Translated by James E. Falen

An excerpt from Wilson's tragedy
The City of the Plague

A street. A table laid for a feast.
Several men and women celebrants.

Most honored Chairman! I would speak
Of one whose memory we revere,
A man whose jests and comic tales,
Whose pointed wit and observations,
So caustic with their mocking air,
Enlivened many past occasions
And drove away the gloom with which
Our guest, the Plague, has now infected
So many of our brightest minds.
But two days since we hailed with mirth
Those tales of his, and so tonight,
Amid our feast, let’s not forget
Our Jackson now. Here stands his chair,
The empty seat as if awaiting
That merry man—but now he’s gone
To lie beneath the chilly earth…
Although his vivid voice remains,
Unsilenced yet within the grave;
But we are many still alive
And have tonight no cause to grieve.
So I propose for Jackson’s sake
A ringing toast and shouts of cheer,
As if he lived.


Pushkin, Alexander. A Feast in Time of Plague, trans. James E. Falen. Pushkin Review 2 (1999): 135-43.


This translation has been republished in:

Pushkin, Alexander. Boris Godunov and Other Dramatic Works, trans. James E. Falen (London: Oxford University Press, 2007).