Verse > Anthologies > Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps. > Modern Russian Poetry
Deutsch and Yarmolinsky, comps.  Modern Russian Poetry.  1921.
The Salt Song
By Nikolai Nekrasov (1821–1877)
(From “Who Can Live Happily in Russia?”)

GOD’S will be done!
No food he’ll try,
The youngest son—
Look, he will die.
A crust I got,        5
Another bit—
He touched it not:
“Put salt on it!”
Of salt no shred,
No pinch I see!        10
“Take flour, instead,”
God whispered me.
Two bites, or one—
His mouth he pouts,
The little son.        15
“More salt!” he shouts.
The bit appears
Again all floured,
And wet with tears
It was devoured.        20
The mother said
She’d saved her dear….
Salt was the bread—
How salt the tear!

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