It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature. - Henry James
She sits so late, the Slavic maiden...
The rough log walls shut out the night
But, in the distance, red doom laden,
The sky glows with a crimson light...
She rocks the cradle all night long
And as she rocks she croons this song:
"Hush a bye, hush: or is It coming
Disaster frights your heart, my dear?
Cheer up, my babe, and leave your glooming;
Mother's not going - anywhere!
I'd sooner loose my man than you,
My child, don't cry! or I shall too!
"Your father fights for God and glory
Against the Tatars, in the ranks...
Brave soldier - rough his road and gory
But bright the steel in his right hand!
Iook here, that red glow in the sky
Means battle - and that man must die.
"How glad I am your little head
Is still too small to grasp your danger,
For infants weep not for the dead;
Nor know the shame and helpless anger
Of chains. They're happier than we older...."
The door swings wide - a wounded soldier
Stands on the threshold, bloody-bearded,
His armour battered, crying "The end!
The end of all things! Gloat, accursed!...
Our dear-loved land her neck must bend
Beneath your yoke! Our fellows' swords
Could not withstand the Tatar hordes!"
With which he fell - in bloody agony
To die a soldier's death...
His wife raised the small xhild on high
To witness his last breath:
"Look son, and lean how men go to their rest
And think on vengeance - from your mother's breast!"