If poetry comes not so naturally as leaves to a tree it had better not come at all. - Keats
The river licks the banks. Wide spreads it, wide and deep.
Slowly it flows, and see -
Out in the steppe, over the yellow steep
The stacks rise mournfully.
O Russia mine! My wife! Where leads our way we know,
The pain of knowing fierce.
Our way, an arrow flying from a Tatar bow,
Our breast has pierced.
Our way lies through the steppe, through sadness without bound,
Your sadness, Russ, your tears.
The haze of night, the haze of the beyond
I do not fear.
We'll get there and with flame will set aglow
The steppe, by night concealed.
Our sacred banner and of khans the steel
Will through the thick smoke show.
We only dream of calm. The battle's never done.
Through dust and blood,
Eternally the steppeland mare flies on,
Trampling the sod.
The miles and hills flash past. Stop! Stop! But no.
No end in sight.
A gory sunset. Clouds, row upon row,
Grey-faced with fright.
The sunset and the heart astream with blood.
No calm, not anywhere.
Weep, heart! Weep loud! Past field, past wood
Gallops the steppeland mare.