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.
Song of the Good Tzar
Nikolay Karamzin (1766–1826)
Anonymous translation

RUSSIA had a noble Tzar,
Sovereign honored wide and far;
He a father’s love enjoyed,
He a father’s power employed.
And he sought his children’s bliss,        5
And their happiness was his:
Left for them his golden halls;
Left for them his palace walls.
He, a wanderer for them,
Left his royal diadem:        10
Staff and knapsack all his treasure;
Toil and danger all his pleasure.
Wherefore hath he journeyed forth
From his glorious, sceptred north?
Flying pride and pomp and power;        15
Suffering heat and cold and shower.
Why? because this noble king
Light and truth and bliss might bring;
Spread intelligence, and pour
Knowledge out on Russia’s shore.        20
Wherefore would this noble king
Light and truth and virtue bring,
Spread intelligence, and pour
Knowledge out on Russia’s shore?
He would guide by wisdom’s ray        25
All his subjects in their way;
And while beams of glory giving,
Teach them all the arts of living.
O thou noble King and Tzar!
Earth ne’er saw so bright a star,—        30
Tell me, have ye ever found
Such a prince the world around?

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