frog at first, but this time they sent an old henwife to see how the frog baked her bread. But the frog was cunning and guessed what they were about. She kneaded the dough, broke the top of the stove and emptied the dough-trough straight down the hole. The old henwife ran back to the other wives and told them what she had seen, and they did as the frog had done.

Then the frog hopped out onto the doorstep, turned into Vasilisa the Wise, and clapped her hands and cried, «Maids and nurses, get ready, work steady! By tomorrow morning bake me a soft white loaf like the ones I ate when I lived at home.»

Prince Ivan woke up in the morning, and there on the table he saw a loaf of bread with all kinds of pretty designs on it. On the sides were quaint figures -royal cities with walls and gates. Prince Ivan was ever so pleased. He wrapped the loaf up in a linen towel and took it to his father. Just then the King was receiving the loaves from his elder sons.

Their wives had dropped the dough into the fire as the old henwife had told them, and it came out just a lump of charred dough. The King took the loaf from his eldest son, looked at it and sent it to the servants’ hall. He took the loaf from his middle son and did the same with that.

And the King bade his sons come to his feast the next day and bring their wives with them. Prince Ivan came home grieving again. The frog hopped up and said, «Why are you so said, Prince Ivan? Has your father said anything unkind to you?»

«Froggy, my frog, how can I help being sad? Father wants me to bring you to his feast, but how can you appear before people as my wife?»

«Don’t be downhearted, Prince Ivan,» said the frog. «Go to the feast alone and I will come later. When you hear a knocking and a banging, do not be afraid. If you are asked, say it is only your Froggy riding in her box.»

So Prince Ivan went by himself. His elder brothers drove up with their wives, rouged and powdered and dressed in fine clothes. They stood there and mocked Prince Ivan: «Why did you not bring your wife? You could have brought her in a handkerchief. Where, indeed, did you find such a beauty? You must have searched all the marshes for her!»

The King and his sons and daughters-in-law and all the guests sat down to feast at the oaken tables covered with handsome cloths. All at once there was a knocking and a banging that made the whole palace shake. The guests jumped up in fright, but Prince Ivan said, «Do not be afraid, good people, it is only my Froggy riding in her box.»

Just then a gilded carriage drawn by six white horses dashed up to the palace door and out of it stepped Vasilisa the Wise in a dress of sky-blue silk strewn with stars and a shining moon upon her head — a maiden as fair as the sky at dawn, the fairest maiden ever born. She took Prince Ivan by the hand and led him to the oaken tables with the handsome cloths on them.

The guests began to eat, drink and make merry. Vasilisa the Wise drank from her glass and emptied the dregs into her left sleeve. Then she ate some swan meat and put the bones in her right sleeve. The wives of the elder princes saw her do this and they did the same.

When the eating and drinking were over, the time came for dancing. Vasilisa the Wise took Prince Ivan and tripped off with him. She whirled and danced, and everybody watched and marveled. She waved her left sleeve, and lo! a lake appeared! She waved her right sleeve, and white swans began to swim on the lake. The King and his guests were struck with wonder.

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