I'd change the last line to: "As though Storm will bring it rest"
Hey, Mike !!! Second translation SUCKS with a capital S, U, C, K and one more S. I think it's yours......
Privet :-) I suspect chto eto either epidemiya or a really cool fashion to translate "Beleet parus" :-). Yours seems to be the first of the two. It's fun-fun-fun.
Brrr.. I think this is hopeless. Any English version will sound stilted, this not being an inflected language (i.e., there being no "cases") So, when the word order is altered, the result sounds weird. It's a daunting task to retain the rhyme and rhythm, at the same time providing an accurate translation. As I see it, Russian poetry is pretty much the best reason to learn the damn language!
(Un)fortunately, I know the original by heart, and can provide destructive criticism:

The sail is whitening alone

a bit of poetic license here, no such word

In blue obscurity of sea:

it's fog (uncertainty?) not darkness

The wind is strong, the mast is creaking,
The wave is playing with the wave ...

doesn't quite render the near tempestuous imagery

But not a fortune is it seeking,
Nor from this fortune is its way.

happiness, not fortune

By it a stream is bright as azure,
By beams of sun it's warmed and blessed
But it is seeking gales as treasure,
As if the tempests give a rest.
this is pretty accurate

What does it seek in distant haven?
What was abandoned herein?

herein where? legalese in poetry?

The waves are wild, the wind is shrilly,
And mast has bowed with a creak!

much better rendering of the mood

But no, not luck it's seeking really,
Nor from the luck it's fleeing weak!

again, luck is the wrong word, otherwise this would work

But it's the storm it seeks, enduring --
As if the rest is in the storm!

kind of clumsy here, "repose" would be better

White sail gleams in fog alone
bad construction; implies it gleams nowhere else?

In blue infinity of sea
where's the infinity coming from?

What seeks it in the country foreign,
What did it leave where it lived?

this destroys the cadence, not to mention the rhyme

The waves are swelling, wind is whistling
The mast is bending with a creak good
It isn't happiness it's seeking
And not the happiness it flees

finally, a correct translation. But try to rhyme it

The stream beneath as bright as azure
Above the Sun sends golden rays...
Rebellious it's seeking tempest
In hopes that storm will bring it rest.

ditto. to be fair, I would vote on the version that accurately conveys the mood.
3) displays the most poetic talent, while not being too close to the original.

>Why don't you provide your own translation?

Oh, NO!!! I cannot compete with titans. Besides, what's the point? Criticizing is much more fun. :=))) On the second thought, I might try it if I find a good substitute for the word "rest".
It just doesn't sound right to me. Maybe tranquility or even peace
I tend to like "oblivion" although it has a little different meaning

Here's my humble analysis of the translations. No offences intended for any of the authours (or rather, translators). It's much easier to analyze poetry than to write it. I think Alyosha's translation is the most poetic of the three, reminding me in form, language, and rhyme of 19th century English poetry, such as that of Byron, who, by the way, was one of Lermontov's literary idols. However, the translation does not follow the original text very closely - e.g., there is no mention of the "whiteness" of the sail and the penultimate line has "enduring" for "myatezhnyi", which changes the meaning a bit. There are also a couple of (in my view) somewhat ambiguous phrases, such as "The sail's within". The original text is simple and clear, which is one of its beauties. Of the other two translations, the first has better rhyme and form, but the second is the closest of all three to the original. Such words as "happiness" and "rebellious" are preserved in it from the original text. But I would still pick the first one, because just by the way it sounds, I think it gives a better feel for the original, even if some of the words are changed. As a general comment, I am not sure that all the articles ("a" and "the") in these 3 translations are correctly placed. Another comment - one of the great beauties of classical Russian poetry is how "light" it sounds. It literally flows from your tongue as you recite it and you never seem to stumble on a hard combination of sounds. This feeling, I believe, is very hard to reproduce in English. For example, even though I picked Alyosha's "Byronesque" translation as the most poetic, its sound is much heavier than the Russian text. I think same is true of a lot of Byron's own verses. Perhaps this is because English is my second language, but I could never feel the same "lightness" in English poetry as in Russian. Try, for example, Robert Burns' poems in English (Scottish) and their Russian translations by Marshak. Sorry if all this was too opinionated, but it seemed that you were interested in our opinions. :0) I'll try to come up with my own translation of the "Sail", but I don't think it would be better than these three.
Wow, I couldn't think our humble play with translation would deserve such thoughtful extensive comments :-)
...But I am waiting to see how willingly people will accept the notion of sneezing masts. "Another case of going to extremes to preserve the rhyme". But it was meant as a joke :-)
> What did he leave in search for clue?
> .......
> And mast is bowing with a sneeze...

No offence to Alyosha, but I think this is getting a bit too far from the original. There was no sneezing in Lermontov's poem. :0) Plus, the Byronesque style is gone. I like his first translation more, even though it has ambiguities. But then again - I haven't come up with my own translation (at least not yet), so I shouldn't be putting down other people's versions. Actually, I should be putting them down even if I did come up with my own translation.

mishen'ka, i think i am in love.... u r soooo romantic.... (Please more comments like that! - MM)
There are again deviations, but on the positive side there are only two of them this time :-) A Tropicana-quality translation ("nothing is added, nothing is taken away") is yet to be created by somebody...
"What does it seek in distant haven? What was abandoned herein?" is very good, unfortunately not so is the rest of the Vaysburd's translation. But I liked the idea. Interpretation of Russian poetry is fun. :)
wow... much better... Is it yours too ?
Kruto, l'etsya kak pesnya. Yazyk ne "spotykaetsya", kogda chitaesh. Iz vseh privedennyh versiy blizhe vsego k originalu( pravdas ya ne govoryu, chto eto horosho).
> 2)
Pervoe chetverostish'e, po-moemu trebuet dorabotki(razmer nemnogo ne soblyuden). A vtoroe i tret'e mne ponravilis', osobenno tret'e.
Mishechka, vse smyaty, vse v voshischenii. I'm amazed by your poeticheskiy poryv. I believe, chto if you do one more translation of "Parus", you can get into Guinness book as person who made the biggest number of translations of this wonderful piece of verse.
Vot poslednyaya (5-MM) versiya na moi vzglyad luchshe vsego. Osobenno udachno: "It's not the happiness he's after, Nor is it happiness he flees."
Your "Parus" came very handy. I used it in my Farewell e-mail yesterday (it's a tradition to use poetry when say good-bye to everyone when leaving my company). Of course i could not help to sell it as my own translation:))). Please forgive me:)). People(americans) loved it! That means that you did a great job! But I got all the glory for my plagiat.
See you tonight at 8pm at my place. (MM - This is also a great comment! :-))