Augustus Young       light verse, poetry and prose
a webzine of new and unpublished work

Lensky’s Song of Lost Youth

(Act 2, Scene 2, Eugene Onegin)

Eugene Onegin half-heartedly flirts with Lensky’s girl-friend Olga. The young poet challenges him to a duel. Before dawn, while waiting for Onegin,  he sings his song:
O where have you gone to
golden days of my spring ?
My eyes look beyond you
to the darkness within.
The light in my soul dies.
Daybreak can only bring
a sun that is blinding.
I have to close my eyes.
The heart that had hopes cries
out for what might have been. 
Whether fate’s arrow flies
past, or pierces my skin,
matters not. Hear it sing
through the air, or surprise
you with its fatal sting.
The child basks in the sun
daydreaming eternities,
as bees hum all their lives.
One day the sun won’t rise.
It happens to everyone.
The morning star’s blinking
bright promise in the skies
is vain hope sinking
back into the dead eyes
of grim gods set in ice.
The spectre of the tomb
looms and I gasp for air.
My rhymes grow threadbare.
I am a tread-less loom
spinning poems out of air.
When I cease to exist
I will be forgotten.
A young poet won’t be missed
sunk in the sluggish stream
of Lethe. That’s how it is.
So in the parting hour
of a sad life I, who wished
for better, now have kissed,
like a bee might a flower,
in verse, Olga, my flower.
Hoping my seed’s budding
will bloom a desire in
your orchid heart to bring
yourself to my coffin
and lay a thought thereon:
‘He loved me in the spring
of my golden days. Gone
now like him’. I bring spring
back to you. O our spring,
my golden one, is gone.
Back to back, Eugene Onegin and Lensky sing a duet of sorrow at the pass their friendship has come to. ‘Oughtn’t we burst out laughing, and leave arm and arm?  But no, it’s too late. The blood is up. Net, net, net, net. The duel master gives the signal and Eugene coolly kills Lensky, regretting it immediately. The curtain falls.