I Have Built a Memorial

I have built a memorial not made with human hands; 
The people's path to it shall not be overgrown. 
It's unbowed head is raised 
Higher than Alexander Pillar.

No, not all of me will die. My soul, my sacred lyre 
Will outlive my ashes and escape decay. 
I shall be praised as long as, in this world beneath the moon, 
One poet shall remain.

My voice will be heard within all of Great Russia 
And known by all the languages therein, 
The proud grandson of the slav, the finn and wild 
Tungus, and friend of the steppes - kalmik.

And long thereafter I shall endear the people, 
For with the lyre kind feelings I inspired, 
And, in my cruel age praised the love of freedom. 
And called for mercy to the fallen.

But to the will of God, O muse, be dutiful. 
Fear not insults, nor seek a crown of glory. 
Accept all praise and slander with indifference 
And do not dispute with the fool. 

Translated by Nick and Dimitri Derkatch