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The Beggar Man Post by :jtripp Category :Poems Author :Ivan Turgenev Date :April 2011 Read :2029

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The Beggar Man

Translated From The Russian
By Isabel Hapgood


I was passing along the street when a beggar, a decrepit old man, stopped me.

Swollen, tearful eyes, blue lips, bristling rags, unclean sores.... Oh, how horribly had poverty gnawed that unhappy being!

He stretched out to me a red, bloated, dirty hand.... He moaned, he bellowed for help.

I began to rummage in all my pockets.... Neither purse, nor watch, nor even handkerchief did I find.... I had taken nothing with me.

And the beggar still waited ... and extended his hand, which swayed and trembled feebly.

Bewildered, confused, I shook that dirty, tremulous hand heartily....

"Blame me not, brother; I have nothing, brother."

The beggar man fixed his swollen eyes upon me; his blue lips smiled--and in his turn he pressed my cold fingers.

"Never mind, brother," he mumbled. "Thanks for this also, brother.--This also is an alms, brother."

I understood that I had received an alms from my brother.

February, 1878.


(The end)
Ivan Turgenev's poem: The Beggar Man

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