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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Home from Work
By Nikolay Nekrasov (1821–1877)
 
Translation of Eugene Mark Kayden

“WELL, wife, how are you? How are you, my little ones?
Ah, for a good drink of ale! Such a frost!”—
“Lately the last drop you drained with the constable,
Hast thou forgotten it?”—“Well, nothing lost!
 
I shall, poor sinner, get warm soon without it.        5
But first to Roan in the stable attend,
For in the springtime he starved, our helper,
When, you remember, the hay was at end….
 
Eh, I am dead with the labor to-day!…
How? You have seen to him? He is all right?        10
Now for a plate of hot soup.”—“But, my darling,
We had no wood for the oven to-night.”—
 
“Anything, then; it will do for me—sinner.
But give a measure of oats to Roan.
He it was, wife, who had managed all summer,—        15
Four were the fields that he ploughed alone.
 
And even now it is hard with the carting
O’er rutted roads…. Not a morsel of bread?”—
“Finished our bread, dear! I’ve asked of our neighbor;
Early to-morrow she’ll bake some, she said.”—        20
 
“Well, I can sleep without eating—poor sinner.
Mind, wife, to spread under Roanie some straw.
He it was this very winter, by count,
Four thousand logs to the sawmill did draw.”
 
 
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