Sergei Yesenin


Excerpt from Gulyai-Polye

Not yet is law solidified, The country seethes as in rough weather. We're drunk with freedom, quite beside Ourselves, excited beyond measure. Dear Russia! Land close to my heart! I wince from pain that is heart-searing, So long have your fields not been hearing The cockerel crow and farmdog bark. For many years has peace deserted The even tenor of our life. The earth is pockmarked by hooves hurtling Across your fields in ceaseless strife. The thudding and the groans, the screech Of waggons and machine-gun carriages. Can I be dreaming in my sleep That Pechenegs from all sides leap Upon us, with their spears to harry us? No, I'm not dozing, this is no Dream vision when a fellow's nodding: Over the hill the horses flow As squadron gallops after squadron. But whither bound? To war? But where? The smoothly rolling steppe is silent. Is-it a new moon shining there Or a bright shoe lost by a rider? All's muddled... But it's clear as dawn: With fire and sword this mother country Of mine from one end to the other By internecine strife is torn. My Russia - Awesome tocsins ring. Bright silver birch, white snowdrops swelling. Whence came he, of what origin Was he who roused you to rebellion? So stern a genius! What draws Me is not his imposing figure. He did not leap upon a horse, Fly with the wind and fight with vigour. He did not hack off warriors' heads And rout the foe. With shot and cartridge One form alone of dealing death He loved and that was shooting partridge. The standard hero in our eyes Wears a black mask - but he in winter Would go careering down a rise Astride a sledge with noisy children. He lacked that hair style which they say Makes feminine resistance crumble. His pate was bald, bare as a tray, And no one breathed an air more humble. Shy, kind and simple in behaviour He is a man who makes me ask: Where did he draw strength to be able To shake the whole world in his grasp? Shake it he did... Wind, roar and rage! Stormwind, more fiercely whirl and whistle! The infamy of priest and prison From luckless people wash away! There was a cruel run of years, In evil's clutches we were nourished And, profiting from peasant tears, The satraps of the Empire flourished. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The monarchy! Obnoxious trash! For ages banquet followed banquet And nobles traded power for cash To manufacturers and bankers. The people groaned and in sore plight All Russia hoped that someone might Come... And he came. With words of power He gave us strength to match the hour And said: "To end your suffering In workers' hands take everything. Nothing can save you now except Your own rule and your Soviet." And on we strode, the blizzard braving, In the direction he was gazing in, After the man who could foresee The day all nations would be free. And now he's dead... The moans are jarring. Woe from the Muse no sound can draw. To the farewell salute we hearken Which heavy guns are barking, barking. The one who saved us is no more. He lives no longer-but the living, All those whom Lenin left behind Must this land, seething like a river In full spate, in strong concrete bind. Forthem he has not died, Has Lenin. Death's anguish does not cloud their view. More sternly to their task now bending They do what Lenin meant to do...

Comment Section just now

Feel free to be first to leave comment.

8/2200 - 0