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To the Slanderers of Russia

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Post 16 Sep 2008, 10:27

О чем шумите вы, народные витии?
Зачем анафемой грозите вы России?
Что возмутило вас? Волнения Литвы?
Оставьте: это спор славян между собою,
Домашний старый спор, уж взвешенный судьбою,
Вопрос, которого не разрешите вы.

Уже давно между собою
Враждуют эти племена;
Не раз клонилась под грозою
То их то наша сторона.
Кто устоит в неравном споре:
Кичливый лях, иль верный росс?
Славянские ль ручьи сольются в русском море?
Оно ль иссякнет? вот вопрос.

Оставьте нас: вы не читали
Сии кровавые скрижали;
Вам непонятна, вам чужда
Сия семейная вражда;
Для вас безмолвны Кремль и Прага;
Бессмысленно прельщает вас
Борьбы отчаянной отвага -
И ненавидите вы нас...

За что ж? ответствуйте: за то ли,
Что на развалинах пылающей Москвы
Мы не признали наглой воли
Того, под кем дрожали вы?
За то ль, что в бездну повалили
Мы тяготеющий над царствами кумир
И нашей кровью искупили
Европы вольность, честь и мир?..

Вы грозны на словах попробуйте на деле!
Иль старый богатырь, покойный на постеле,
Не в силах завинтить свой измаильский штык?
Иль русского царя уже бессильно слово?
Иль нам с европой спорить ново?
Иль русский от побед отвык?
Иль мало нас? Или от Перми до Тавриды,
От финских скал до пламенной Колхи-ды

От потрясенного Кремля
До стен недвижного Китая,
Стальной щетиною сверкая,
Не встанет русская земля?..
Так высылайте ж к нам, витии
Своих озлобленных сынов:
Есть место им в полях России,
Среди нечуждых им гробов.


Why rave ye, babblers, so — ye lords of popular wonder ?
Why such anathemas 'gainst Russia do you thunder ?
What moves your idle rage? Is't Poland's fallen pride?
'T is but Slavonic kin among themselves contending,
An ancient household strife, oft judged but still unending,
A question which, be sure, you never can decide.

For ages past still have contended,
These races, though so near allied:
And oft 'neath Victory's storm has bended
Now their, and now our side.
Which shall stand fast in such commotion
The haughty Liakh, or faithful Russ?
And shall Slavonic streams meet in a Russian ocean? -
Or il't dry up? This is point for us.

Leave us!: Your eyes are all unable
To read our history's bloody table;
Strange in your sight and dark must be
Our springs of household enmity!
To you the Kreml and Prága's tower
Are voiceless all,--you mark the fate
And daring of the battle-hour--
And understand us not, but hate.

What stirs ye ?
Is it that this nation,
On Moscow's flaming walls, blood-slaked and ruin-quench'd,
Spurn'd back the insolent dictation
Of Him before whose nod ye blenched?
Is it that into dust we shatter'd,
The Dagon that weigh'd down all earth so wearily,
And our best blood so freely scatter'd,
To buy for Europe peace and liberty?

Ye're bold of tongue — but hark, would ye in deed but try it
Or is the hero, now reclined in laurelled quiet,
Too weak to fix once more, Izmail's red bayonet?
Or hath the Russian Tsar ever, in vain commanded?
Or must we meet all Europe banded?
Have we forgot to conquer yet ?
Or rather,shall they not, from Perm to Tauris' fountains,'
From the hot Colchian steppes, to Finland's icy mountains,
From the grey, half-shatter'd wall,
To fair Kathay, in dotage buried
A steely rampart, close and serried,
Rise, Russia's warriors, one and all?
Then send your numbers without number,
Your madden'd sons, your goaded slaves,
In Russia's plains there's room to slumber,
And well they'll know their brethren's graves !

Note the relevance to current issues?

Competition for those that don't know already: Guess when this was written...

+10 points for correct decade

+100 points for correct century

(The translation took me a good hour and a half on dial-up internet to steal, exploiting a loophole in Google's search engine in relation to protected content. As of this moment, it is the only English translation freely available on the internet.)
Post 16 Sep 2008, 10:35
Pushkin is kickass!
Post 16 Sep 2008, 10:36
You ruined my competition...
Post 16 Sep 2008, 10:39
Never mind, Vitaliy. Here's a soundtrack to go with Pushkin's kickass poem:
Post 16 Sep 2008, 10:46
I'll view it tomorrow, when I will have access to reasonable internet, instead of this 32k... thing.
Post 16 Sep 2008, 11:12
Ismail is quite the clue. Suvorov was a superb military commander!
Pushkin also wrote a good essay on Russian nationality, explaining why Russia occupies such a pivotal place in the world, between Europe and Asia - it is recited in part in Tarkovsky's "Mirror" (whose ending is heartbreaking)
Post 16 Sep 2008, 11:43
That was Pushkin's famous letter to Chaadayev.

What a fucкing genius that man was! It's astonishing that he's almost totally unknown outside Russia. He makes Byron, Shelley or Keats look like second-rate hacks.
Post 16 Sep 2008, 12:05
Very nice.
Post 16 Sep 2008, 13:18
Then does he make Wordsworth and Coleridge look lower than filth?
Post 16 Sep 2008, 13:44
He does, DSCHBACH, he does.
Post 16 Sep 2008, 17:54
This is Pushkin??? Seriously?
Post 16 Sep 2008, 17:56
Post 16 Sep 2008, 17:59
OK. I feel like an ignoranus. I guess when I studied Pushkin it was all Eugene Onegin type romantic stuff.
Post 16 Sep 2008, 18:02
There's more to Pushkin than 'Eugene Onegin'. He was like Shakespeare - a multifaceted genius. Russian literature is "the house that Pushkin built".
Post 16 Sep 2008, 18:10
Oh I agree, I am from Russia. I guess I never really got into reading Pushkin outside of the school curriculum wich was mainly Euge Onegin, The Queen of Spades, The Captain's Daugher, etc. I have never heard of this poem! But I already said I am an ignoranus so....shame on me.
Post 16 Sep 2008, 18:38
Oh I agree, I am from Russia. I guess I never really got into reading Pushkin outside of the school curriculum wich was mainly Euge Onegin, The Queen of Spades, The Captain's Daugher, etc. I have never heard of this poem! But I already said I am an ignoranus so....shame on me.

I'm surprised you've never heard of it Emil_G. 'To Russia's Slanderers' is one of his most famous poems - Russian nationalists never tire of reciting it. You've at least read 'Boris Godunov', haven't you?
Post 16 Sep 2008, 18:40
Nope! Heard of it though. Hey but I have seen the Queen of Spades live at the Bolshoi!
Post 16 Sep 2008, 18:42
Hey, that's good enough for me! You're a bona fide member of the Russian intelligentsia!
Post 16 Sep 2008, 18:48
Shakespeare was not a genius. He wrote burlesque with a convoluted diction. If you want Shakespeare, watch Eastenders for the same level of dramatic effect and drama.
It is a shame that Pushkin is remembered for the sloppily dreary (Austen-esque) Eugene Onegin which Tchaikovsky made absolutely inpalatable after he ruined it with his awful music.
Post 16 Sep 2008, 18:54
Hey come to think of it I saw the Onegin opera too! I vaguely remember the un-happy ending and the duel scene.
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