Ivan Andreevich Krylov
Quartet - Poem by Ivan Andreevich Krylov
And klunky Bear
Set out to play a string Quartet.
They found some scores, viola, bass, two violins
And sat down in a lea beneath a linden tree
To charm the world with art.
They struck their strings, and sawed with all their heart.
No luck. 'Arrete, my fellows, stop!' shouts Monkey,
How can the music play when you're not sitting straight?
You, Bearie, opposite viola move your bass,
As primo, I'll sit opposite secundo's face
And then some music will take place.
We'll make the hills and forests dance!'
They took their seats and started the Quartet,
And once again it came to nyet.
'Hold on! I know the secret!'
Shouts Donkey, 'It is bound to come out fine
If everyone sits in a line.'
They followed Donkey's plan and settled in a row;
But even so, the music would not go.
More fiercely than before they argued then
Who should be sitting where.
A nightingale, in passing, chanced the noise to hear.
At once, they turned to her to solve their problem.
The pleaded, 'Please, spare us some time
To make of our quartet a paradigm:
We have our instruments and scores,
Just tell us how to sit!'
'For making music, you must have the knack
And ears more musical than yours,'
The nightingale comes back,
'And you, my friends, no matter your positions,
Will never be musicians!'
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