It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature. - Henry James

Ballad

            

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!"

                         *****

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]
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Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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Russian Literature
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Apukhtin A. N.
Baratynsky E.A.
Batyushkov K.N.
Benediktov V.
Del'vig A.
Fet A.
Grebeonka E.
Griboedov A.
Grigoriev A.A.
Koltsov A.
Krylov I.
Kuyhelbeker V.
Lermontov M.
Maykov A.
Mey L.
Nekrasov N.
Ogarev N.
Pavlova K.
Pleshcheev A.
Polonsky Y.
Pushkin A.
Rostopchina E.
Soloviev V.S.
Surikov I.
Tolstoy A.
Tyutchev F.
Yazykov N.M.
Zhukovsky V.
Zhemchuzhnikov A.