Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
The Storming of Azof
From the Russian
Translated by Mrs. T. A. L. Robinson

THE POOR soldiers have no rest,
  Neither night nor day!
Late at evening the word was given
  To the soldiers gay;
All night long their weapons cleaning,        5
  Were the soldiers good,
Ready in the morning dawn,
  All in ranks they stood.
Not a golden trumpet is it,
  That now sounds so clear:        10
Nor the silver flute’s tone is it,
  That thou now dost hear.
’T is the great white Tzar who speaketh,
  ’T is our father dear.
Come, my princes, my Boyars,        15
  Nobles, great and small!
Now consider and invent
  Good advice, ye all!
How the soonest, how the quickest,
  Fort Azof may fall?        20
The Boyars, they stood in silence.
  And our father dear,
He again began to speak,
  In his eye a tear:
Come, my children, good dragoons,        25
  And my soldiers all,
Now consider and invent
  Brave advice, ye all,
How the soonest, how the quickest,
  Fort Azof may fall?        30
Like a humming swarm of bees,
So the soldiers spake,
With one voice at once they spake:
“Father, dear, great Tzar!
Fall it must! and all our lives        35
Thereon we gladly stake.”
Set already was the moon,
Nearly past the night;
To the storming on they marched,
With the morning light;        40
To the fort with bulwarked towers
And walls so strong and white.
Not great rocks they were, which rolled
From the mountains steep;
From the high, high walls there rolled        45
Foes into the deep.
No white snow shines on the fields,
All so white and bright;
But the corpses of our foes
Shine so bright and white.        50
Not up-swollen by heavy rains
Left the sea its bed;
No! in rills and rivers streams
Turkish blood so red!

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