Kriloff’s Original Fables
A Bluebell, on a lonely spot, Lost all its bloom, and hung as if quite faded,
With head bent o’er its stem ; its lot Of coming death it met unaided,
And to the Zephyr whispered in tones of sorrow sad
” Ah ! If the dawn broke sooner, then we had
Some chance the sun the fields might brighten,
And my pain too his warm rays lighten.”
“A very simpleton art thou,”
Said an old beetle, buzzing round a bough.
“Thinks’t thou the sun hath naught to tax his leisure But care for thee, and for thy growth ? Bloom’st thou or fadest, I’ll take oath
‘Twill give him neither grief nor pleasure,
No time to waste on thee. Couldst fly as I do, thou wouldst see The meadows, and the fields, and valleys,
Which he alone to joy e’er rallies :
There doth his ray Reach to the spreading oaks, and stately cedars
There robes the flowers in rich colours gay, With perfumes filling them ; such flowers are not pleaders,
They have no need like thee
Of priceless beauty, fresh and free
Time’s scythe doth mow them, while his heart is sighing
But thou no beauty hast, nor scent
The sun no longer with thy wail torment. His faintest ray will reach thee not though dying
Then, let to silence sink thy worthless cry, Wither and die !
The sun arose, on nature brightly shining,
Till the whole realm of flowers drank life from every ray, And e’en the Bluebell, through the long night pining,
Lifted its head to heaven with the day.
ye, to whom are given, by fate’s decree,
High rank and dignity,
Take home to you the sun’s example, see Ye act as he ! Where’er his ray can reach, it aideth all, Whether a blade of grass, or cedar tall, Leaving but joy and happiness behind
For which his image lives in every heart,
And, like a ray through crystal, there doth dart A blessing through the depths of every mind.
[The family of Olenin, under whom Kriloff served in
the Imperial Library, was his second home during the whole of the latter half of his life, and through them he
was introduced to the Imperial Family. Both the Emperors, Alexander I. and Nicholas, specially favoured him, and the Empresses Maria Feodorovna and Alexandra
Feodorovna treated him on a footing of friendly intimacy.
Kriloff was once seriously ill, suffering from a flow of blood
to the head, and it was in Olenin’s house that he was
treated and cured. On this occasion the Empress Maria
Feodorovna, when Kriloff began to be convalescent, in- sisted on Olenin bringing him to Pavlovsk, one of the
.imperial seats near the capital to the present day, and
herself watched over him. When Kriloff departed, he left his ” Bluebell ” in an album, on the table of one of the
pavilions of the park,]
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