"Stop all the clocks..." (Double translation of W.H. Auden)

(Auden's Original)

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

(Brodsky's translation into Russian)

Часы останови, забудь про телефон

И бобику дай кость, чтобы не тявкал он.

Накрой чехлом рояль; под барабана дробь

И всхлипыванья пусть теперь выносят гроб.

Пускай аэроплан, свой объясняя вой,

Начертит в небесах “Он мертв” над головой,

И лебедь в бабочку из крепа спрячет грусть,

Регулировщики – в перчатках черных пусть.

Он был мой Север, Юг, мой Запад, мой Восток,

Мой шестидневный труд, мой выходной восторг,

Слова и их мотив, местоимений сплав.

Любви, считал я, нет конца. Я был не прав.

Созвездья погаси и больше не смотри

Вверх. Упакуй луну и солнце разбери,

Слей в чашку океан, лес чисто подмети.

Отныне ничего в них больше не найти.

(My translation back into English)

Stop all the clocks, forget the telephone,

To break the barking, give the mutt a bone.

Cover the baby grand; and to the beating drum

And scattered sobs, let casket-bearers come.

Allow the airplane, while shrieking from the dread,

Write in the sky “he passed” above your head,

Crepe bows will hide the mourning of the swans,

Let the patrolmen wear black gloves for once.

He was my North, my South, my East, my West,

My six-day working week, my Sunday rest,

The alloy of the nouns, words, their song,

Love, I was sure, was endless. I was wrong.

Put out the constellations and don’t gaze

Above. Pack up the moon and go erase

The sun. Pour out the ocean, sweep the forest clean,

They’re empty now, there’s nothing to be seen.