Lermontov. To My Country


With love of my own race I cling unto my country,
Whatever dubious reason may protesting cry;
The shame alone of all her blood bought glory,
Her haughty self-assurance, conscious pride,
And the ancestral faith's traditions dark,
With woe have penetrated all my heart.
And yet I love it! Why, I cannot say;
The endless snowy Steppes so silent brooding,
In the pine forests Autumn winds pursuing—
The flood's high water on all sides in May.
By peasant cart I fain would haste in nightly darkness,
Through the lone wilderness and village desolate,
How hospitable shines the sole beam sparkling
To me from each poor hut! Filled with content so great,
The smell of stubble burnt, delights. Piled high
The wagons silent standing take their nightly rest,
On distant hills the silver birches I descry,
Framed gold by fertile fields the sacred picture blest.
Then with a joy unshared save by the vagrant,
I see the threshing floor well filled and fragrant,
The sloping straw-thatched cottage roofs again,
The window panels carved, of varied stain.
Nightly could I, till morning grey arrested,
Gaze on the dancing, stamping, whistling crowd,
Watching the villager,—young, happy, festive—
And hearing drunken peasants glad carouse!

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