Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Russia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX.  1876–79.
 
Don, the River
To the Army of the Don
From the Russian of Shatrov
 
Translated by J. Bowring

MOSKVA is stunned with the thunder-storm’s rattle:
See! for the Don has sprung over its banks,
Armed ’gainst the foe in fury and battle.
          Crowd to the ranks!
          Arm for the right,        5
          Strong in the fight!
 
Trump of the Tzar! which to triumph calls loudly,
Spirits of Moskva! ye warriors away!
Thousand times thousand arrange themselves proudly,
          Ripe for the fray,        10
          Armed for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
“Strive against God and our Russia shall no men,”
Ataman cried, while he brandished his spear;
“Scattered like ashes, they perish,—our foemen,        15
          Where are they,—where?”
          Arm for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
Fame-circled monarch! like waterfalls gushing
Down from the rocks, see thy children advance        20
On the false foe, in their energy rushing,
          Sabre and lance!
          Armed for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
Russians shall make them a pathway victorious;        25
Russians shall conquer from Neva to Rhine;
Armies shall fly at their enterprise glorious;
          Triumph is thine,
          Armed for the right,
          Strong in the fight!        30
 
Russia! O, fear not! no foe shall assemble
Near thee; they shrink from the cross-flag adored:
Lo! at thy slings and thy sabres they tremble—
          Ready thy sword!
          Armed for the right,        35
          Strong in the fight!
 
Yes! let thy enemy rage, let him hector;
Strong though he be, he shall fly from the field:
Is not the mother of God our protector,
          Michael our shield?        40
          Armed for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
Ready! to horse! for the cannon shouts call our
Heroes to struggle for hopes so sublime!
God himself smiles on the deeds of high valour!        45
          Children, ’t is time!
          Arm for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
Rush on the Franks, as pyramids steady:
Say, shall they enter the heart of our land?        50
No! for our heroes are gathering all ready;
          Firmly they stand,
          Armed for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
See! for our legions are wildly advancing.        55
Bonaparte flies from the sons of the Don;
Dull is the fame that so brightly was glancing,—
          France is o’erthrown.
          Arm for the right,
          Strong in the fight!        60
 
Arrows like hail-stones are clattering around us;
Sabres and spear-heads shine bright in the breeze;
And the swift bullets seem whispering: they sound as
          Swarming of bees:
          Armed for the right,        65
          Strong in the fight!
 
Three hundred thousand twice reckoned oppose them
Vainly to Russia; ’t is glory to see
How a small band of Cossacks overthrows them.
          Look how they flee!        70
          Arm for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
Cannons and muskets abandoned, and duty
Forgotten, for death and for terror are nigh;
Willingly yield they their knapsacks and booty,        75
          Only to fly:
          Arm for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
See how the raven is crouching, affrighted,
Where the proud eagle hath built its own home;        80
Russia hath left them alarmed and benighted,
          Russia their tomb.
          Armed for the right,
          Strong in the fight!
 
So is the generous struggle rewarded;        85
So do the insolent enemy bleed:
So is the palace-crowned, liberty-guarded
          Capital freed.
          Arm for the right,
          Strong in the fight!        90
 
Thanks to the Highest One! honour and glory,—
He has conducted us,—saved is the throne!
Peace to the Tzar, and may garlands grow o’er ye,
          Sons of the Don!
          Armed for the right,        95
          Strong in the fight!
 
 
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