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

WHEN war’s wild blast affrights the land,
  With each fresh prey by combat torn,
My heart bleeds not for wife, or friend,
  Nor doth the fallen hero mourn.
 
Alas! fond wife soon solace gains,        5
  And best of friends their friend forget;
One only soul on earth remains
  That unto death remembers yet:
 
Amid life’s empty, wretched show,
  Amid black evil, cant, and folly,        10
Alone the sorrowing mothers know
  Tear-bathèd grief, sincere and holy.
 
They ne’er forget their sons they bore.
Their boys gone down on fields of gore
  They mourn, uncomforted, their days;        15
  Nor shall the drooping willow raise
Her weeping boughs—No, nevermore!
 
 
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