Summary of “Svetlana” Zhukovsky

On the Epiphany evening, the girls would guess: taking off her slipper, they threw him at the gate. So they tried to find out their fate, to guess the betrothed. And only Svetlana among the merry girls is sad and silent, only she does not guess and does not sing. Darling has gone far, a year from him there is no news. Svetlana is suffering from separation.

White tablecloth on the table in the light, on it – two instruments and a mirror with a candle. At midnight, Svetlana will see her fate, her lover, in the mirror. Sobbingly she sits down to the mirror, but in it only darkness, and only the trembling of the candle on the table. Exactly at midnight, Svetlana, in awe, distinguishes between steps. He looks with timidity in the mirror, it seems to her that someone right behind her whispers that she loves her. He looks around – there the cute stretches out his hands and calls her with him: the priest is already waiting in the church, and the choir sang a wedding song.


the gate, they sit in the sleigh and let the horses gallop.

They pass by the night steppe, where only the dim moon illuminates the path. Svetlana’s beloved is suddenly silent, becoming dull and pale. In the direction of the temple can be seen, through its open doors you can see how the burial service of the deceased person lies in a black coffin. Svetlana is in awe, and her fiancé is still silent, discouraged, still pale. The snowstorm is rising. Over the sleighs a black raven twists and croaks about sadness. There appears a snow-covered hut, the horses that have flown up to her suddenly disappear, the groom also disappears.

Svetlana is left alone. She enters the hut and sees in it a table covered with a white tablecloth with a coffin on it. Seeing the image of the Savior, Svetlana falls to his knees before him and prays, and then sits down under the icons, in the corner, clasping the cross in her hand.

The snowstorm subsides, the candle at the coffin flashes. Around silence. Then a white dove descends on Svetlana’s chest and hugs her with wings. And again there was silence.

But Svetlana seems that the deceased moved. So it is – the veil has fallen off the coffin, and a groan is heard from the dead man’s mouth. A little more – and his stiffened hands break open, and he himself will rise from his coffin. Then the white dove jumped up and sat on the chest to the dead man. Deprived of strength, the dead man gritted his teeth, again became deadly pale and froze without moving.

Svetlana sees that the dead person is her dear friend, and then she awakens. She awakens in her own private room – she fell asleep during divination. Outside the window is already dawn, sings, meeting a new day, cock. But the weight on Svetlana’s soul remains, perhaps, she saw a prophetic dream. She looks at the road in the hope of getting rid of melancholy, and sees a sleigh rushing to the house. From them comes a stately guest – this is the bride of Svetlana.

A dark dream has been dispelled – the beloved has arrived for the bride to lead her under the crown.

The result of the ballad is this, believe in God and in your destiny, and any misfortune will be for you only a terrible dream. Do not know these terrible dreams, Svetlana!

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Summary of “Svetlana” Zhukovsky